UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF vs. JU recap

If you blinked at the UNF vs. Jacksonville University men’s basketball game Jan. 29, then you might have missed another JU comeback, as UNF lost 73-61 in front of a record crowd of 3,815 during the SunTrust River City Rumble at the UNF Arena.

“This is what we told the guys before the game,” said UNF head men’s basketball coach Matthew Driscoll.This is what the game is going to come down to: whoever has the greatest will to defensive rebound for us, or offensive rebound for them. That’s the team that’s going to win: whoever has the greatest will.”

Driscoll’s words must have motivated the UNF men’s basketball players at the start of the game because they held the lead for the majority of the first half. However, it wasn’t long before the Dolphins pushed for a comeback, and they were able to regain a six-point advantage before halftime leaving the score at 36-30.

The gaining streak continued in the second half as JU surged forward building a 12-point lead with 16:35 left in the game. The Ospreys were able to bring the score back to within six points with 11:51 left, but in the long run, the conference-leading Dolphins left them behind for another victory.

Even with the loss, UNF was able to hold JU’s point guard and the A-Sun’s third leading scorer, Ben Smith, to only 13 points during the game, which was 6.5 less than his average 19.5 points per game. In addition, the Ospreys held JU to a 35.5 percent shooting average.

But JU still outlasted and out-rebounded UNF 47-25, including 24 offensive rebounds. The Dolphins also shot 18.2 percent from the three-point range and 75 percent from the line. Their highest scorer was Lehmon Colbert with 22 points and 10 rebounds, eight points about UNF’s leading scorer.

They have better leapers than us,” Driscoll said. “It’s a fact, and I am not embarrassed to say it. It is not degrading. It’s life, so how do you defend that? Well you’ve got to get inside their body, put your body on their body, and then it is an over-the-back. If you try to eye-jump somebody it’s hard.”

Freshman forward David Jeune led the Ospreys during the JU match with a career high 14 points, eight more than his previous best total of six points. In addition, sophomore forward Matt Sauey scored nine points and tied for a game-high 10 rebounds, while Jeune added six.

Freshman forward Andy Diaz also scored nine points and eight rebounds, but senior guard and leading scorer Stan Januska didn’t have the opportunity to add to the UNF scoreboard because of a hard fall he took in the first half.

Januska was coughing up blood, so as a precautionary measure, he was taken to the hospital at halftime.

“This is a physical league,” Driscoll said about Januska’s injury. “JU goes after balls, and it’s a physical league. It’s the way this league plays.”

 Because of the loss to JU, UNF’s record fell to 10-12 for the season and 5-7 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. JU improved to a 12-8 season and a league-best record of 8-3.

 Still, even with a loss and weakened record, the UNF Athletic Department was enthusiastic about the turnout.

 “We want everyone to come [to the Arena] and love basketball and love UNF and have an experience they will remember forever,” said UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon. “I get fired up. I am proud of my staff who is working hard to get people out.”

 At the game, UNF Athletics also announced that the baseball field at Harmon Stadium will be named after Hall of Fame coach Dusty Rhodes. The new name of UNF’s baseball complex will be Dusty Rhodes Field at Doug Harmon Stadium. The field will be dedicated at UNF’s home baseball game March 6, against Alcorn State.

 “With this being Dusty’s final year, we wanted to do something to show our appreciation for the job he has done from forming a team and taking it from NAIA all the way to full Division I,” Moon said.

 The Ospreys are off for a week before making their Nashville trip to face Lipscomb Feb. 5, and Belmont Feb. 7.  Both games can be heard on WBOB at AM 1320, FM 103.7 in Jacksonville or online at 1320WBOB.com.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *