UNF set for A-Sun semifinal matchup with ETSU

Spinnaker

MACON, Ga — The No. 6 seed UNF men’s basketball team, high off its upset win over No. 3 seeded Jacksonville University, is set for its Atlantic Sun Tournament semi-final matchup with the No. 2 seed East Tennessee State.

The Ospreys (14-18, 10-10 Atlantic Sun) struggled this season with the ETSU Buccaneers (22-10, 16-4 Atlantic Sun), having lost twice. UNF dropped a 61-66 decision, Jan. 13, inside the UNF Arena. One month later the Buccaneers handed UNF a 57-80 beat down, in Johnson City, Tenn., Feb. 13.

“Our last memory is that they smacked us at their place,” said sophomore guard Jerron Granberry. “You know that’s a nasty taste. So we’re just going to go out there and compete and hopefully we change the outcome.”

Since that game however, UNF has won four of its last five games. The Ospreys are currently in the middle of its longest in-conference winning streak since head coach Matthew Driscoll joined the team.

UNF will have to find a way to slow down the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, ETSU senior guard Mike Smith, who averages 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. In two games this season against the Ospreys, Smith scored a combined 48 points.

“Obviously with ETSU they got the player of the year [Smith],” Driscoll said. “He’s a very good player. He played very well against us down at their place.”

UNF has been led by Granberry, who scored 23 points in the Ospreys win over the Dolphins. Granberry missed just one shot from the field and one three throw the entire game. Granberry is tied with fellow sophomore guard Parker Smith with 12.3 points per game to lead the Ospreys this season.

However, throughout this four-game winning streak, Granberry has raised his play to another level. Granberry has bumped his scoring average up to 18.8 points per game, and has scored 20 or more points in three of the four victories.

“We have a picture of his sister we bring with us because every time she’s there that joker don’t miss,” Driscoll joked after UNF’s upset of JU.

Throughout the win streak, Granberry has repeatedly said UNF was bound to start winning these close game. He also said he expected to be where they are right now.

UNF tips off with ETSU tonight at 9 p.m. inside the Mercer University Center, in Macon, Ga.