A Second Half Surge Pushed Women’s Basketball over Edward Waters

Joslyn Simmons

It was the second and final day of the UNF Holiday Classic hosted at the UNF Arena. In a tale of two halves, the women’s basketball team (7-6) created a second-half burst to overtake the Edward Waters College Tigers 73-47 on Dec. 20 at the UNF Arena.

The Tigers started off the game strong, and took the lead. Photo by Joslyn Simmons

In the first half, the Ospreys struck quick with four points before the Tigers rallied and pushed themselves in front. Edward Waters continued to extend its lead throughout the opening quarter behind sophomore guard Brittany Thompson, who led the charge. She contributed a team-high of 11 points for the Tigers.

UNF had seven of of its 19 turnovers in the first quarter, which lead to numerous points in the Tiger’s direction.  North Florida did lock the score at 22 for a short moment after chipping away at the deficit into the second quarter.

The Tigers continued to work at pushing out their lead once more, and held a slim one point edge for a 32-31 score at halftime.  

After the break, Keonna Farmer came out fast and knocked in four of the opening points for the Ospreys to retake the lead from the Tigers. Farmer ended her afternoon with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

The two teams battled early in the third quarter as EWC held on to a slim advantage over the home team.

Head coach Darrick Gibbs described how the team’s defensive presence increased from relaxed to focused, which lead to offensive opportunities on the other end.

“I thought Maiya [Rumph], Tiffany[Tolbert] and Ty [Purifoy] defensive effort in that third quarter was unbelievable,” Gibbs said. “They were scrambling people up. They were moving around. They were covering for the mistakes people were making, and it generated good stuff for us which lead to easy buckets offensively. “

Freshman Elli Bartley broke the edge with a buzzer beater three-pointer, and the Ospreys didn’t look back as they continued to pile on to their second half lead.

In the third quarter, the Ospreys came back with a stronger defense. Photo by Joslyn Simmons

Gibbs credits a late third quarter run as a crucial piece of separating themselves from the Tigers.

“It’s a game of runs, and we went on a good run in that third quarter that spread us out and gave us some cushion, and that is pretty much the difference of the game for the most part,” Gibbs said.

In the fourth quarter, the Ospreys created another run, and stretched the game out of reach of the across town foe.

Maiya Rumph saw her defensive play intensify as the game went on. She finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

“I just knew my defensive intensity had to pick up for the team to, you know, do better and get stops so we could come back and control the game like I know we can,” Rumph said.

North Florida outscored Edward Waters 42 to 15 in the second half, a stark difference to the one point difference in the first half.

Arianna Emanuel-Wright, who came out the bench, led the team with 20 points, and provided a burst throughout the afternoon. She knocked down three of the six Ospreys’ three-pointers over the Tigers.

UNF outrebounded EWC 47 to 21, and watched 10 points go in on second chance possessions. The Ospreys went 49.1 percent from the floor compared to the Tigers’ 30.2 percent. UNF went 11 for 12 at the free throw line while EWC hit 11 of its 17 chances.

The women’s basketball team will take a short break before heading on the road to face Georgia on Dec. 28.