Ospreys outlast Dolphins in overtime thriller

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

After losing game one of the River City Rumble earlier this season, the Ospreys had a chip on their shoulder to prove who the better team in Jacksonville is and delivered with an 80-73 win.  

Junior Ivan Gandia-Rosa creates space on the floor. Photo by Khorri Newton

The Ospreys were utilizing the post early with the first four baskets coming from Juniors Wajid Aminu and Noah Horchler. After the first media timeout, the Ospreys were up 12-10. Aminu was penetrating the post with six points. Both teams were shooting 41 percent from the field as the momentum was even on both sides.

The Dolphins were struggling to play defense in the paint as the Ospreys kept feeding the posts for easy layups. JU kept within striking distance of the Ospreys but couldn’t force key defensive stops. The Dolphins were roaring back in the final three minutes of the first half after a key three from Redshirt-Junior Aamahne Santos followed by a layup by Sophomore J.D. Notae tied the game at 29. The Ospreys grabbed the lead on a Junior Garrett Sams layup to make it, 31-29. On the last possession of the half, the Dolphins drew a shooting foul to send them to the free throw line. Redshirt-Senior Jace Hogan missed both free throws to end the first half with a 31-29 Ospreys lead. Aminu led the Ospreys with 11 points and the Ospreys shot 45 percent from the floor.

The Dolphins tied it back up at 31 on a couple of free throws by Redshirt-Junior David Bell. Hogan broke the tie with a jumper for a 33-31 Dolphins lead. Redshirt-Junior J.T. Escobar nailed a three from the left corner for a 34-33 lead and Bell followed with a dunk to put the Dolphins up 35-34. Both teams were off to the races as it was all offense and minimal defense. A Sams three pushed the lead to 41-36 until the Dolphins answered with a three of their own to only trail, 39-41. With ten minutes left in the second half, the Ospreys trailed the Dolphins, 50-45. The Ospreys cut to within three,55-52, on a monstrous dunk by Aminu. The Ospreys defense got their second wind in the final six minutes when they played zone.

With 5:45 left, the Ospreys were up 59-55. The Dolphins wouldn’t let up as they tied it on a layup by Hogan at 59. The Ospreys grabbed the 61-59 lead on a fancy layup by Sams. Just as UNF would lead, the Dolphins would continue drawing fouls. UNF caught on and drew a foul of their own as Escobar stepped to the line, up 61-60. Escobar made one to put the lead at 62-60. Freshman Tyreese Davis tied it at 62 with a layup at 2:45. Notae got the 64-62 lead on a layup shortly after. Aminu made a layup with 35 seconds left for a 65-64 Ospreys lead. Hinton missed two costly free throws but Notae was fouled going for a three as he made one to tie it. At the end of the second half, the game was tied at 65 to force overtime

Davis made a layup to begin overtime as Aminu countered with one of his own. Sophomore Derrick Flowers made a three to get a 70-69 lead. Aminu’s two free throws reclaimed the lead at 71-70. Sams made a smart move by being fouled at the three-point line for three free throw attempts. Sams made all three to stretch the lead to 74-70. After Escobar made a three to get a 76-60 lead, the Dolphins made a three to put the score at 76-73 Ospreys with 56 seconds left. Junior Ivan Gandia-Rosa made two key free throws to put the Ospreys up 78-73. The Ospreys finished with an 80-73 win.

Junior Garrett Sams talked to Spinnaker about the emotions going throughout the matchup against JU.

“This environment was great, it’s always fun to play here. We just try to treat it as much of a regular game as we can,” Sams said.

Aminu led the squad with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Hogan led the Dolphins with 26 points before he exited the game with a calf injury.

The win puts UNF in fourth place in the ASUN with a 13-16 overall record (7-7 ASUN) and the loss drops JU to seventh place with a 12-16 overall record (12-16).

The Ospreys head back home to take on Liberty in their homecoming game on Saturday, Feb 23 at 5 p.m.

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