MIAMI SHORES, FL - A strong performance off the bench from freshman E.J. Dambreville and another 20-plus point game from Jonathan Lawton helped lead Florida Southern College men's basketball to its third-straight win, a 79-65 Sunshine State Conference victory at Barry, on Saturday at the BU Health & Sports Center. The No. 22 Moccasins (12-3, 5-2 SSC) scored 45 points in the second half to erase a two-point halftime deficit and held the Buccaneers (10-4, 5-2) to their second-lowest point total of the season.
The Mocs' defense limited the Bucs to nearly 20 points less than their season average entering Saturday's game, while three players in addition to Dambreville and Lawton scored in double figures, as Florida Southern topped Barry for the second-straight meeting.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern and Barry battled through a tremendous first half that saw neither team lead by more than five points until late in the half. The Bucs held a five-point lead (24-19) with 7:38 to go in the first after Tylan Birts hit a jumper to force Southern to call a timeout.
- After the break, Dambreville responded by nailing a three-pointer to slice the deficit to two (24-22), but a 6-0 run by the Buccaneers later in the half made it 32-25 with less than four minutes to go in the period. But thanks to several key buckets by Dambreville and a Brett Hanson layup with 12 seconds to go, the Mocs trailed just 36-34 at the half.
- Leading 50-46 with 14:05 to go in the game, Florida Southern went on a 7-0 run over the next two and a half minutes to take an 11-point lead (57-46) and swing the momentum in its favor. The Bucs battled back to pull within five points (63-58) with less than five minutes to go, but the Mocs slammed the door shut with another 7-0 run that pushed the lead to 12 (70-58) with 1:59 to go and gave them the final push they needed to pick up the win.
- Dambreville finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, both season highs, in 25 minutes off the bench. He finished 5-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc while knocking down 4-of-5 free-throw attempts. Lawton finished with 25 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 at the charity stripe, while Hanson (14), Slinky Jones (11), and Jack Rauch (10) also scored in double figures.
- The Moccasins shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the floor and made 24-of-31 free-throw attempts while limiting Barry to 42.6 percent from the floor. The Bucs went just 8-of-33 at the three-point line and only attempted eight free throws on the day. Both teams grabbed 35 rebounds and Florida Southern forced Barry into 19 turnovers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 50-22 all-time against Barry, including a 19-12 record when facing the Bucs in Miami Shores. Saturday's win marked the 249th for Moccasin head coach Mike Donnelly in his 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He is 249-203 in his career, including a 54-51 mark in four seasons at Florida Southern.
- The Mocs held Barry to 16.2 points less than their season average entering Saturday's game. Florida Southern also limited the Bucs to just nine assists, 11.5 less than their season average. Barry's 65 points marked its lowest point total against a conference foe since Dec. 6, 2014 when the Bucs defeated Saint Leo 64-56.
- Lawton pushed his scoring total to 1,038 points in two seasons at Florida Southern to move into 36th in school history in scoring. He has 1,601 in his career after scoring 563 in two years at St. Thomas Aquinas and ranks 17th in career scoring among active NCAA Division II players.
- Hanson upped his career point total 1,202 to move into 17th in school history in scoring. He needs just 215 more points to move into the all-time top 10 and is on pace to finish his career next season as one of just five Moccasins to eclipse 1,800 career points.
- Florida Southern will take on Eckerd at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday before traveling to Rollins for a 4 p.m. matchup on Feb. 19.