Barry Men's Basketball Off to Melbourne

Barry Men's Basketball Off to Melbourne
Filip Toric and the Bucs will be shooting for their third straight win Saturday in Melbourne. Photo by Jason Roberts

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Fresh off back-to-back wins, this team isn't getting giddy.

"We still have a long ways to go," Barry senior guard Chad Renfro said. "The last win was good, but I'll be more satisfied when we get three wins in a row, and then after that ... four."

The Buccaneers enter the second half of Sunshine State Conference play 4 p.m. Saturday at Florida Tech. Barry (9-8, 3-5 SSC) beat Florida Tech (7-10, 1-7) in overtime on Jan. 2 in Miami Shores. And while the Panthers have lost four straight, they came within six points of knocking off league leader Florida Southern, which is ranked No. 9 in the country. And they suffered a pair of three-point losses during that stretch.

"Especially playing in their place, we just have to come out and play harder than they do, especially early and set the tone," said Renfro, who did not play in the first game against Tech. "We've got to rebound on the defensive end and finish possessions. We can't give them second and third chance opportunities to score each time down the court. That's really a killer when you play 35 seconds of defense, and they get the rebound. Then they get a whole 'nother 35 seconds." 

Barry survived the first meeting, 86-80, in its third of what the Bucs have now played in five overtime games this season. It was a game that featured 10 ties and nine lead changes.

Florida Tech's Chris Carter is second in the league in scoring at 18.7 points per game. He had 16 in the first game against the Bucs. Julius Reid, who leads the nation at 4.2 steals per game, had 18 points, eight assists and two steals in the contest in Miami Shores. Cameron Stahl had 15 points in the first meeting, which is 10 points above his average.

Barry's Bryan Van Cott scored 17 in that first game, and Aaron Martin had 21. Justin McCoy had 14 points and four assists.

The Bucs are in sixth place in the SSC. The Panthers occupy the bottom spot in ninth.

Barry will be shooting to match its longest win streak of the season at three. Florida Tech has yet to win two in a row. But the Panthers are the second in the league in scoring, averaging 79.8 points per game. Barry is putting up 70.3.

"I believe that we have the talent and the will," Renfro said. "Everybody wants to win, everybody's trying to get on the same page. Everybody's trying to work toward one goal."

TIP-INS: At halftime, Florida Tech and Panthers coach Billy Mims will present the Buccaneers coaching staff a check for money raised for Barry head coach Cesar Odio's Leukemia Foundation. Odio, an 18-year veteran coach for the Bucs, has been battling leukemia.

"It's a nice thing," Renfro said. "It's not like they have to do it. They did it to support Coach Odio. You have to give them credit."

Watch the game or follow on Live Stats by clicking HERE.



LAST TIME OUT: Barry beat Nova Southeastern on the road for the first time since Dec. 13, 2002 Wednesday ... Aaron Martin had 18 points.

SERIES RECORD: Barry is 29-24 all-time against Florida Tech ... The Bucs won the first meeting this year in Miami Shores, 86-80, in OT ... Barry lost to FIT on the road last season, 53-46 ... Barry’s last win in Melbourne was a 73-65 win on Feb. 17, 2010.

EYES ON OPPONENT: Florida Tech has lost its last four games, but the last two games have been decided by 3 points, including a 95-92 loss to then-No. 14 Florida Southern ... Chris Carter is averaging 18.7 ppg and 6.2 reb ... Jermaine Jackson is scoring 16.9 ppg ... Julius Reid is averaging 15.3 ppg, 6.2 reb and 5.35 assists ... Terrance Tubbsis scoring 10.3 ppg.

SECOND HALF STORY: Barry is averaging 35.9 points in the second half this year ... The Bucs are scoring 31 points in the first half ... Barry is allowing teams to score 36.7 ppg in the second half, while holding opponents to 30.5 in the first half.

 SUNKEN SCORING: The Bucs defense has limited the past four opponents to shrinking numbers ... Barry went from giving up 75 points at Eckerd on Jan. 19 to allowing 61 at Nova Southeastern Wednesday ... It is the first time all year, the Buccaneers defense has yielded incrementally fewer points over a four-game stretch.

 A-MART ON A ROLL: Sr. F Aaron Martin has made his last 16 free throws over a five-game stretch ... He is perfect from the line over his past four games ... He has been perfect from the stripe in seven games this year ... Martin is shooting 83.1 percent from the line this season.

FIVELSTAD FIELD GOALS: So. F Magne Fivelstad has made 7 of 11 field goals over the past three games ... He is shooting a team-best .521 from the floor this year.

McCOY’s STREAK SURVIVES: Barry Sr. G Justin McCoy has scored in double figures in 16 straight games ... He scored all 11 points against NSU in the second half Wednesday ... He had all 12 points against Tampa in the second half last Saturday ... McCoy scored 17 of his 21 against No. 17 Rollins in the second half on Jan. 23.