Men's Hoops Turn Tables on Sharks

Men's Hoops Turn Tables on Sharks
Deric Hill broke the school's season steals record as well as the season assist mark in the Bucs' 75-72 win over Nova Southeastern. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Deric Hill broke two school records in Barry University men's basketball team's 75-72 win over Nova Southeastern Wednesday. The win moved the Buccaneers to 17-6 overall, 7-6 in the Sunshine State Conference. Nova Southeastern fell to 11-14, 7-6. 

It was the 11th time in the past 12 meetings the game has been decided by four points or less. Barry lost to the Sharks, 72-70, in the first matchup between the two teams this year.

Hill broke the season record for assists and steals. He now has 179 assists and 64 steals. He eclipsed Nelson Fonseca's 1993-94 record for assists (168), having entered the game tied with him. Hill broke Ron Johnson's 1986-87 steals mark of 63.

"He's an unbelievable player," Barry assistant coach Ryan Saunders, who holds the career record for assists. "That's been one of his goals. I told him when we were recruiting him, 'You're going to come in here and break the single season assists record.' I told him I wasn't going to recruit him to break my assist record, the career assist record, but the single season assist record. He's an unbelievable passer. I really thought he was key late when they were throwing all kinds of zones at us, we just kind of turned him loose, and he makes plays."

Hill finished with 15 points, 11 assists and two steals, shooting 5 of 10 from three-point range. It was his fourth double-double of the season -- all of them a combined points and assists effort.

"It feels real good," Hill said. "We just came out to play. Coming up to the game, they were asking me how am I going to break the record. I just said, 'However it comes, it comes.' I thought I had it on the first one with Juan (Ferrales), but he didn't shoot the ball."

Barry opened a 14-point lead on the Sharks in the first half when Yunio Barrueta knocked down a triple at the 11:41 mark. Nova cut it to six on Brian Cahill's jumper with 3:48 left in the half. Sharks guard Justin Jeangerard scored with 1:31 to play in the half to slice the deficit to five before Hill knocked down a triple to push the lead back to eight. 

The Buccaneers, who were 13 of 35 in the first half, led by six at the break.

Nova took a 43-42 lead 4:50 into the second half on Jeangerard's three, but Adrian Gonzalez answered with a field goal in the paint on the next trip down the floor. The Bucs and Sharks traded leads twice in the ensuing minute, and Casey Carroll's three at the 11:22 mark put the Sharks ahead again after Ferrales hit a triple. 

The Sharks used a 9-0 run to take their largest lead, 54-49, with 10:34 to play. But Hill canned a three, and Magne Fivelstad sank one of two free throws as the Buccaneers drew within one. Stian Berg's layup with 6:26 left gave NSU a four-point lead, but Barrueta scored on an assist from Hill to put the Buccaneers back in front by one.

Nova and Barry traded leads again four more times with NSU's Chris Page scoring all 16 of his points in the second half to keep the Sharks in it. 

Savad Garner finally gave Barry the lead for good on a dish from Hill, and Fivelstad scored on an assist from Garner with 1:21 remaining to put the Bucs in front, 73-70. After Page scored again, Barrueta answered with 28 seconds left, setting up the final possession. Barry forced a stop on the defensive end to hold on.

"They live by the three," Saunders said. "We knew in the first half they could make a run because of their capability to shoot the ball from the outside. Down the stretch, Chris Page was unstoppable for them. We put every guy we had on him, and it just seemed like he just made plays. Luckily, we were able to make one stop (at the end) and things turned our way. I just hate playing Nova. It seems like every time we play them, it's a close game and goes down to the wire, no matter how we start off or how they start off. Lucky to get the win."

The Sharks were 10 of 27 from long range. The Bucs were 10 of 23 from 3-point range.

Barrueta notched his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 20 points, grabbing 14 rebounds to go along with four assists, a steal and a block. Fivelstad had his fifth double-double of the year, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 boards and coming up with three blocks and three assists. Ferrales scored 15 points and had three assists, and Gonzalez finished with 11 points. Garner pulled down seven rebounds, three on the offensive end. Fivelstad had five offensive boards.

Jeangerard had 15 points, and Cahill and Fuller 11 apiece for the Sharks.

The win marked the fifth time this year the Bucs have responded from a loss with a win the following game.

"It wasn't do or die," Saunders said, "but we definitely put some pressure on our guys to win the basketball game."

Barry will host Rollins at 6 p.m. Saturday on Senior Night in the final home game this year.