UNF Men’s and Women’s Basketball earn major conference wins over Flames

The Ospreys swept the Flames in a doubleheader in both major upsets.

Junior Wajid Aminu goes up for a layup. Photo by Khorri Newton

Women’s Basketball

Redshirt-Sophomore Jazz Bond and Junior Adrienne Jackson contributed 38 points together in a 66-54 commanding win against the Liberty Flames in a key conference win.

Both the Ospreys and the Flames started the game hot, Liberty began the first quarter with two three-pointers from Redshirt-Sophomore Emily Lytle, but the Ospreys answered immediately with consecutive layups from Bond, Jackson and Senior Arianna Emanuel-Wright. Shots were trading off between the teams until the Ospreys went on an 11-0 run with 2:58 left in the first quarter, Jackson adding two long three pointers.

The Ospreys had complete control of the half until Liberty’s Freshman Bridgette Rettstatt and Sophomore Ria Gulley combined for consecutive three pointers and the lead was cut to seven with 2:32 left in the second quarter. Defensively, the Ospreys were letting up heading into the half only holding a six-point lead, 34-28.

Jackson ran the court very well in the second half, adding a deep three-point shot at the start of the third quarter. This quarter consisted of phenomenal plays on all areas of offense with the Ospreys contributing 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Ospreys took full control of the game heading into the fourth quarter with Bond and Jackson tacking on 19 points each. Senior Ty Purifoy really showed her court vision, adding on a career-high 12  assists and scored nine points, almost completing a double-double. UNF led for the entire game and by the end of the fourth quarter, their lead had increased to twelve, showing their commandment all throughout and helped the Ospreys win, 66-54.

This win against Liberty improves the Ospreys to 12-13 (7-7 ASUN), keeping them in sixth place in the ASUN conference. The loss drops Liberty to 11-15 (7-6 ASUN). The Ospreys head down to DeLand, Florida to battle on their division rival Stetson on Wednesday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

Men’s Basketball

UNF Men’s and Women’s Basketball earn major conference wins over Flames

The UNF Ospreys rode a four-game winning streak into their homecoming matchup Saturday against ASUN conference leading Liberty and avenged their earlier season loss with a 75-70 win.

With Junior Noah Horchler suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules, according to Head Coach Matthew Driscoll,  Junior Wajid Aminu stepped up and set the tone with six early points for the Ospreys, including a thunderous dunk which delighted the UNF crowd.

Junior Garrett Sams opened the scoring for Ospreys not named Aminu with a three-pointer from the wing to put UNF ahead, 11-10.Aminu tallied 12 points to go with five rebounds in the first half. The Flames led 30-27 at the end of the first half.

Sams was second in scoring with nine first-half points, all from beyond the arc.  He also hauled in five rebounds to help on the glass.

Both teams didn’t shoot particularly well from the floor.  Liberty was 12-31 in the first half while North Florida was 9-27.

Senior Keenan Gumbs and Junior Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz recorded seven points each.

After briefly trailing by five to open the second half, the Ospreys hit back-to-back-threes to pull within one before taking the lead on a baseline jumper off a give-and-go by Freshman Carter Hendricksen.

With the game tied at 40, Liberty bolted out to a seven-point-lead. Hitting a three in the half court, then a layup in transition off a UNF turnover, and finally a dunk.

With 10 minutes remaining in the second half, Liberty’s lead stretched to 10 before an Aminu block followed by a three in transition cut the lead to seven.

After the lead swelled back to as many as 13, the Ospreys began making big defensive plays and knocking down big shots.

“8:32 to go and they were down 13, in the timeout, the only thing we said was, ‘if we want to win this game we gotta win it on the defensive end,’’ head coach Matthew Driscoll said of getting back into the game after falling into the largest deficit of the night.

The Ospreys seized the momentum late in the second half and Liberty could not recover.  The noise in the UNF arena was deafening and got louder with every made Osprey shot and every defensive stop.

Liberty would not go away, though.  With just seven seconds left, Redshirt-Junior Caleb Homesley made a big three-pointer to bring the game within two points.

After being fouled, Redshirt-Junior J.T. Escobar made 1-2 free throws to give North Florida a slim three-point lead with 4.5 seconds left.

Sophomore guard Ryan Burkhardt closed out the game with two clutch free throws to seal the game and the 75-70 Osprey win.

Four Ospreys scored in double figures in the game to continue the win streak and the trend of getting multiple offensive contributors.

Sams led the way for the Ospreys with 20 points on the night, making 6-9 from downtown. Aminu scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and three blocks.

The win improves UNF to 14-16 (8-7 ASUN) and the loss drops Liberty to 23-16 (12-2 ASUN).

The Ospreys will finish the regular season at UNF Arena on Tuesday, February 26 at 7 p.m. against Stetson.


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