North Florida men’s basketball topples Stetson


Cody Hagerty

Video by Joslyn Simmons

After a disappointing loss earlier in the week, the men’s basketball team (11-15 overall, 5-4 ASUN) had no problem getting back to work defeating the Stetson Hatters (10-16 overall, 2-7 ASUN) on Feb.3 at the UNF Arena, 97-91.

From the opening tip to the final whistle, the Ospreys controlled most of the game with great offensive and defensive plays from many players.

North Florida started out fast shooting 4-of-5 from behind the arc as they returned to the old trademark name of “Birds of Trey.”As the first half was playing out, the UNF’s fast tempo and the mental tough effort remained the same.

Head Coach Matthew Driscoll described how there was still work to be done to maintain the team’s consistently.

“It’s amazing to see these guys to continue to grow, to continue to learn, continue to preserve, but most importantly to have the resiliency to fight, “ Driscoll said. “Though not as cleanly as we wanted it to, but to go 22 for 29 from the free throw line and to shoot 64 percent from the field after they kind of punch us in the mouth a little bit making some threes that we did a bad job coverage on, but to their credit it’s a league game. Second time around. No one in this league is ever going to quit. “

The Ospreys went into halftime with a 49-41 lead.

At the start of the second half, the Hatters started off strong  and matched the Osprey’s shot for shot as they chip the lead to only one point. While North Florida never trailed, the game was tied up five times.

Despite Stetson’s rally, the home team pulled away down the stretch with free throws. The Ospreys finished 22 for 29 from the line.

North Florida did battle turnovers issues with 17, which Driscoll said they will address after they look at film. Stetson only had four miscues of their own.

Noah Horchler, who has become more of a presence for North Florida, led three other teammates in doubles digits. His stat line tonight included 19 points and 10 rebounds. Horchler was also dominant on defense recording two blocks. The sophomore forward sees the team growing together as they gain experience during the season.

The men’s basketball team will hit the road to play Kennesaw State on Feb.8 at 7 p.m.

        Photos by Lili Weinstein