Gandia-Rosa breaks out in key conference win over Kennesaw State

William Cunkle

After beating UNA in their previous game, the Ospreys rode that momentum toward a decisive 80-57 win against Kennesaw State.

Khorri Newton
Junior Wajid Aminu finishes with a dunk

UNF started off the game having the hot hand with a deep three-pointer from Redshirt-Junior J.T. Escobar, followed by a thunderous dunk and block from Junior Noah Horchler to help put the Ospreys up 10-0 in the first three minutes of the game. Kennesaw State began the game with a weak performance and did not score until 16:45 of the first half with a layup from Redshirt-Freshman Antonio Spencer.

Junior Ivan Gandia-Rosa was on pace to complete a triple-double by contributing 12 points, four assists, and six rebounds in the first half. The Ospreys were shooting 58 percent from the field in the first few minutes and while maintaining a ten-point lead, the Ospreys contributed 15 of their 36 points coming from long range and were out-rebounding the Owls by seven.

The Ospreys had six made threes in the first half, shooting 35.3% from the perimeter to the Owls two made three pointers in total. A two-handed-jam from Freshman Carter Hendricksen at the end of the first half helped the Ospreys keep the momentum going into halftime with a 41-28 lead.

The second half of the game consisted of big increases in the lead for the Ospreys. Kennesaw State kept letting up on defense, allowing the Ospreys to become more active and capitalize on the Owls’ lethargic energy. Junior Garrett Sams came up big with a long range three-point-shot to begin the second half and nailed consecutive free throws in the first few minutes. In the middle of the second half, Junior Wajid Aminu elevated his performance by recording back-to-back-to-back dunks within two minutes of each other. All but two players on the court for the Ospreys were able to score points this game, showing the team’s depth from top to bottom.

The Ospreys came up big in rebounding against the Owls as Horchler was able to record 13 while Aminu had 10 himself. UNF had a combined 54 rebounds entirely with 25 of them being on the offensive side. The Ospreys were also able to score 20 points off fast breaks to the Owls five points, this helped keep the momentum in Ospreys direction.

Gandia-Rosa finished the game with 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. During the game, Sams surpassed 1,000 career points in his career at UNF, becoming number 14 on UNF’s list of players in the 1,000 point club.

UNF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll was asked by Spinnaker after the game about how his team was able to keep a strong lead throughout the entire game.

“Coming out of the second half we scored a couple buckets but they came right back down and answered, so it was almost like we were in a trading factor. The one thing we told them at halftime was we’re out rebounding them by eleven, let’s try to double that and get it to twenty-two. Then the second thing is let’s make sure we are not being haphazard with the ball, which we were in the first half at some times, we ended up with four turnovers in the second half, so I was really proud of them for that, to their credit we just kept rebounding the ball,” Driscoll said.

With this win, the Ospreys improve to 11-16 (5-7 ASUN) and the loss drops Kennesaw State to 5-21 (2-9 ASUN). The Ospreys take on NJIT on the road on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.



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