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UNF women’s basketball goes winless on latest road trip

The University of North Florida women’s basketball team dropped their third and fourth straight games last week, losing 51-60 at North Alabama and 44-58 at Central Arkansas. 

The Ospreys made only a third of their shots in both matches and opened down 12-2 and 12-3 during the first five minutes of each game. North Florida averaged 47.5 points in both road tilts, not a score that will win games. 

The first game against North Alabama had a less-than-ideal start, as the Ospreys gave up six layups in the first quarter and trailed 16-7 after the first ten minutes. The trend continued in the second frame as the Ospreys gave up Lion layups, prompting a UNF timeout, trailing 26-13 halfway through the quarter. 

The Ospreys broke even after the timeout, as they finished the half trailing by 13 again, with a new score of 35-22. They improved in the second half, not allowing the Lions to go on any runs, but ultimately lost the game 60-51. 

“For stretches of the game, our transition defense was inconsistent,” head coach Erika Lambert told UNF Athletics. ”[North Alabama] did a good job of capitalizing for easy points in the paint.” The Lions had 38 points in the paint compared to 28 from the Ospreys. 

North Alabama held the Ospreys’ best scorer, Lyric Swann, to just six points. North Florida only had one player in double figures: senior Jayla Adams, who had 13 points. The Ospreys shot a rough 5-25 from three-point land compared to North Alabama’s 6-16 from beyond the arc.

Lyric Swann dribbles the ball up the court
Lyric Swann (22) is a redshirt senior and UNF’s best scorer (Justin Nedrow)

“Jayla [Adams] continues to be very consistent on the offensive end. It was just not a great shooting night for us overall,” Lambert said.

For the Ospreys, there wasn’t much time to harp on a tough loss, as they were back on the court only two days later, this time facing a dangerous 16-6 Central Arkansas team. 

The Sugar Bears opened the game with four straight three-pointers, giving Central Arkansas a 12-2 advantage. The Ospreys were able to keep the Sugar Bears in check after that, ending the quarter on an 8-3 run, cutting Central Arkansas’ lead to 15-10

That close deficit didn’t last for long as Central Arkansas opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, courtesy of two three-pointers and a layup. The Ospreys couldn’t cut into their lead much despite confining the Sugar Bears to one field goal for the final six minutes of the second quarter.

North Florida trailed 30-19 at halftime after struggling to shoot for the entire first half. The Ospreys did not go on a run and cut the Bears lead in the second half, leading to a 58-44 loss ending a winless road trip.

In defense of the Ospreys, playing on the road against two teams with winning ASUN records is no easy task. However, many of UNF’s misuses, such as the 30 turnovers and 35.4% shooting accuracy, are concerningly low. 

It is also worth noting that top scorer Lyric Swann only played ten minutes against Central Arkansas, a development to keep an eye on as ASUN play progresses. North Florida falls to 7-15 overall and 1-7 in ASUN games. 

“This team continues to learn and grow, and we are working to maximize the final month of ASUN play,” Lambert said. 

The Ospreys will return home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to face the Austin Peay Governors.

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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, 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.
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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