UNF Spinnaker

Strong start not enough as Ospreys fall to Auburn

John Watson, Sports Editor

Featured Image: Justin Nedrow

Usually, if a team scores over 80 points in women’s basketball, they are expected to win the game. However, when facing a Power Five school like Auburn, posting 80 might not cut it.

In Thursday’s matchup against Auburn, the North Florida Lady Ospreys held tight with their SEC opponent in a high scoring affair between the two teams. While the Ospreys had four players score double digits, they eventually lost to the Tigers by a score of 94-81.

To examine the game is to investigate two things that went right and two things that went wrong.

The first thing that went right for the Ospreys was a strong start. Jumping out to a 7-0 lead to begin the first quarter, the Ospreys came into this contest with confidence and grit. However, UNF’s last lead of the game came around 6 minutes into the first quarter, and they were never able to overcome a tough Auburn squad.

Jazz Bond, Rhetta Moore, Marissa Mackins and Nubia Benedith all scored in double digits for the Ospreys in the loss to Auburn on Thursday. (Photo: Justin Nedrow)

Another thing that went well for the Ospreys was the performance by Rhetta Moore. Logging a double-double in this game, Moore ended up with 22 points and ten rebounds. While Jazz Bond led the game in scoring for both teams with 23, Moore has been looking sharp this season as she continues to be a key player on both ends of the court.

Now for the not so good.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. A consistent theme in Osprey losses this year has been turnovers, and the Auburn Tigers capitalized on their opportunities in transition. For most of the game, the Tigers played either a full-court press or a trap in their defensive scheme. This worked well to create offense from defense.

The Ospreys committed 22 turnovers in this affair, with Rhetta Moore having eight herself. While the high number of turnovers have hurt the Ospreys this season, the numbers should go down as the team plays more games together but, that’s just a theory.

The other thing that went wrong for the Ospreys was getting the necessary rebounds and not allowing second-chance opportunities. The Tigers had 19 offensive rebounds while the Ospreys had just five. This barrage of board-crashing was led by Unique Thompson, who had 18 rebounds, which included eight offensive rebounds.

While there will always be the good and the bad, this year’s Osprey squad is fun to watch as players step up and fill roles. The team will look to their last non-conference game of the season as they face the University of Florida on the road in a Monday-night showdown. Playing SEC teams back-to-back may seem like a challenge, but I’m sure these Ospreys have the mojo to bring their A-game on Monday.


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Strong start not enough as Ospreys fall to Auburn