Newcomers shine in win against JU, Ospreys sweep season-series

John Watson, Sports Editor

Something happened today at the UNF Arena that hadn’t happened for nearly 11 straight years… A women’s basketball series sweep against Jacksonville University.

In a game that UNF head coach Darrick Gibbs called their best defensive performance of the season, UNF led for 95 percent of the game and had a lead as large as 18 points at one time.

The Ospreys were on a mission that aimed to grab another point in UNF’s chase for the “Old Wooden Barrel.” The mission was successful as they used the knowledge from yesterday’s close-call win to propel them to success today.

Coach Gibbs talked about what the ladies took away from yesterday’s game and how they implemented today’s strategies.

“One of the big things was our communication defensively,” Gibbs said. “They got us a ton on baseline penetration and got the ball to the high post a ton yesterday. A lot of that came because we were over-rotating and were too spaced, and our communication wasn’t great.”

The Ospreys were able to make the right adjustments and did what they needed to do to gain the 67-56 win over the Dolphins.

While JU guard Erin Wilson led all scorers with a 26-point outing, it was a team effort for the Ospreys as five different players scored in the double digits. A surprising performance came from freshman Ally Knights, who had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Coach Gibbs called her career performance “unbelievable.”

Erin Jones takes a three-point shot in Sunday’s contest against the Dolphins. (Photo: John Watson)

“Ally Knights came in today and had an unbelievable game, almost touching a triple-double for us,” Gibbs said. “Her contributions, almost getting thrown in, I just love how we responded.”

Out of the seven players who took the court for the Ospreys today, five are playing in their first season with the team. The newcomers impressed on the court today and helped the team win their third-straight against the Dolphins

One of the newcomers is a graduate transfer from Rhode Island, Erin Jones, who put on a career performance against JU and led the charge as the Ospreys continued to pressure the Dolphins in the second half. 

She described the difference between today’s game and yesterday’s game, and also the momentum moving forward.

“Yesterday, I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been, so coming out of the half, that was definitely my mentality,“ Jones said. “This was a huge game for us, and I’m looking forward to playing Liberty this weekend.”

As for how Coach Gibbs felt about the game and his team, he was delighted with how his team played and fought till the end.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Gibbs said. “This was a gutsy win that took a lot of toughness and resilience. We competed and found a way to win with key contributions from everyone on our sideline.”

The Osprey’s next scheduled series is against Liberty next weekend, as they will look to improve after sweeping the Dolphins. Check here at for more updates and recaps in everything UNF sports.


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