North Florida will host an ASUN quarterfinal for a third showdown against cross town rival Jacksonville University after a 73-69 victory in part two of River City Rumble behind the play of their seniors.
Head Coach Matthew Driscoll was proud of the way his team overcame during the game, after JU came back within striking distance multiple times.
“Our guys preserved and sustained,” said Driscoll.
The Ospreys were fighting for home court advantage during Monday’s matchup in front of over 3,000 fans. The game started off fast paced between the rivals as UNF jumped out to an early 12-5 lead.
Aaron Bodager was on fire from behind the three point line. During the first half, the three point specialist netted three treys in a row, as the audience roared.
Bodager single handedly kept the Osprey in the game scoring 18 of their 35 points during the first half. He’d end the game with 20 points and three rebounds. The senior netted a career-high six treys during the game.
“You start getting hot and feeling it, it’s exciting,”said Bodager.
The Dolphins were able to hold Dallas Moore to only four points during the first half.
“I think I limited myself [in the first half] by not being aggressive,” said Moore. “And not taking some of those shots that I need to take.”
JU cut the lead to as little as three, with less than a minute left in the half. The Ospreys went into halftime with a 35-30 lead over the Dolphins.
During the second half, the beast inside of Dallas Moore was unleashed, as he carried his team. Moore scored 21 of his 25 points during the final half, leading all scorers. The guard also dished out a game-high six assists and tied for a game-high two steals.
Chris Davenport slammed down a monstrous dunk pleasing the crowd and extending UNF’s lead to 54-44.
This caused JU to take one of their time out. Davenport almost garnered a double-double, with a team-high 10 rebounds and nine points.
The Ospreys were also having a block party, combining for 10 on the game. JU definitely wasn’t invited with the Dolphins entire team combined for only one block.
Wajid Aminu was definitely the life of the block party. The forward had a game-high four blocks. Aminu broke UNF’s freshman block record with 36 blocks this season. He would end the game with nine rebounds and six points.
After a 10-0 run, the Dolphins were able to tie the score at 54. Moore halted the run by netting a long three. Moore was honored during the game for being the all-time leading scorer in Florida Division One history. He currently has 2,363 career points.
At the one minute mark, the entire arena was on its feet cheering with anticipation.
But, JU just kept hanging around. During the final seconds JU was able cut the score to a one possession game at 72-69, after a scoring spurt.
With a made free throw by Moore, it was now a two possession game. UNF would go on to take the win 73-69, as the arena rumbled with excitement.
UNF’s Garrett Sams, who leads all freshmen in ASUN scoring, was not dressed out and did not play. He was described as “banged up” and is listed as day-to-day.
With this win, UNF secured the third seed and home court advantage in the Monday night rematch with JU.
Even though UNF has beat JU during the last eight matchups, and during the two games this season it seemed to mean nothing the Coach Driscoll.
“It’s Monday night, it’s a different game,” said Driscoll. “The fact that we beat them twice is irrelevant. What relevant is being 1-0 Monday night. That’s the only thing that relevant.”
The game is set to start Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the UNF Arena.
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