UNF men’s basketball jumps to fourth place

Spinnaker

By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor

 

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

The UNF men’s basketball team (13-13, 7-6 Atlantic Sun) won both of its games this weekend. The team beat the Stetson Hatters (8-16, 5-8 A-Sun) 99-96 Feb. 4 and the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (12-12, 7-6 A-Sun) 68-62 Feb. 6.

 

The weekend not only included a sweep but also a few milestones. The win marked the first time the team won both home games in a weekend in Head Coach Matthew Driscoll’s three-year career at UNF. The 99 points against Stetson were the most points scored for UNF in its Division I history. Junior guard Parker Smith reached the 1000-point mark in his collegiate career, total including 271 points from his season at Tennessee State. Smith also earned the first A-Sun Player of the Week award of his career.

 

 

 

The Ospreys have won four of their last five games and are 9-3 at home. Smith is paving the way for the Ospreys. He is averaging 18.6 points per game in the five-game span. Here is an analysis of the weekend:

 

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

Working on the wall. The defense was porous against the Hatters, a team that averages 70.5 points a game this season, but the defense held the Eagles 10 points below their season average. The three-point defense highlighted both games. The Ospreys held both opponents to a combined 30.2 percent in three-point shooting.

 

The defense did come up big in situations in which the game was on the line. After a Jerron Granberry offensive foul, the Eagles had a chance to tie or take the lead with just 37 seconds left in the game. Senior guard Jimmy Williams came up with a huge steal, and the Eagles, despite multiple chances, couldn’t find the bottom of the net the rest of the game.

 

Flaming three pointers. The Ospreys were money from beyond the arc. Both Smith and Granberry shot effectively. Granberry was 10-12 for the weekend, and Smith was 11-24. The team shot 53.7 percent from the three-point line on the weekend.

 

“Maybe we should shoot 3s instead of free throws,” Driscoll said.

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

 

The three pointers made up for the free throw shooting which was…

 

The same as last week. Free throw shooting continues to be a weakness for the Ospreys. The team is last in the conference at 60.2 percent. The team topped that average against Stetson with a 66.7 percentage performance, but it was well below that mark against the Eagles. The team shot 9-23 to post a 39.1 percentage from the free throw line, going 4-8 from the line in the final 32 seconds of the game. The Ospreys misses gave the Eagles plenty of chances to take control of the game, but a stout defense and offensive rebounds after a few missed free throws helped the Ospreys seal the victory.

 

“It is what it is and I’m not proud of it,” Driscoll said. “And I’m the free throw coach. That makes it worse.”

 

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

Turnovers galore. The Ospreys averaged 17 turnovers a game over the weekend. Both the Hatters and the Eagles used the turnovers to their advantage. The Hatters scored 22 points off turnovers, and the Eagles scored 21 points off turnovers. While the Ospreys could only force 8 Hatters turnovers, the team forced 17 Eagles turnovers — one more than the Ospreys had.

 

The Ospreys play at East Tennessee State University (12-11, 6-6 A-Sun) Feb. 11. The Ospreys blew a 15-point halftime lead and lost 64-63 to ETSU the first time the teams met this year.

 

Email Jordan Harirchi at [email protected]
Follow @spinnakersports