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UNF MBB routed by NC State in 86-51 loss

Riley Platt, Sports Writer

The new season didn’t get off to the way the Ospreys men’s basketball team would have hoped for as they dropped their opener on Wednesday to Eastern Kentucky. Things would not get any easier as the Ospreys faced a feisty NC State team on Friday. This was a 20 win team that would have likely made the tournament last season, routing a top ten Duke team by 22 points in February.

The lack of experience for Coach Driscoll’s squad showed early on. Ball security was something that plagued the team, causing turnovers that led to plenty of easy buckets in transition for the Wolfpack. Forward Carter Hendricksen, the team’s only returning starter, led the Ospreys in the first half with 11 points. 

North Carolina State’s Devon Daniels (24) shoots as North Florida’s Dorian James (5) defends during the first half during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP) (AP)

Inability to secure rebounds haunted UNF in the first half, leading to many second-chance points for NC State. Wolfpack forwards D.J. Funderburk and Manny Bates were able to secure a combined 10 rebounds between the two of them. Forward Jericole Hellems led the Wolfpack with 11 points of his own, giving his team a 42-28 lead going into halftime. The Ospreys were able to keep it close at times, but a strong run by NC State to finish the half really put a dent in the confidence of UNF.

The second half got off to a rough start for the Ospreys, who were held scoreless through the first few minutes of the second half. As the scoring drought was happening, it was anything but for the Wolfpack. They were able to extend their lead to 24 points, which made it a demoralizing deficit for the Ospreys to face. 

Despite cutting the lead back down within 20 points, UNF was never able to fully recover. After having a strong first half, Carter Hendricksen was held scoreless after halftime. The deficit just continued to grow, with NC State eventually winning 86-51. 

While this may be a discouraging result, one positive takeaway was the play of freshman forward Jadyn Parker, who scored 11 points and grabbed 4 rebounds along the way. Only three of the Ospreys’ starters scored in Friday’s contest; something that will have to change if this team wants to improve. 

The college basketball season is a grueling experience, and it will continue on Sunday when the Ospreys travel down to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes. The game is set to tip off at 6 PM ET and can be seen on TV at the ACC Network.

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