HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The 19/20-ranked Barry Buccaneers won the NCAA Division II South Region Men's Basketball title with an 87-83 come-from-behind win over the host Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in Spragins Hall on Tuesday night.
"It's a great night for the program," head coach Butch Estes said afterward. "These guys have worked so hard, not just this year, but for the last three years, and it's really rewarding to see that effort pay off."
Barry (26-6) moves on to play Lincoln Memorial (32-2) at 1 p.m. March 23 at the Pepsi Center in Frisco, Texas.
The Bucs fell behind at the half, trailing 48-40 to the home-standing Chargers (25-8), and watched them build the lead out to 56-44 at the 17:08 mark of the second half.
But the Bucs, as they have so many times this year, responded with a 23-2 run to take a 67-58 lead on a pair of free throws by Adrian Gonzalez at the 10:00 minute mark.
The Chargers, however, had a run of their own in them and re-took the lead at 71-70 on a layup by Seab Webster with 4:43 remaining. Trailing 76-75 with 1:26 to play, the Bucs took an 81-76 lead on back-to-back three-pointers by Elvar Fridriksson, and never again trailed. Fridriksson hit another trey and Anders Haas and Yunio Barrueta made 3 of 4 from the line in the final 14 seconds to preserve the win.
Barrueta, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player, and Fridriksson both made the All-Tournament Team. They led the Bucs with 21 points each. Gonzalez chipped in with 14 points, and Undra Mitchem added 12.
The Bucs held the Chargers without a single second-chance point, and forced 14 turnovers while turning it over just three times themselves, giving the Bucs 13 more possessions.