LAKELAND, FL - A poor shooting night overall and a red-hot opponent proved too much to overcome as Florida Southern College men's basketball fell to Barry, 92-81, on Saturday evening at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The No. 23 Moccasins (20-6, 13-5 SSC) fell back into third place in the Sunshine State Conference as the Buccaneers (15-10, 10-8) kept their hopes for a top-four seed in the SSC Tournament alive.
Ben Marello had 20 points for the Mocs while Brett Hanson (15), Jonathan Lawton (14), and Kai Cleary (10) also scored in double figures, but the Bucs shot a blistering 55.9 percent from the floor and scored 52 points in the second half to salvage a split of the season series with Southern.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to an incredible start by building an 18-6 lead less than five minutes into the opening half and looked as if it might run Barry out of the gym, but the Buccaneers settled in and slowly battled its way back into the contest with a 7-0 run midway through the opening half that sliced the deficit to four (22-18) with 10:04 on the clock.
- The Moccasins went back up by eight (28-20) on Hanson's jumper at the 7:46 mark, but the Bucs answered back with a 12-3 run to grab their first lead of the contest (32-31) with 3:46 go to in the opening period and rode the momentum to a 40-35 advantage at the half.
- Barry scored the first five points of the second half to take a 10-point lead (45-35) with 18:48 to play and never led by less than six points the rest of the way. Down just 55-49 with 14:01 to go, the Mocs were on the wrong end of a 9-2 run that saw the Buccaneers take control (64-51) with just over 11 minutes to play. Barry would lead by as many as 21 points (84-63) with less than four minutes to go as it avenged a Jan. 12 home loss to the Mocs.
- Florida Southern hit just 38.4 percent (28-of-73) of its shots and went just 10-of-31 from long range. Barry finished with a 43-35 advantage in rebounds and outscored the Mocs a whopping 58-26 in the paint.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 50-23 all-time againts Barry, including a 29-7 mark when facing the Bucs at home.
- Lawton scored in double figures for the 47th-straight game dating back to last year. Lawton increased his FSC scoring total to 1,275 to move into 16th in school history in scoring. He has scored a total of 1,838 points in his collegiate career after tallying 563 points in two seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is 17th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players and is on pace to set the Florida Southern school record for career scoring average with his 22.6 ppg.
- Hanson continued his ascent up the all-time scoring list at Florida Southern by pushing his career total to 1,392. He ranks 12th in school history in scoring. Hanson needs just 25 more points to move into the top 10 and is on pace to score more than 1,800 points in his career. Only four other Moccasins have ever surpassed 1,800 career points.
- Florida Southern heads to Saint Leo on Feb. 27 and wraps up the regular season at home against Rollins on March 2. The Mocs have locked up a spot in the SSC Tournament and will host a first-round game on March 6 at a time to be announced.