North Florida halts the Highlanders, 61-51

North Florida was able to pull out a 61-51 win over the NJIT Highlanders, despite three of their five starters fouling out.

Both NJIT (10-16, 3-8 ASUN) and UNF (10-16, 3-8 ASUN) had 20 plus turnovers in this matchup.

Head Coach Darrick Gibbs was content with the team’s growth.

“We’re continuing to grow and develop,” said Gibbs, “We see it happening, we’re in a solid spot right now and still have room to get better.”

The first quarter of the game was low scoring. The Ospreys went almost seven minutes without making a field goal before two free throws would break this drought.

Tesh Hanson scored a game-high 18 points and a game-high eight rebounds during regulation. Hanson went 7-for-8 from the field during her 34 minutes.

“The big thing is she just finished. She got good looks and did a good job on balancing and forcing them to adjust to us,” said Gibbs.

During the first two quarters, the score was pretty even. Out of the halftime break, UNF was unforgiving. The Ospreys went on a 13-2 run during the third quarter, causing NJIT to call two timeouts during the Ospreys’ scoring outburst.

The end of the third quarter was no different as Claire Ioannidis hit a three at the buzzer, giving UNF a 45-34 advantage over the Highlanders.

“My shots just dropped,” said Ioannidis, “I made better decisions.”

Ioannidis would end the game with 13 points and four assists. 16 of the Ospreys 20 field goals were assisted.

Fouls plagued some Osprey players all game. Simone Brown, Maiya Rumph and Sierra Shepherd all fouled out during the final two minutes of the game.

“We had some undisciplined moments.” said Gibbs, “We’ve gotta keep our hands off and be more disciplined defensively and make better decisions.”

Even with this Highlander’s advantage, they did not have enough time to capitalize off the missing Ospreys.

Next the team will travel to Kennesaw State to play on Feb.18.

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