UNF falls at home for first time this season


The last 35 seconds of the UNF men’s basketball game on Monday night kept fans on the edge of their seats as UNF made an effort to edge out Mercer and secure another win to continue a five-game winning streak, but the game ended in an 84-79 UNF loss.
“Obviously, it is quite a disappointing loss,” said Matthew Driscoll, UNF head men’s basketball coach. “When we lose, I’m responsible, and when we win, the glory goes to God, the staff and to our players. I made some bad decisions tonight, and I need to go back and evaluate the tape and see how we can make some better adjustments and better changes.”
With a little more than four minutes left in the game, Mercer held an eight-point advantage, but the Ospreys cut the lead down to one point when freshman guard Jerron Granberry connected on a free throw that brought the score to 76-75.
Junior guard Brad Haugabrook helped make a play for the lead with a couple layups, one of which brought UNF up to 79 points in the last 11 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Mercer. Fouls in the closing minute of the game allowed them to convert five out of six free throws and secure their win.
“The game is a game of inches,” Driscoll said. “An inch one way or an inch the other could change the game.”
The first half of the match against Mercer was just as intense as the second and included four lead changes and three ties. UNF held the largest lead of the half as three pointers were drained from Granberry and senior guard Stan Januska. In addition, freshman forward David Jeune helped them secure an eight-point lead with a nice shot from the outside.
Haugabrook played a major part in the first half as he led the Ospreys scoring effort with a total of nine points, but Bears guards James Florence and E.J. Kusnyer topped the scoring with 10 and 11 points, respectively. Mercer ended the half with a run to go up six and maintained a 40-37 lead over UNF.
“I felt in the first half that we weren’t playing as well defensively as we should,” Haugabrook said.
Haugabrook, with 19 points, led a group of 5 players who were in double figures on the night for the Ospreys. The Bears led for most of the night by the one-two combination of Senior Daniel Emerson who scored a career-high 29 points and Florence who added 26.
“They are one of the best teams in the league, were picked to win the league in a lot of publications and their coach does a great job with them,” Driscoll said. “I’ve known him for a long time. I am very proud of our guys for fighting down the stretch and being organized for doing what we had to do. But I am nowhere near satisfied, and we should have had us another victory at home. We will get back to work and get better.”
The Ospreys will now go on the road to play a pair of conference games. They will play at Florida Gulf Coast Jan. 8 at 7:05 p.m. in the CSS A-Sun TV game of the week and then travel to Stetson Jan. 10 for a game at 2 p.m.

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Previously Printed on Jan. 6