Sisters square off as Lady Ospreys win in last-second thriller

Riley Platt, General Assignment Reporter

It was a family affair on Sunday as UNF women’s basketball took on the North Alabama Lions for the weekend series’s back end. Osprey veteran Jazz Bond took on sister Jaida Bond of UNA in a duel that went down to the wire.

Not to spoil the ending of this story, but Jazz Bond was certainly the difference-maker.

Things did not look great for UNF early on, as the UNA Lions seized control. Despite a sloppy start for the Ospreys, Jazz Bond reached a milestone. A first-quarter bucket by the redshirt-senior allowed her to surpass 1,000 career points. This achievement would be overshadowed quickly due to the rest of her impressive performance, though.

 Jazz Bond (Pictured) helped the Ospreys to a win over UNA scoring 35 points and also grabbing 9 rebounds (Justin Nedrow)

The story of the first half was the three-point shooting for UNA and a lack thereof for the Ospreys. This discrepancy allowed the Lions to take an 11 point lead into the half, as UNF trailed 42-31. 

UNA wouldn’t take their foot off the pedal as the third quarter began, primarily due to the critical play of guard Jaida Bond. The sophomore would collect a total of 26 points on the afternoon, tying her career-high. However, this incredible performance would be outdone by an opponent, one she has quite the ‘bond’ with.

The Ospreys would get things together and chipped away at the sizable UNA lead throughout most of the third quarter. There was a tangible momentum shift taking place, something that favored UNF. Going into the fourth quarter, it was time to tune into the Marissa Mackins show. The guard took over, leading the charge that would ultimately see the Ospreys take the lead at 65-63.

Two consecutive threes from UNA guard Alexis Callins put the Lions up by six, but the Ospreys had an answer. A 9-0 UNF run was capped off by a Jazz Bond three-pointer, but she had more of where that came from. 

Callins would come up clutch yet again, hitting a three to tie the game with 11 seconds remaining. UNF then had a chance to end the game, and one Osprey made sure overtime wouldn’t happen: Bond, Jazz Bond. Things looked bleak as UNA swarmed Marissa Mackins, but this left Jazz Bond open. Bond was able to get off a wild three-pointer over the defender. The UNF bench erupted as the shot went through, giving the Ospreys a thrilling 80-77 victory.

The star of Sunday’s game finished with an incredible 35 point performance, collecting nine rebounds along the way. It was a fantastic shot that capped off a fantastic comeback for UNF, as they improved to a winning record for the first time this season. The Lady Ospreys will take on conference leader Liberty at home next weekend, as they continue to climb up the ASUN standings.


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