Ospreys drop to sixth place in loss to Dolphins

Bruce Hope, Sports Reporter

The Ospreys trailed by as many as 27 points, cut the lead to a few as 10 late, but could not overcome the deficit and lost 75-63 to the Jacksonville University Dolphins.

Khorri Newton
Sophomore Rhetta Moore attempts a three-pointer

One game separated the teams in the ASUN conference standings in the most recent iteration of the River City Rumble between the crosstown rivals.  The Dolphins entered the matchup winners of 13 straight in the series and leading 22-8 all time.

The Dolphin defense was locked in early, stymieing the Osprey in their half court sets.  Turnovers plagued both teams early as UNF committed seven and JU had six in the first quarter. The Ospreys struggled to make shots and fell into an early deficit, 16-4, at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Arianna Emanuel-Wright left the action early after picking up two quick fouls.

The Ospreys shooting woes continued into the second quarter, as the active hands of the Dolphins constantly deflected Ospreys passes and disrupted attempts to get their offense in gear.

Advancing the ball past half court became a chore for the Ospreys, as the Dolphins extended their press.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge and we didn’t respond to it well in the first half,” UNF Women’s Basketball Head Coach Darrick Gibbs said.

Even when UNF got into the front court and began to set up their offense, the JU defense and poor shooting continued to hurt them.

JU went into the halftime with a 33-9 lead.

“Offensively in the first half we were as bad as we’ve been all year,” Gibbs said.

UNF had ice cold shooting numbers as they were 4-25 from the floor in the first half and recorded 0-11 three-pointers.

The third quarter opened with more of the same with a three point make by Senior Jasmyn Brown of the Dolphins followed by another miss from UNF.

With 8:40 left in the third quarter, the Ospreys finally got into double digits with a strong finish in the paint by Junior Adrienne Jackson.

The Ospreys began making shots in the third quarter but couldn’t get the stops they needed to continue to cut into the Dolphin lead.

Defensive breakdowns doomed the Ospreys as the Dolphins consistently found open looks for three-pointers.  The third quarter ended with the Ospreys trailing 52-31.

The Ospreys turned the ball over all game long (22) and the Dolphins punished them for it, turning defense to offense to the tune of 19 points.

After trailing by as many as 27, the Ospreys would not go away.  They cut the deficit to 10 points with 35 seconds left in the game after back to back threes (the first of the game) by Redshirt-Sophomore Jazz Bond and Junior Janesha Green.

“We battled and competed in the fourth and put ourselves in a position to make it interesting,” Gibbs said.

Nine of 10 Jacksonville players scored in the game, being  led by Senior Rolanda Hayes with 18 points.

Emanuel-Wright led the Ospreys with 20 points.

The loss drops UNF to 11-13 on the season (6-7 ASUN) and the win improves JU to 13-13 (6-7 ASUN).

The Ospreys return home to UNF Arena and host Liberty on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.



This story is courtesy of Knightnews.com. For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]