One day, two states, two wins; both Osprey basketball teams defeat UNA

John Watson, Sports Editor

Featured Image: Justin Nedrow

Home or away, Alabama or Florida, the Ospreys are always on the hunt for wins. As both basketball teams were in action today against the same school, the Ospreys showed up on both courts.

Leading the charge for the Ospreys, Carter Hendricksen dropped a team-high 20 points and sank three three-pointers in the game (Justin Nedrow)

Our lady Ospreys were the first matchup of the day as they played their first of two road games against the North Alabama Lions. Coming into this game, both teams were 4-2 in conference play, and the similarities don’t stop there.

UNF forward Jazz Bond would have to face her sister, UNA guard Jaida Bond, as the two teams looked to pick up a win of their own at Flowers Hall in Florence, AL. While the box score had the Ospreys winning 68-63, the game was much more one-sided than that.

Although the first five minutes of the game were neck and neck, the Ospreys pulled away quickly at the end of the quarter, jumping out to a 21-13 lead. The second quarter would also prove monumental for the Ospreys as their defense held the Lions to just eight points. 

At the half, the Ospreys were up 37-21 and used stability in the third quarter to sustain a double-digit lead going into the fourth. 

Outscored in the fourth quarter 24-15, the Ospreys had opportunities to put the game away, but UNA wouldn’t go down without a fight. With just 30 seconds left, Lion forward Olivia Noah sank a three to position them within three points of the Ospreys, but Marissa Mackins would go to the line and sink two free throws to extend the lead to five.

With time winding down, a huge block and steal from Jazz Bond on Jaida Bond would be the dagger as the Ospreys went on to win by five in their opening match against UNA. 

As for the men’s side, the Ospreys were coming off a tough Friday loss looking to tie the season series against the Lions. This game proved to be a much closer overall contest than the women’s game.

In the first half, the Lions led for much of the first 20 minutes, but their lead was minimal, and the Ospreys kept within striking distance, often capitalizing off UNA’s turnovers. With around six minutes left in the half, headband Jose Placer gave UNF their first lead of the game, which proved to provide momentum.

With Carter Hendricksen finding his deep ball after failing to make a single three-pointer in UNF’s last two games, the Ospreys led by 11 at the half, and the score was 45-35.

UNA clawed their way back but only led by as much as one point in the second half. The Ospreys used their best three-point shooting performance of the season to fuel a 16-5 run with only four minutes left that would distance themselves.

While UNA handled their rebounds well and Lion forward Mervin James had another impressive performance, the Ospreys would come up on top 82-72 to split the season series against the Lions.

After getting off to shaky non-conference starts, both Osprey teams have now settled into the conference schedule and have picked up much-needed wins. The women’s team will finish up their series against North Alabama on Sunday at the UNF Arena, while the men’s team is scheduled to head to Liberty next weekend to take on the ASUN-leading Flames.


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