MIAMI SHORES, FL - Florida Southern College men's basketball was unable to overcome a hot-shooting Barry squad as it fell, 102-80, in a Sunshine State Conference road game on Wednesday evening at the Health & Sports Center. The Moccasins (9-7, 3-5 SSC) hung tough with the No. 11 Buccaneers (11-2, 7-1) for the opening part of the first half, but Barry caught fire in the final minutes of the first period to stay atop the SSC standings.
Jonathan Lawton led the Mocs with 19 points while Brett Hanson scored 15, but the Bucs countered with six players in double figures and shot better than 50.0 percent from the floor as Florida Southern suffered its second-straight loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Barry looked as if it might take control early in the first half by building a 9-3 lead over the first three minutes of play, but the Moccasins rallied to score eight-straight points and jump in front by two (11-9) when Ben Marello nailed a jumper with 15:24 on the clock. However, the lead did not last long as the Bucs hit a three on the ensuing possession to go up by one (12-11) and never trailed again.
• Florida Southern would fall behind by seven (18-11) at the 14:11 mark of the opening half and trailed by as many as 10 (25-15) in the first 10 minutes, but was able to mount a rally to get within five points (29-24) when Lawton drilled a shot from long range with 9:14 on the clock. It would be all the closer the Mocs would get, as Barry scored the next seven points to jump in front by 12 and led by 13 (55-42) going into the half.
• The Bucs took their first 20-point lead of the game (68-48) with 14:12 to go in the game and led by as many as 28 points in the second half. Barry hit 15-of-30 field-goal attempts in the second half and held the Mocs to just 34.1 percent over the final 20 minutes of action.
• Lawton's 19 points came on a 6-of-13 mark from the floor, which included four three-pointers. Hanson shot 7-of-13 and stuffed the stat sheet with six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Marello scored nine points off the bench, while Rico Releford also added nine and Trey Diggs finished with eight. The Mocs shot 39.5 percent (30-of-76) on the night while the Bucs connected on 52.2 percent (36-of-69) and outrebounded Florida Southern by a 51-31 tally.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 48-22 all-time against Barry, including 18-12 when facing the Bucs on the road. The loss marked the fifth-straight time that Barry has defeated the Moccasins, marking Barry's longest win streak in the series.
• Lawton scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the sixth-straight game. Hanson hit double digits for the 14th time in a row and the 14th time overall this year. The Moccasins finished with a 21-19 edge in points off turnovers after forcing the Bucs to cough up the ball 21 times. Barry finished with the edge in points in the paint (36-30), second-chance points (17-8), fastbreak points (9-6), and bench points (41-33).
• Florida Southern plays host to longtime rival Rollins on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Jenkins Field House. The meeting between the Mocs and Tars will mark the 176th time that the teams have met on the hardwood.