ST. LEO, Fla. – Barry had it bouncing.
Barry women’s basketball team turned the transition into transformation in a 59-49 win over host Saint Leo Wednesday.
The win helped the Bucs keep pace with Florida Southern in a bid for second place in the Sunshine State Conference race. Barry improved to 11-6 overall, 6-2 in the SSC.
Barry, which returns home for its next two games beginning with Saturday’s 2 p.m. tip-off against Nova Southeastern, won back-to-back games and fifth in its past seven. Saint Leo fell to 6-12 overall, 0-8 in the league.
Alexandria Zamora scored in transition on a feed from Shanna Suttington, and Jen Mitchell hit a jumper outside the lane as Barry built an eight-point lead with two minutes left. Danielle DeBerry sank a pair of free throws to give the Bucs their largest lead, 57-47, with 1:18 on the clock.
Saint Leo trimmed a seven-point Buccaneers’ lead to one just a little over two minutes into the second half. Shalisa Hill hit a jumper to cap a 10-3 Lions’ run 4:47 after the break to tie the game at 29-29. Chelsea Connelly gave the Lions a one-point lead, but Colette Eule canned a three from the corner on the Bucs’ next trip down the floor to put Barry back in front, 34-33.
Jackie Perez hit a reverse lay-in off the fastbreak, and then fed Eule for a three-pointer on the Buccaneers’ next possession to give Barry a five-point lead with 10:32 remaining. Brooke Keeton scored and Suttington added a free throw to extend the Bucs’ lead to eight.
Saint Leo’s Elise Clyburn buried a three at the 5:45 mark to cut Barry’s lead to 44-39. Kinnara Lewis scored to bring the Lions within three, but Mitchell hit a three-pointer seconds later to push Barry back up by six.
DeBerry had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. Mitchell scored nine points and grabbed three boards. Zamora had six points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Suttington scored eight points and had six assists. Eule scored nine points.
Connelly had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lions. Williams scored 18 points and grabbed five boards.
Barry outrebounded Saint Leo, 44-35.
Eule knocked down a triple with 9:10 to play in the first half off a feed from Perez to give the Bucs a 14-13 lead. Kaley Howard and Zamora scored on successive possessions to push the Bucs ahead, 18-15.
Suttington hit a runner in the lane at the two-minute mark as Barry increased its lead to 26-19 to take a seven-point edge into intermission.
Barry had a 10-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the opening half. The Bucs hit 10 of 30 field goals in the first half. Saint Leo was eight of 24 from the floor.
Yvonne Houston had seven points and six rebounds for the Bucs, which shot 14 of 16 from the free throw line. Barry sank 11 of 12 free throws in the second half.