Eagles fall prey to Birds of Trey

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

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Featured image by: Darvin Nelson

Video by: Brett Nweeia

The Birds of Trey lived up to their name as they defeated the Georgia Southern Eagles, 80-77, with a constant three-point attack led by JT Escobar.

The Ospreys began the game with a flurry of threes from Carter Hendricksen, Garrett Sams, and Escobar for an early 9-2 lead.

That didn’t sit well for the Eagles as they went on an 8-2 run to tie it at 12 with thirteen minutes remaining in the first half.

The three-point attack continued to ensue as the Ospreys went on to go 9-13 from deep. Half of those three-pointers came from Escobar as he finished the first half with 12 points (all three-pointers) as the Ospreys led, 41-33.

The Eagles crept up throughout the half by scoring 13 points off UNF’s 13 turnovers. Isaiah Crawley led the Eagles with 18 points and pulled down three boards. 

Early on in the second half, it was a back-and-forth affair as Georgia Southern took advantage of UNF going 2-13 from the field in the first four minutes.

The Eagles finally grabbed their first lead of the game on a three-pointer from David Viti, putting them up, 56-55, with 11:27 left.

Both teams traded leads until Escobar distanced the Ospreys from the Eagles with a major three with 2:09 left to put UNF up, 74-67.

The Eagles wouldn’t go down without a fight as Elijah McCadden capitalized on and-one opportunity to cut the deficit to 74-72, Ospreys.

Gandia-Rosa followed with a trey and McCadden followed up with a jumper inside to set the score at 77-74, Ospreys.

After Gandia-Rosa was fouled and made one of two free throws, Calvin Wishart of the Eagles made a tough three-pointer to have the Eagles trail by one, 78-77, with 12 seconds left.

Gandia-Rosa was fouled with 10 seconds left and made both free throws and one final three-point attempt by Wishart just missed for an 80-77, UNF win. 

Escobar finished with 23 points (7-8 three-pointers). 

“We’re so unselfish and we move the ball so quick and when we’re getting downhill and finding open guys, they know where I’m going to be and I know where they’re going to be,” Escobar said. 

Hendricksen recorded a season-high 17 rebounds and after recording three free throws in the win over the Eagles, Wajid Aminu joined the 1,000 point club for UNF Men’s Basketball. 

Crawley, an AAU teammate of Sams, finished with 31 points for the Eagles. 

UNF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll complimented the team’s execution late in the game, 

“Down the stretch, we executed tremendously,” Coach Driscoll said. “We had some really good looks from a lot of good guys and then we got to the free throw line and got our free throws in.”

The Ospreys improve to 2-1 and the Eagles drop to 1-2 as UNF stays home to host Southern Mississippi on Thursday, November 14 at 7 p.m. 

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