Men's Basketball Drops Wild Finish at Tampa

Men's Basketball Drops Wild Finish at Tampa
Yunio Barrueta had his seventh double-double, hitting a shot at the buzzer, but it was ruled a two-point goal in a 68-67 loss at Tampa. Photo by Joel Auerbach

TAMPA, Fla. – In what was shaping up to be a free throw finish, Barry University men’s basketball team lost to Tampa in a wild climatic ending, 68-67, Saturday. It snapped a four-game winning streak for the Buccaneers, who fell to 14-4 overall, 5-4 in the Sunshine State Conference. 

With the Bucs leading by three, Tampa’s Eric Moraes’ dunk off an inbounds play out of a timeout pulled the Spartans to within one with 3:01 remaining on the clock. Barry’s Deric Hill made one of two free throws on the next trip down the floor before Moraes threw down another dunk off a lob to tie the game at 61-61.

Moraes hit one of two free throws following a block by Yunio Barrueta, but the Buccaneers failed to convert on the other end. Jordan Davis sank two free throws as the Spartans went up by three. Hill sank two free throws with 8.7 seconds left to pull Barry within one, 64-63. Davis hit two free throws again less than a second later to push Tampa’s lead back to three.

Following a timeout, Hill sank two more free throws, to make it a one-point game again with 3.5 seconds on the clock. Davis hit two more free throws with 1.9 left, setting up one last opportunity for the Buccaneers. From the baseline, Barry’s Garrett Naughton threw a three-quarter court pass to Barrueta, who caught the ball in traffic at the top of the three-point arc and hit the shot at the buzzer. But his foot was ruled inside the three-point line as he fell to the floor, and the Buccaneers dropped a tough one in a frantic finish.

Barrueta finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in his seventh double-double of the season. Hill had 10 points, five assists and four steals.

Barry shot 39 percent from the field. Tampa hit 43 percent of its shots.

Tampa drew within 40-38 on a transition basket by Moraes with 16:09 to play. But after an extended possession in which the Bucs came away with three offensive rebounds, Magne Fivelstad sank two free throws, and Arie Williams canned his third triple of the game to push the lead back to seven.

Adrian Gonzalez’s putback with under 12:00 left kept the Buccaneers on top by five, but the Spartans took the lead, 50-49, on a basket by Ryan Kidd. But two threes by Barrueta and Hill nudged the Buccaneers ahead, 55-50, with roughly seven minutes to play.

Fivelstad had his fourth double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Williams, who was originally scheduled to play at Tampa, finished with 11 points and four rebounds. He was 4 of 8 from the field, including 3 of 7 from long distance.

Savad Garner had 10 points and seven boards, five on the offensive glass. Fivelstad also had five of Barry’s 20 offensive rebounds. The Bucs outrebounded the Spartans, 42-34.

Moraes finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Davis scored 15.

Williams’ three in transition on a dish from Hill with roughly eight minutes left in the opening half gave Barry a 10-point lead – its largest of the game. It was his second straight triple during a 9-2 Bucs run.

Tampa cut the Bucs’ lead to five, 35-30, by the break. The Buccaneers shot 45.3 percent in the first half, while the Spartans hit 41.4 percent of their field goals. Fivelstad and Williams each scored eight points in the first half.

Barry will host No. 2 Florida Southern at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Miami Shores.