Men’s basketball snaps 6 games losing streak at home opener

Joslyn Simmons


Video by Jas Chung

Men’s basketball (1-6, 0-0 ASUN) came out with a win in front of their home fans with a dominating 101-78 victory over the Edward Waters Tigers (2-6, 0-0 GCAC) , snapping a six-game early season skid.

The squad came out early and fast racking up 21 points within the first six minutes of the game. Three-pointers rained from the arena raptors as North Florida connected from all over the court.

With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, the Tigers began to make their own rally, as the Ospreys struggled to make a basket during an extended scoring drought.

Midway through the half, transfer sophomore guard Ivan Gandia-Rosa pulled out a trick seen in video games when he made a quick cut away from his defender leaving him wide open to make a three-pointer. He would later convert the possession into a four-point play with a made free throw.



Gandia-Rosa described how the team needed a spark and he capitalized on the open opportunity.

“We needed to make some shots on a stretch where we basically didn’t score for a while and we just started calling some plays,” Gandia-Rosa said.

The Ospreys held a 20 point advantage with a 54-34 score heading into the locker room for halftime.

Out of the break, Gandia-Rosa continued to pile on the Ospreys’ lead with five quick points. Gandia-Rosa led the team with 19 points and 100% shots made. The Tigers managed

to slow the pace of the game down a bit as they built up momentum to cut into the deficit. 

This slowed pace didn’t last for long as North Florida swung the speed back in their favor with back-to-back slams.

During the second half, Edward Waters shot 60 percent from the field, doubling their completion from rate.

Both squads reeled in 31 rebounds and went to the free throw line 23 times a piece.

Head Coach Matthew Driscoll addressed the team’s recent struggles from the free throw line but sees the team being stronger in multiple areas such as three-pointers.

“We’ve got to do a better job making free throws. We can shoot the ball but we got to embrace that compliment,” Driscoll said.

North Florida connected from downtown 20 times, matching the program record, compared to only five from Edward Waters. 

The Tigers took the edge in the paint 34-22 while the Ospreys had more productivity from their bench.  

Six Ospreys scored in double digits with Gandia-Rosa knocking down a team-high 19 points. Teammate JT Escobar scored 15 points making five of eight three-pointers.

“There are definitely great things we can take away from it,” Escobar said. “Mostly we move the ball, got open shots, got the shots we wanted. But then also a lot of stuff to learn from. The rebounding has got to get better, some things to tune up defensively, but it’s nice to learn while you win rather than while you lose.”

The Ospreys are now 20-6 in home debuts.

Men’s basketball head back on the road to play No.11 Miami Nov. 25 at 4 p.m.