Canyon Barry rescued Florida twice on Thursday

Brady Fredericksen @brady_fred

LAKELAND — Canyon Barry rescued Florida twice on Thursday.

The graduate transfer from the College of Charleston hit three 3-pointers in the span of a minute to give the Gators a 60-45 lead over St. Bonaventure with 11:29 to go at The Lakeland Center. After Florida blew that lead over the next 10 minutes, he was there again to make the biggest shots of the game.

Barry came away with a big rebound after Bonnies guard Jaylan Adams missed an open 3-pointer with 1:01 to go in the game. The 6-foot-6 guard calmly hit two underhanded free throws, just like his father, Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, to give Florida the lead back for good.

Late fast break dunks from John Egbunu and Devin Robinson sealed the win, but Barry’s free throws were the difference as Florida beat St. Bonaventure 73-66 in front of 4,133 fans at The Lakeland Center.

“Really, it’s just repetition,” Barry said. “You’ve shot so many free throws over the course of your life that you get to the line and trust your feel, trust your motion and knock them down, hopefully.”

While Florida (3-0) escaped on Thursday, St. Bonaventure (1-1) did not go down quietly.

Adams’ attempt, from the far corner without a Florida defender in sight, was as good of a look as the Bonnies could ask for. Gators head coach Mike White described it as a shot that made “his stomach hurt” but as the attempt bounced short off the rim, Barry found the ball — or the ball found Barry.

“He’s a really talented offensive player,” White said. “He stepped up and made some huge shots for us. … When Canyon is scoring it, it’s a team effort.”

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