Barlow was a man on a mission from the opening tip and with him taking control, United jumped out to a commanding 15-4 start.
With Sam Short setting the offence, Melbourne looked strong early, but Cal Baptist returned fire and at the first break United held a 21-19 lead.
The second quarter was a tough slog for Melbourne on the offensive end, but with tight defence and active hands, they stayed in the contest.
After going scoreless for the first five minutes of the term, big man Josh Kunen got United on the board with a pair of free throws.
Just as it looked like the Lancers were about to make a run, the stifling defence of Jack Purchase led to a pair of steals and buckets for Melbourne.
United headed into half time trailing by four points, 38-34.
After struggling early in the second quarter, Melbourne again found it tough at the start of the third term, but this time around, Cal Baptist made them pay.
Young Australian guard, Tre Armstrong caught fire and drained three triples in a row to see the Lancers open the second half on a 9-0 run to lead by 13 points.
Although foul trouble limited Barlow's minutes, when he was on the court, he was an absolute force and led Melbourne back into the contest late in the third quarter. With a quarter to play, United trailed by five points, 59-54.
After leading the team back to within striking distance in the third quarter, Barlow proceeded to take over the game in the fourth quarter. Scoring Melbourne’s first six points of the fourth term, Barlow evened the scores at 60-all after a minute and a half of play.
With plenty of foul calls, the free throw battle became vital and big man Jo Lual-Acuil stepped to the line at crucial stages for United. He drained four free throws in a row at give Melbourne a three-point lead, 72-69, with 3:30 remaining.
With the game on the line, Barlow once again proved too big and strong in the key and drew a foul to get to the line. He hit both free throws to give United a two-point lead with 45 seconds on the clock.
Ferron Flavors Jr responded on the other end with a bucket of his own for the Lancers. A tough miss from Barlow with 13 seconds remaining saw the Lancers get out on the fast break and with just 0.6 seconds remaining, Cal Baptist’s Brandon Boyd was fouled on a drive to the bucket.
He hit the first free throw and despite Barlow grabbing the rebound on Boyd’s second attempt, he was unable to drain the hail mary to see the Lancers come away with a one-point win, 79-78.
David Barlow (30 points and 3 rebounds) was dominant on offence and his defence was outstanding as he couldn’t be moved in the paint, while Sam Short (6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals) was impressive as the starting point guard.