MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team could not hold onto a seven point halftime lead as the host Barry University Buccaneers shot 60 percent in the second half to claim a 74-59 victory in Sunshine State Conference action on Wednesday night from Barry’s Health and Sports Center.
Starting off sluggish, both teams only combined for six points after the first five minutes had elapsed. Holding the lead, the Lions would see Barry (5-12, 2-6 SSC) respond to tie the score four times during the half. A clutch run as the period came to a close, sparked by a Jeremy Jackson jumper with 2:57 left, sent Saint Leo (10-8, 1-7 SSC) into the break with a seven-point advantage.
Out of the intermission it would be Barry that held the hot hand, slowly cutting into the Lions’ advantage until a Marvin Davis layup with 12:00 minutes left knotted the game at 38. From that point the game would turn in the Buccaneers’ favor as they outscored SLU 20-2 over the next seven minutes, taking a 63-45 lead with 3:20 left in the game. It would be a scoring drought that would spell doom for any potential Saint Leo rallies.
For the Lions, two starters would inch into double figures as Quentin Cullop and Dominick Robinson would score 10 points each. As a team, the Lions would shoot a respectable 44 percent (22-of-50) for the game.
Shooting 60 percent in the second half Barry saw five players reach double-digits led by senior Willie Whitfield who paced the Buccaneers with 22 points and nine rebounds.
The Lions will make the long trek back to Saint Leo where they will have a few extra days off, not taking to the hardwood again until Monday night. The Lions will host Florida Tech in a Sunshine State Conference contest from the Marion Bowman Activities Center in a game that was moved from its standard Saturday-afternoon timeslot. The game will be featured as the Bright House Sports Network Game of the Week and will air live, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.