The men’s basketball team defeated Barry 73-68 on the last day of the regular season. The Spartans entered the game after a tough loss to No. 1 Florida Southern this past Wednesday. They faced a Barry team which was ranked No. 9 in the nation and who had beaten the Spartans 99-93 earlier this season.
It was senior night for the Spartans and the last home game for the team’s seven seniors. Guard Jordan Davis, forward/center Eugene McCrory, guard Kyle Middleton, forward Jason Brown, guard Tiant Zion-McCoy, guard/forward Derric Braziel, and guard Flynn Bluett were all honored before the game tipped off at 4:30 p.m.
The Spartans were in control from the very beginning and never gave up their lead after entering the second half up 38-26. The lead stretched to as large as 19 points until Barry began to claw their way back with a series of three-pointers. The Spartans only allowed 18 points in the paint and forced Barry to shoot from the perimeter, where they sunk 13 of 27 three-point attempts. The score was as close as 65-61 with 2:48 on the clock until the Spartans were able to gain separation. Superb ball movement by guards Matt Johnson and Jordan Davis, along with crucial rebounds by forwards Eugene McCrory and sophomore guard/forward Austin Rettig, led the Spartans to victory and secured their 18th win of the season.
McCrory led the team in scoring with 18 points and paired them with 15 rebounds for a double-double. Davis also earned a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists and Rettig and Johnson contributed 11 and 10 points respectively. The Spartans scored 40 of their 73 points in the paint and shot a 50.9% from the field.
The Spartans end their regular season with a 10-6 conference record (18-9 overall) and will enter the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Tournament as the third seed. They will face sixth seed nova Southeastern on March 4th to kick off their postseason and will look to do well enough to earn a bid to the NCAA Division II National Championship later this March.
Marcus Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org