Men’s basketball gets ousted on the road to ASUN rivals FGCU

DeAndre Pearson

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The Ospreys (10-15 Overall, 4-4 ASUN) fail to exact revenge for their loss against conference-leading FGCU (17-8 Overall, 8-0 ASUN) on the road in their second meeting on the season, 103-70.

It was a rough night for the Ospreys in Alico Arena. North Florida just could not respond to the Eagles strong start.

In the opening half, the game began slow before the Eagles began pulling away early with an 11-3 start. Early turnovers led to back-to-back alley-oops from Brandon Goodwin to Zach Johnson and forced Coach Driscoll to call early timeouts.

Florida Gulf Coast stuck to their game plan. They continued to attack the paint and impose their will on North Florida.

The Eagles took an early lead from the Ospreys and challenged their defense as they attacked the paint.

Midway through the half, the Eagles challenged the Ospreys not only in height but defensively from the three. The Ospreys tried to get the three-ball going, but was held to 27 percent in the half.

With little success shooting from three-pointers along with early turnovers, the Ospreys quickly found themselves in a large deficit against the Eagles. UNF logged eight turnovers in the first half.

In the final minutes of the first half, North Florida struggled to gain any momentum and could not stop the physical offense from the Eagles. The Ospreys struggled to find any room against an aggressive zone from the Eagles and looked very uncomfortable.

FGCU closed out the first half by a huge margin over the UNF, 55-28.

Coming out of halftime, FGCU stretched the lead to 30 points before the Ospreys responded with points of their own. Back-to-back three pointers from Osborn Blount combined with a converted 3-point play from Noah Horchler trimmed the deficit to 20 and breathed new life into the Ospreys.

It was short lived, however, before FGCU Guard and Jacksonville native Christian Terrell answered with points of his own. Terrell finished with 13 points on the night.

Late in the game, the Eagles pulled away from the Ospreys once more with attacks to the rim and trips to the free throw line, sealing the Ospreys fate. The Eagles outscored the Ospreys in the paint 66-30.

Florida Gulf Coast Guard Zach Johnson scored 16 points while leading five other Eagles in double figures. Noah Horchler posted a double-double performance of 16 points and 10 rebounds while leading three other Ospreys in double figures.

With only a handful of games left in the season, the Ospreys now are currently deadlocked in the ASUN in a three-way tie with Lipscomb (14-9 Overall, 4-4 ASUN) and NJIT (11-12 Overall, 4-4 ASUN), who are now placed ahead of the Ospreys in the tie-breaker.

North Florida takes a break from the road to defend their home against Stetson (10-15 Overall, 2-6 ASUN) at the UNF Arena on Feb.3, at 7 p.m.

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