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By the numbers: How the UNF women’s basketball team can improve

The University of North Florida women’s basketball team, sitting at 6-10 overall, just recently suffered a 70-38 blowout against Florida Gulf Coast that saw the Ospreys struggle to score for the duration of the contest. Here are some miscues that the UNF women’s team could improve upon.

Starting with an easily fixable problem is free-throw shooting. UNF is currently 10th in the ASUN conference for shooting at the charity stripe (65%). If the Ospreys can improve this clip, this could propel in close games. 

Next is how well UNF’s opponents make their shots. As of Thursday, Osprey opponents are shooting an impressive 43.6% from the field, 10th in the ASUN. While this number may not be exorbitantly high, it is still something the Ospreys should improve. 

For UNF to improve, their defense must improve, including getting better at defending without fouling. The Ospreys allowed their ASUN opponents to take a combined 46 free throws in two games, a number that could be much better. 

Fouls have been a substantial issue for the team as they have allowed 46 free throws in their last two outings (Rachel Bacchus)

UNF is dead last in the ASUN, with an average of 1.56 shots blocked per game. This issue ties into defending without fouling and UNF not having enough size near the basket to block shots. 

But this doesn’t mean this team lacks bright spots. The women’s program does quite well shooting three-point shots, posting a 31.9% mark beyond the arc, which is good for 5th in the conference. 

Continuing the trend, UNF has also made the second most threes (136), with only Florida Gulf Coast ahead of them. The Osprey’s are currently 4th in the conference in field goal percentage, which is surprising considering their 0-2 ASUN record. 

UNF has shown signs of life during the season. This includes a 4-2 month in December that saw the Ospreys defeat three Division I teams. However, as head coach Erika Lambert mentioned in a press conference following the loss to Florida Gulf Coast, the margin of error is slim in conference play. 

“You really can’t afford to make silly mistakes. Your conference opponents will capitalize on those,” Lambert said.

The mistakes Lambert is likely referring to are the turnovers. The Ospreys have averaged 20 turnovers in their first two league games, and when a team is averaging over 15 per game, it starts to become a problem. 

“There were some fixable things that we did this week. Errors that we made,” Lambert added. “I thought we had already ironed out those details, and so we’ll continue to watch film and continue to fix [those errors].”

The women’s team can practice free throw shooting and get the repetition intact. They can also practice verticality defense by raising their hands more, allowing for less contact and fouls. 

“One thing about this team’s identity and that people know about us is that we’re never going to throw in the towel,” Lambert said. 

The Osprey’s next chance to improve is on Thursday when they will face a similarly struggling Kennesaw State team on the road. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Ethan Howick
Ethan Howick, Sports Reporter
Ethan Howick is a first-year communications major at the University of North Florida. Ethan has a passion for sports journalism with hopes of becoming a journalist and/or broadcaster for a sports media company someday. During his free time, Ethan enjoys spending time with his family and attending many sporting events with friends.
Rachel Bacchus
Rachel Bacchus, General Assignment Reporter
Rachel Bacchus is the current General Assignment Reporter at Spinnaker but also volunteers as a photographer. Rachel is a young photographer and writer working towards her Degree in Multimedia Journalism. She is primarily interested in sports photography and political journalism.

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