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Late push not enough as UNF loses close one to FAU in MBB home opener

John Watson, Sports Editor

Coming down the stretch, the Ospreys knew they were within striking distance, but then, out of the night sky, the FAU Owls swooped down and snatched victory from the talons of Coach Driscoll and his squad.

The Ospreys played their best game as a team this season as they lost the contest 77-79. Within striking distance, the Ospreys were down two points with 15 seconds left in the game. A drive to the hoop from Emmanuel Adedoyin was unsuccessful as he kicked it out to Ryan Burkhardt for the game-winner… which was no good.

“The game was decided way, way, way before that last play,” Head coach Matthew Driscoll said in the postgame ZOOM conference. “We fought our tails off to get it to that last play, which is a credit to our guys.”

Even though the Ospreys fought hard and played good basketball, the loss still counts in the record books. UNF has yet to win a game this season, playing with an entirely new look in the starting rotation as Carter Hendricksen continues to be out with a foot injury. Although contributing to his team with a career high 15 points and 8 assists in the loss, Emmanuel Adedoyin knows that the team’s hopes are still high this season.

“I think we’ve been prepared for this,” Adedoyin said. “We’ve been practicing hard and we’ve been grinding. The mood is just to press on, that’s our theme, keep pressing on and be 1-0.”

The hopes for going 1-0 during the game against FAU hit different highs and lows as the game went on. It was apparent in the first half, that the Ospreys and the Owls both came to play.  

Early on, FAU’s offense took flight as UNF struggled to hit shots early and the Owls were able to capitalize in the post. Owl big man Karlis Silins dominated the boards with his length and FAU was able to have as much as a 12 point lead over the Birds of Trey at one point in the half.

The Ospreys finally found their flock late in the half as Jose Placer was able to start firing the deep ball which kept the Ospreys within striking distance. A buzzer beater three from Emmanuel Adedoyin cut the Owl’s lead to two points going into halftime. In the first half, Adedoyin tied his career high in points with 12.

In the second half, the Ospreys led a fresh charge out of the gate to hold a few leads of their own in the second half. Placer kept firing and the Ospreys finally had their grips on a slice of victory pie as their largest lead was six in the half. Placer finished with 20 points.

This slice of victory pie was short-lived as Owls climbed back on the scoreboard to acquire a seven point lead with only two minutes left in the game. As stated earlier in the article, the Ospreys fought hard and fought tough to lose by two.

While the Owls will improve to 3-2 on the season, the Ospreys will look towards the next game after an 0-6 start. Although it has been a less-than-ideal start to the season, The Ospreys know that two things must get better in order to win games before the conference schedule.

“The defensive execution and the rebounding is the issue,” Coach Driscoll stated. “it doesn’t matter if you’re Jonathan Aybar, or you’re Jacob Crews or whoever you are… get stops and rebound the ball, that’s all we have to do.”

The Ospreys next game will be on Thursday against the East Carolina Pirates in Greenville, NC. The game will be at 5:00 p.m. as UNF looks to improve to 1-6 on the season.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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