Birds of Trey knock down Lions in wire-to-wire win

Video by Kaitlyn Bowers

Zach Yearwood, Sports Reporter

Featured image by: Darvin Nelson

The Ospreys men’s basketball team took care of the visiting North Alabama Lions on Saturday. Although the Lions were never out of the game (they even got within one possession on several occasions), North Florida led the game from wire to wire and never gave up the lead once.

Ivan Gandia-Rosa got the game started with a three-pointer and the Ospreys never looked back. They quickly got up to a 10-2 lead.

The Birds of Trey’s notorious aerial attack was strong in the first period. The team hit six threes in the first 15 minutes and eight in the half, including a buzzer beater by Wajid Aminu to go into the locker room.  The halftime was 46-34 in favor of the Ospreys.

North Florida kept the game out of reach for the entire second half. Every time the Lions would make some headway into their deficit, they would commit fouls or give up easy buckets inside. UNF’s defense also forced stops at the right time in order to avoid runs.

In the second half, North Alabama was able to contain North Florida’s shooting, limiting them to 2-13 from deep. 

“I thought we were going to flow a lot better in the second half, we have to look and see what occurred,” head coach Matthew Driscoll said.

Garrett Sams performed well throughout. The senior ended the game with 25 points (a season high) and eight rebounds. Aminu recorded 15 points and nine rebounds, along with five blocks. This was his fifth five-block game of the season.

The win keeps the Ospreys at the top of the ASUN with an 11-2 conference record. They will play Liberty on the road on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in a game that will likely decide who earns the first seed and home-court advantage in the ASUN tournament.

“It’s not gonna get any easier,” Coach Driscoll said about the team’s remaining schedule. “The rest of the schedule only three games left… and we’re playing the next three teams – second, third and fourth – in the next three games.”


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