Triumphs in the Nest

Spinnaker

By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor

 

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

Junior guard Parker Smith and sophomore forward Travis Wallace’s standout performances propelled the Ospreys to a home sweep this weekend.

 

The UNF Ospreys (15-15, 9-8 Atlantic Sun) beat the Kennesaw State Owls (3-24, 0-15 A-Sun) 81-77 in double overtime Feb. 18 and beat the Mercer Bears (20-9, 12-4 A-Sun) 75-66 Feb. 20. Feb. 20 was Senior Day, and forward Matt Sauey and guard Jimmy Williams were honored in their last home game of the regular season.

 

Wallace was an offensive and defensive monster against the Owls, scoring 29 points and snagging 11 boards while shooting 86.7 percent from the field. Smith, who was ineffective against the Owls, going 4-17 from the field, was brilliant against the Bears. Smith tied the record for points in an A-Sun conference game with 46, tied the A-Sun conference record for threes made in a game with 11 and broke UNF’s single-game record for threes and points in a game.

 

Smashing boards on opponents’ heads

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

 

The Ospreys dominated opponents in boards on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The Ospreys offensively out-rebounded their opponents this weekend with a combined 28-14. Their board total for the weekend topped their opponents’ total 75-56. The Ospreys’ rebounding margin is -0.5 for the season.

 

On the up and up. Getting ready to enter their third straight A-Sun Conference Tournament, the Ospreys’ free throw shooting improved greatly this weekend compared to prior games. The Ospreys were aggressive, going to the line a combined 58 times this weekend and making 67.2 percent of those shots.

 

Everyone deserves a second chance, right? The Ospreys sure believe they are entitled to that. The Ospreys didn’t waste their offensive rebounds, scoring 38 second chance points on the weekend. The Ospreys were also stingy in giving up turnovers. Averaging 15.5 a game for the season, the Ospreys gave up an average of 11.5 turnovers per game for the weekend and minimized opponents’ to just 13 combined second-chance points.

 

Picking up the slack

 

The Ospreys showed this weekend that one or two players can have a bad game and someone will step up. Junior guard Jerron Granberry was shooting icy bricks all weekend, shooting 25 percent from the field, but different players stepped up in each game. Wallace had a huge game against the Owls. Junior guard Will Wilson delivered nine assists in the same game. Against the Bears, Wallace went 1-8 from the field after going 13-15 against the Owls, but Smith stepped up and scored 61 percent of the Ospreys’ points. Also, junior forward David Jeune averaged 7.5 rebounds a game this weekend, grabbing four offensive boards in each one.

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

 

The Ospreys play against the Jacksonville University Dolphins (8-20, 6-11 A-Sun) Feb. 25 at the Jacksonville Veterans’ Memorial Arena. The Ospreys won 80-58 in the intercity rivals’ first meeting this year. This is the last game of the season for UNF and will determine where the team will be seeded for the A-Sun conference tournament, which starts Feb. 29.

 

The Dolphins are currently in ninth place, just a half game behind Stetson University for the final spot in the tournament.

 

Email Jordan Harirchi at [email protected]
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