Watt records double-double as Lions fall to Barry, 87-85

Watt records double-double as Lions fall to Barry, 87-85

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo men's basketball outshot and generally outplayed visiting Barry University throughout much of the second half, but the Lions' comeback rally came up short in an 87-85 loss to the Buccaneers, Saturday evening at the Bowman Center.

Trailing by 19 points with under six minutes remaining, the Lions (6-4, 2-3 SSC) outscored the Buccaneers 22-5 down the stretch to close the gap, but could not quite overtake Barry for the conference win.

Freshman Lawrence Watt turned his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, the first double-double recorded by the Lions this season. Both figures were season highs for the Pasco County freshman from nearby Mitchell High School.

The Basics
Final Score: Barry 87, Saint Leo 85
Records: Saint Leo 6-4, 2-3 SSC | Barry 7-2, 2-1 SSC

1H | Saint Leo worked its way to as much as a seven-point lead, 18-11, by the 13-minute mark, taking advantage of some early three-pointers by the Lions. Stewart knocked down a pair of treys in the early-going, while Dewberry added one and Pickett stroked the first of his two treys in the opening frame. Barry clawed its way back into the contest, eventually tying things up at 20-20 after three straight baskets by the Bucs. The game was still tied as late as 25-25 with 9:12 remaining, following a Watt jumper. Barry answered with a 9-0 run to take a 34-25 lead, before the Lions broke the scoring drought with a pair of Dewberry foul shots with 6:01 to play. The Lions briefly cut the lead to four, but a Barrueta jumper and a Mitchem trey extended the Bucs' lead to double-digits at the intermission. | Barry 51-39 |

2H | Barry started slowly pulling away from Saint Leo early in the second half, despite three-point field goals from Stewart, Dewberry, and Brice. The Buccaneers' lead peaked at 21, 75-54, with 11:55 to play, following a pair of fouls shots by Barry's Barrueta. Saint Leo's comeback bid began there with a Dewberry trey and a layup by Brice, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. With the Bucs' lead still at 19 points with just under six minutes remaining on a Leonard jumper, a Brice three-pointer and a Watt layup quickly had the margin town to 14. Those points were part of Saint Leo's 9-0 run that brought the Lions to within 10 of the Buccaneers, 82-72, with 3:15 remaining. The Lions were 4-of-6 from the field and went 5-of-7 at the free-throw line the rest of the way, while holding the Bucs to an 0-of-3 mark from the floor. A conventional three-point play by Watt cut the margin to five, and Watt's layup with 10 seconds remaining pulled the Lions to within four. Barrueta's turnover led to a Stewart layup with 4.6 seconds left, but the clock expired before Saint Leo was able to get a quality shot away. Barry managed to convert five of its six attempts at the line over the final three minutes – just enough to seal the win. | Barry 87-85 |.

Points to Note
Stewart's 24 points was his fourth 20-point game of the season, while Dewberry broke the 20-point mark for the fifth time in 2015-16 with his 23 points. Stewart also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds and matched his season high with four three-pointers, to go with three blocks. Dewberry dished out five assists to aid the Lions' cause.

Watt's 16 points off the bench for the Lions, while Tyreece Brice chipped in with 14 in a reserve role – 12 of those coming in the second half. Saint Leo tallied 36 bench points on Saturday, to Barry's 18.

Defensively, Saint Leo held Barry, which had been posting a .471 FG percentage and average 93.4 points, to just .417 shooting and 87 points – matching their third-lowest offensive output this season.

For the Buccaneers
Four players scored in double-digits for Barry. Yunio Barrueta stayed true to his season average of 23.4 points and finished the night with 23 points and 18 rebounds.

Elvar Fridricksson and Anders Haas each added 15 points for the Buccaneers, while Undra Mitchem chipped in with 10 points.

Barry controlled the boards, outrebounding Saint Leo 48 to 41, with a 10 to 7 advantage in offensive rebounds.

From the Coach

Head Coach Vince Alexander: "I just think as a team, we've got to mature and we've got to play as hard for the entire game as we did in the last five minutes. I think once we get that, we'll have some success and these guys will see that we have the opportunity to be very good."

Up Next
Saint Leo returns to the court on Tuesday, Dec. 15, when it hosts Benedict in a non-conference South Region game at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's basketball, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.