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Camels edge out Ospreys

The UNF men’s basketball team lost its second game in row, dropping a 76-66 decision to Campbell University, Saturday night inside the UNF Arena.

“Obviously you got to give Campbell a lot of credit,” said head coach Matthew Drsicoll. “They came out and just literally punched us right in the mouth. We never responded to their punch in the face.”

The Ospreys (8-14, 5-5 Atlantic Sun) were coming off tough home loss, Jan. 26, when they fell to Jacksonville University, 63-62, inside the UNF Arena. The Ospreys had won three straight before that.

Campbell (10-10, 4-6 Atlantic Sun) led for most of the first half. The Ospreys struggled offensively to start the game. Their first field goal of the game didn’t come until 4:30 after the opening tip. Junior swingman Jimmy Williams broke the open drought with a lay up to make the score 6-3, Camels.

Campbell stayed in front until sophomore guard Parker Smith scored on a 4-point play right in front of the Camel bench, to give the Ospreys a 15-14 lead with 11:50 to play in the half. The play would spark a run that would see Smith score 10 straight points for the Ospreys. Smith finished with 13 first-half points.

However, Campbell stayed close and then used a 6-0 run to end the half. The Camels capped that run off with a fast break dunk by forward Eric Griffin with no time left to send UNF to the locker room trailing, 37-30.

Both teams went back and forth to open the second half until the Camels broke the game open with an 8-0 run to take a 53-41 lead.

The Ospreys fought their way back in it when sophomore guard Jerron Granberry knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers with 7:44 remaining in the game cut the lead to 52-55. However, the Camels had answer for everything the Ospreys threw at them.

Campbell fallowed Granberry’s threes with another 8-0 run which was all they needed to hold off the Ospreys. A pair of free throws by guard Junard Hartley, with 2:51 remaining, gave the Camels a 71-56 lead they would never give up.

“Whenever we make a run we all get excited,” Smith said. “Whenever they come back at us, that’s a time we’re we got to take it up another level and try to make another run back at them or stop them from making a run. We can’t let what they do dictate our excitement and the way that we’re going to play.”

The Ospreys struggled to rebound the ball for the second game in a row. Campbell outrebounded UNF 40-29. Campbell dominated down low in general, scoring 42 points in the paint. UNF managed 24. Turnovers were another issue for the Ospreys who coughed it up 17 times, resulting in 19 points for the camels.

UNF was again led by Smith who finished with 21 points on 4-8 from behind the arch. Junior guard Jimmy Williams added 14 while sophomore forward Andy Diaz finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

“Thank goodness Parker and Andy scored and got us some points, and Jimmy,” Driscoll said. “We just couldn’t score. We couldn’t find a way to score and we couldn’t get key buckets when we needed them. And credit Campbell for their defensive parlous tonight.

The Ospreys had no answer for the three-headed scoring threat for the Camels. Griffin led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds. Hartley added 16 points and five assists and forward Anthony Horton finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

The Ospreys will take a four-day break before hosting Lipscomb Feb. 3 inside the UNF Arena at 7:45 p.m.

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