Men’s basketball ready to be tested by Miami

Joslyn Simmons

Photo by Joslyn Simmons
North Florida will play against Miami at home for the first time. Photo by Joslyn Simmons

North Florida hosts Miami on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the UNF Arena for its third game of the season. The Ospreys bounced back on Monday night to dominate Edward Waters College 109-73 after a hard-fought 83-66 loss to Auburn.

This is the fourth time the in-state foes have met, but the first time at UNF Arena. In the previous match-ups (2008, 2009, 2011), the Hurricanes won with an average of 29.3 points.

The Hurricanes come up the road after a 92-43 statement season opener win over Western Carolina on Friday night.

Both teams have several newcomers emerging as scorers and defenders — a skill set that will be needed between these quick shooting teams.

Last season, North Florida tied for 14th in shooting with a 48.6 percent, compared to Miami’s 26th tie in shooting with 47.7 percent in the country.

Miami finished it season in the NCAA March Madness semifinals with a 92-69 loss to eventual national champion Villanova.

In this matchup, these players will be key to watch for on the court.  

Dallas Moore is coming off a career-high 37-point performance in the game against Edward Waters. After an off-shooting night in Auburn, Moore shot lights out with five three-pointers. His vocal presence has increased as he gives senior leadership to his teammates.

Romelo Banks was one rebound shy of his second double-double for the season. In the past two games, Banks has helped with the offensive load with 16 points. On the glass, he has reeled in 19 rebounds for two games.

Garrett Sams, a true freshman, is a key reserve player for the Ospreys. Sams scored 13 points against Edward Waters and 11 against Auburn.

Miami has a balanced line of offensive weapons who can shoot deep from downtown and a smothering defense.

Ebuka Izundu led his team with 14 points over the Western Carolina. His performance complemented trio Dewan Huell, Kamari Murphy and Ja’Quan Newton who all had 13 points.

North Florida will have to limit its turnovers and foul trouble to stay paced with the Hurricanes.


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