UNF men's basketball win 5 in a row, streak now over


The UNF men’s basketball team is receiving a dose of long-awaited positive attention heading into a Jan. 8 game against A-Sun Conference rival Florida Gulf Coast.

  The Ospreys recently went on a tear, winning five games in a row, a feat that they haven’t achieved since the 2003-2004 season.

  “Our players are finally starting to trust each other,” said head coach Matt Driscoll during the streak.

  But despite the success, the Ospreys were unable to defeat Mercer Jan. 4 to stay undefeated at home.

  The loss to Mercer puts UNF at 6-8 and 1-3 in the A-Sun Conference. Falling to the Bears also prevented the Ospreys from improving to .500 for the season. The team had an opportunity to win the sixth consecutive game and pull to 7-7 for the year and 2-2 in conference play.

  However, five wins in a row doesn’t happen very often for UNF Athletics. In fact, the men’s basketball team has only won three consecutive nonconference road games three different times in the program’s history.

  Once was just before Christmas, when the team participated in the South Mississippi Christmas Classic in Gulfport, Miss. The Ospreys won all three games and brought home the title.

  Brad Haugabrook, starting point guard, credits some of the success to the team being able to buckle down defensively.

  This same thing for which Haugabrook praises UNF, Driscoll is critical of, crediting poor defensive play as a key factor in the loss to Mercer.

  Driscoll is known as someone who is not afraid to use his bench early and often.  

  Recently, Driscoll made a change to the starting lineup-sitting David Juene so Matt Sauey could begin the game and add an inside presence.

  Sauey is the only person on the team that has dunked the ball this season. He said he really likes to dunk, and that the opportunities come when his teammates are setting him up so well below the basket.

  Still, the Ospreys have a lot for which they can be thankful for. Last year, the men’s basketball team started the season 2-12. A 6-8 start may not be the great beginning the Ospreys had envisioned, but is still a four game improvement from last season and is promising for a team that is trying to build student support.

  One thing the players or coaches have not mentioned so far this season is injury. No injuries have been reported worth any significance.

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Published in print Jan. 6