MELBOURNE, Fla. – Barry University men’s basketball team came within six points of a school record in a 109-79 rout at Florida Tech Saturday. The win bumps Barry’s record to 19-7 overall, 9-7 in the Sunshine State Conference.
Barry will be seeded fourth in the SSC Tournament and play Eckerd at noon Wednesday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla. Florida Tech fell to 16-12, 5-11, and finishes eighth in the SSC.
The Buccaneers, who were ranked sixth in the South Region poll entering the weekend’s games, shot 54 percent from the field. The top eight teams in each of the eight regions qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Barry built a 55-41 lead at halftime, shooting 19 of 36 from the field. Tech hit 17 of 26 first half field goals for 58.6 percent. But the Buccaneers held the Panthers to 38.5 percent in the second half. Barry also sank 16 of 17 free throws for 94.1 percent to set a school record. The Bucs were 8-for-8 from the stripe in the second half.
The Bucs opened up a 20-point lead with 12:44 to play when Juan Ferrales buried one of his eight triples. Ferrales’ eight threes is a career-best and ranks second in Barry single-game history.
“We came into this game knowing it was important,” said Ferrales, who reached 30 points for the third time this season. “I’m just glad my team responded the way we should have.”
Ferrales canned two more threes – the second at the 5:59 mark – to extend Barry’s lead to 27. Adrian Gonzalez, who finished with 15 points on 7 of 10 field goal shooting in 19 minutes, scored in the paint to push the Bucs up 99-69 with 3:55 remaining.
Garrett Naughton’s dunk on a feed from Magne Fivelstad gave Barry a 31-point lead. Naughton later threw down an alley-oop dunk on a lob from Toure Hunt to put the finishing touches on a runaway win. Naughton matched his season-high with seven points.
Ferrales finished with 33 points, one under his career-high. His three 30-point games this season matches Jason Junker’s three 30-point plus games in 2000-01. That same season the Buccaneers had four players score 30 or more points four times as Travon Broadway also hit 30 in 2000-01. This year’s Bucs team also matched that feat as Gonzalez scored 30 earlier this year as well.
“It feels good,” Ferrales said. “Credit to my teammates pushing me every day. I have to thank everybody else because they helped me get there.”
Ferrales was 8-for-12 from 3-point range, and finished 11 of 17 from the floor. His eight triples are tied for second most in a game by a Barry player. Junker hit 10 triples versus Nova Southeastern on Nov. 19, 2000. Ferrales also had seven triples in a game this season.
Fivelstad had 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and a steal. Yunio Barrueta had 15 points, nine boards, five assists, a block and a steal. Savad Garner had 12 points, seven rebounds and a steal.
Deric Hill had eight assists – all in the first half. He became the first player in Barry history to record over 200 assists in a season. He has 204 this year.
Florida Tech’s Jermaine Jackson had 17 points and six assists. Chris Carter had 11 points and seven assists. Corbin Jackson had 15 points, five boards and four blocks.
The Buccaneers outrebounded the Panthers, 45-33. Barry finished with a season-high 30 assists, which is tied for second most in school history. The school record is 38 assists set on Dec. 12, 1999 against Puerto Rico-Humacao.
“This is definitely a big win for us, a big uplifting win,” Ferrales said. “All of our games are super close, so it was good to stretch this one out, kind of relax a little bit. But the next step is we have to take the mature step. Even though we had such a good win, we have to feed off this win and continue to work hard and stay disciplined.”