Conference perfection ends for North Florida against Stetson

Joslyn Simmons

Men’s basketball (18-7 overall, 7-1 A-Sun) fell 86-82 to the Stetson Hatters (9-15 overall, 3-5 A-Sun) on Feb. 1 at the UNF Arena. This marked the Ospreys’ first Atlantic Sun conference loss this season after a program-best 7-0 start.

In the first half, UNF grabbed the first points of the night from the free throw line. The Hatters started with back-to-back empty possessions before starting a run midway through the period. The teams exchanged buckets, the Ospreys from outside and Stetson scoring inside, but the Hatters seemed to be one step ahead for most of contest.

Late in the half, double technicals fouls were given to UNF forward Chris Davenport and Stetson guard Grant Lozoya. This resulted in both having three fouls at that point of the game, and foul trouble plagued the Ospreys down the stretch.

The Hatters led by as many as 10 points before UNF began to rally to close the gap, and the Ospreys went into the locker room trailing 46-43 behind the Hatters.

UNF men’s basketball head coach Matthew Driscoll said poor defense and not making threes were the problem.

“I just think we didn’t guard very well.” Driscoll said. “I mean we score 82 points, and we missed five straight [threes] in one point and they were all open. All of them.”

The loss snaps the Ospreys' 18-game winning streak at home. Photo by Michael Herrera.
The loss snaps the Ospreys’ 18-game winning streak at home. Photo by Michael Herrera.

After the break, UNF took the lead early in the second period with a jumper from UNF guard Trent Mackey. The Ospreys extended their lead over the Hatters before Stetson forward Brian Pegg tied the game 62-62 all.

Fouls became a problem for UNF forward Beau Beech. Beech fouled out late in the second half, finishing with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Davenport and forward Demarcus Daniels both had four fouls by the end of the night.

With over a minute left,  guard Dallas Moore pushed the Ospreys up 80-79. Moore tallied a game-high 25 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

In the last few possessions, scoring went back and forth before Stetson forward Derick Newton sealed the 86-82 win for the Hatters with free throws. Newton finished the game with 22 points and 5 rebounds. He went 8-9 from the line.

UNF connected from downtown only 10 times out of their 35 attempts. From the field, the Ospreys completed 48 percent of their shots while Stetson made nearly 55 percent of their shots.

UNF guard Nick Malonga said the team’s energy was flat.

“I mean I feel like we came out with no energy in the beginning,” Malonga said. “And [they had] an early lead, but we pick it up in the second half but we needed those five consecutive stops.”

Next the Ospreys will go on the road to face the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (13-11 overall, 4-4 A-Sun)  on Feb. 6. This will be the second time in a week the two Atlantic Sun leaders will face off.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].