BOCA RATON, Fla. – After injuries to two of the team’s starting players in the first half, the West Florida men’s basketball team kept battling but fell to Barry 76-68 on the final day of the Courtyard by Marriott Holiday Classic hosted by Lynn on Sunday. The Argonauts went on a 15-2 run in the second half to try to make up the difference, but Barry held on for the eight-point win. UWF fell to 5-6 with the loss, while the Buccaneers improved to 3-6.
Junior Jamar Moore (Coolidge, Ga./Faulkner State CC) scored 20 or more points for the fifth straight game to lead West Florida, as he finished with 25. Junior Mike Lewis (Upper Marlboro, Md./Eastern Kentucky) added 14 points, and sophomore Peter Connole (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian Academy) scored nine points off the bench.
Sophomore Terrance Beasley (Pensacola, Fla./Tulane) got off to a hot start for UWF, scoring six points in the first three minutes, but he suffered an injury and could not play in the second half. The other injured player was junior Anthony Sims (Mobile, Ala./Faulkner State CC), who started the game but played only five minutes.
The Argos led early, but the Buccaneers stayed close and eventually went ahead on a pair of free throws by Evan White with 12:20 on the clock. Barry opened up an eight-point lead thanks to an 11-0 run over a three-minute span ending at the 9:56 mark.
Down 23-15, West Florida fought back into the game and tied the score at 28 on a three-pointer by Moore with 5:46 on the clock. The excitement was short-lived for UWF, as the Bucs took control and outscored the Argonauts 16-8 over the final five minutes to go into halftime leading 44-36.
UWF kept battling in the second half despite its depleted roster, and a jumper by freshman Lendward Griffin (Jacksonville, Fla./Ribault HS) at the 10:23 mark left capped off the 15-2 run, narrowing Barry’s lead to two points. Willie Whittfield was there to score the next five points for Barry, as the Bucs eventually pulled away and clinched the eight-point win.
Whittfield was a force for Barry down low, finishing the night 10-10 from the field with a team-high 23 points. He also led all players with 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. The Bucs had three more players score in double-digits, and the team finished the night shooting 55.1 percent from the field.
West Florida will return to action after the holiday break to take on Mercy on the first day of the McDonald Fleming Moorhead UWF Christmas Classic on Dec. 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m., and fans can follow all the action live at www.GoArgos.com.