Ospreys grab triple overtime thriller on senior night

Spinnaker

Critics have had a field day with the UNF men’s basketball team’s inability to shoot free throws and close out tight games.But on senior night, Feb. 20, against an outmatched Kennesaw State (8–20, 6–12 A-Sun), the Ospreys (11–18, 8–10 A-Sun) fought through three overtimes to secure a 90-88 win over the Owls.

“I just think our guys wanted it a little more, after having seen our share of games slip through our fingers in the closing seconds,” said head coach Matthew Driscoll.

Jerron Granberry owned the spotlight, shooting a career-high 28 points in the Ospreys’ first ever multi-overtime victory; 12 of his points were scored from the free-throw line. He also kept the Ospreys alive with a three-pointer at the second overtime buzzer, which sent the game into another extra period.

For starting senior Brad Haugabrook, it was not his best performance on the stats sheet. But Haugabrook had key assissts that led to the victory. He also scored eight points.

It was the third overtime when the Ospreys and Haugabrook showed their seniority. Haugabrook had two jumpers, and junior forward Matt Sauey got a two-point shot standing on the three point line — and that was all it took.

The Ospreys had four players in double figures, led by Granberry’s 28 points. Sophomore sharpshooter Parker Smith got back on track after a recent slump, scoring 15 points, including three jumpers from behind the arch. Junior swingman Jimmy Williams added 13, and sophomore forward David Jeune notched a double-double, scoring 10 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.

The Ospreys struggled to contain the Atlantic Sun scoring leader, Markeith Cummings, who led the Owls with 27 points. LaDaris Green also grabbed a double-double, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Driscoll said he wants the team to take this victory and build on it throughout the rest of the season. After the whistle blew, Driscoll grabbed the mic and asked the students to wait so he could thank them for being so supportive.

“We have the greatest students’ section in the conference,” he said.

But Sunday’s afternoon game did have some heavy competition for fans. It was played during the Daytona 500, and also on one of the first afternoons that crowds began to gather at Jacksonville’s beaches.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak. The Ospreys will attempt to play their way in to the A-Sun Conference tournament in Macon, Ga., March 2–5, needing just one win as they head into their last two games of the season. UNF will travel to Stetson Feb. 24 before heading to Florida Gulf Coast Feb. 26 for the season finale.