Barons come close to winning Embry-Riddle tourney

MT. VERNON -- For the second straight weekend, Brewton-Parker College men's basketball coach Steve Barker saw his Barons emerge from a tough two-day classic with a split of its games.

The Barons opened play in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Mitsubishi Shootout at Daytona Beach, Fla., with a 76-60 win Friday night over Florida Memorial University.

Brewton-Parker then had the host from Embry-Riddle down by four at halftime of Saturday's championship game before the Eagles' strong second-half shooting gave them a 78-73 victory.

Brewton-Parker (4-5) had two players make the all-tournament team, with senior guard Derrick Hairston scoring a team-high 26 points (19 by halftime) against Embry-Riddle on 10 of 14 shooting.

Senior guard Gabe Bubon also made the all-tourney list. He was 6-for-9 from 3-point range Saturday on his way to scoring 20 points (14 after halftime) after he led the Barons with 21 in the win over Florida Memorial.

Brewton-Parker had a slight edge in field-goal percentage, making 44.8 percent (26-for-58) from the floor to the Embry-Riddle's 42.1 percent (24-for-57) with a 50 percent second half.

But ERAU (4-3) had a decisive advantage in rebounds (44-25) and at the free-throw line, where the Eagles were 25-for-28 (85.7 percent) while the Barons got just 14 shots, making 10 (71.4 percent).

"We beat them for 31 minutes and played really well, except a couple instances where we had some crucial turnovers," said Barons coach Steve Barker, whose team led 56-55 with 9:47 left before the Eagles took the lead with 9:01 remaining.

Senior guard Harold Pierson, who entered the tournament averaging better than 30 points in Embry-Riddle's first five games, led the Eagles with 27 against the Barons.

Senior center Chinwuba Agba followed with 21 points and had 12 rebounds, second only to tournament Most Valuable Player and senior forward Dennis Carr's 13 boards. Carr and sophomore guard Kip Wellman had 12 points apiece.

Junior guard Ben McGlynn added 13 points along with five assists for the Barons, and junior post Hector Solano scored 10 with a team-high seven rebounds.

Just before the game, the Barons stopped to watch the night launch of the space shuttle Endeavor from Cape Canaveral, which Barker said he was told was about 48 miles from the Embry-Riddle campus. "We decided it was an educational experience we might not ever see again," Barker said.

In their victory Friday, the Barons hit 54.2 percent of their shots and led 42-22 at halftime after hitting 59.3 percent in the first half that included a 6-for-10 effort from the 3-point line.

Brewton-Parker ripped 10 of 19 treys total, with Bubon, McGlynn and junior guard Jarvis Smith hitting three each.

Bubon hit 7 of 11 shots (3-for-7 from 3-point land) in his 21-point output, 15 coming in the second half, while McGlynn was perfect on his three trey attempts and 4-for-6 overall in scoring 13 points with a team-high six assists.

Smith hit 4 of 6 shots (3 of 5 treys) in scoring 11, all in the first half. Sophomore post Ryan Parry had team highs of five rebounds (tied with Bubon) and four steals.

"We probably played better than we played all year," Barker said of the win. "We were down 7-1 and Jarvis Smith and Derrick Hairston came in and really gave us a boost and got us on track."
The Barons overcame 25 turnovers by forcing 24 by Florida Memorial, which was just 37.7 percent good on its shot attempts.

The trip to Daytona Beach followed a 54-46 loss Nov. 19 to Allen University in Columbia, S.C., with the Yellow Jackets avenging a 71-69 Brewton-Parker overtime win on Nov. 11.

Bubon paced the Barons with 15 points and Solano added 12, while Dewayne Jackson led the Yellow Jackets with a game-high 21 points.

The Barons get Thanksgiving weekend off before they return to action Dec. 5 with a visit to Morris College in Sumter, S.C., for an 8 p.m. game.

Then the Barons will be off until their opening game of the Brewton-Parker Christmas Shoot-Out on Dec. 13, when they will play Claflin University in a rematch of the teams' season opener. Brewton-Parker won that game 91-86 in overtime in Orangeburg, S.C.

Embry-Riddle and Spring Hill College (Ala.) play in the other first-round men's game, at 4 p.m. The first-day winners will play at 6 p.m., and the losers will play at 2 p.m.