Ospreys dominate in Puerto Rico exhibition series

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

The Birds of Trey flew south for a three-game series in Puerto Rico and came out on top all three times.

Khorri Newton
Redshirt-Senior JT Escobar scans the floor.

In the series opener against the University of Puerto Rico Bayamon, the Ospreys were in total control in the first half as they limited UPRB to 35 points. UNF went 67 percent from the field and were 57 percent behind the arc.

Initially, the Ospreys were burying UPRB in the second half, but they snuck  within ten points late in the game before the Ospreys put it out of reach for a 92-82 win.

Senior Wajid Aminu led the team with 16 points and Senior Ezekiel Balogun led the squad with 12 rebounds.

The Ospreys next match-up of the series was against UC Bayamon. UNF had a sluggish start as they committed seven turnovers in the first four minutes. UNF tightened up as they went on a 17-4 run in the final three minutes for a 37-21 lead. Sophomore Carter Hendricksen led the charge with 11 points in the first half.

As the second half began, guns were blazing as there was immediate scoring from both sides. The Birds of Trey lived up to their name as the squad scored four straight three-pointers which led to a 23-0 run to put the lead out of reach for a 90-53 win. Yet again, Hendricksen led the team in scoring with 17 points while Freshman Emmanuel Adedoyin scored 16 points and dished out four assists.

The final game of the Puerto Rico series was against PR Bayamon Select and this game came down to the final buzzer in overtime.

The home team was off to a hot start with a 9-0 run as they were up 12-8 at the first media timeout. Bayamon held their lead until 1:18 left in the first half when Adedoyin and Senior Garrett Sams hit consecutive treys for a 44-42 lead, their first lead of the game. The Ospreys finished the half leading 48-46 and were 52 percent shooting from the field.

The second half was a seesaw type game where each side would trade momentum. After being down 82-75, Sams and Sophomore Jose Placer each hit three-pointers to get the Ospreys back in the game. Ultimately, the game went to overtime with both teams tied at 86.

UNF and PR Bayamon traded three-pointers and Freshman Josh Endicott started attacking from the inside with a putback for a 97-96 lead. After Sams was fouled and made two free throws, the Ospreys stretched their lead to 99-96. PR Bayamon tried one last shot to tie the game but it was all for not as the Ospreys emerged victorious, 99-96.

Sams and Aminu combined for 25 points in the final win of the series.

The Ospreys now head back to the sunshine state as classes start Monday, August 19 for students at UNF. The first UNF Men’s Basketball game is Tuesday, November 5 against Florida National.

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