Ospreys WBB knock off Liberty to complete home sweep of Flames

Riley Platt, General Assignment Reporter

Just a day after the Lady Ospreys kicked off the weekend with an impressive win over conference-leading Liberty, they would have to play them again on Sunday evening. While one win of this magnitude is critical, would the Ospreys be able to do it again and sweep one of the conference’s best teams?

To say Saturday’s win over Liberty was huge for the UNF women’s basketball team would still be an understatement. The Liberty Flames traveled to Jacksonville with a 12-3 record, undefeated in ASUN play. However, the Ospreys were able to put together an incredible performance to pull off the upset. 

The Ospreys completed a home sweep of the previously undefeated Flames as they moved to 8-2 in ASUN play and second in the standings. (Justin Nedrow)

Unlike Saturday’s match, Sunday saw the Ospreys get off to a rough start. Despite racking up more turnovers and fouls than UNF, Liberty was able to jump out to an early lead. The Ospreys struggled offensively, only hitting two of their 11 attempted shots from the field. This led to the Flames taking a 21-13 lead into the second quarter. 

The second quarter’s early minutes were promising, as UNF cut the deficit down to just two scores. Liberty was able to thrive off their domination in the rebounding battle, out-rebounding UNF 26-10. As the quarter progressed, though, it became clear that these two teams were locked in for yet another exciting duel. The Ospreys cut the deficit down to just one point, but they still trailed 38-32 at the half.

UNF kicked off the third quarter with a three-pointer courtesy of forward Erin Jones. Unfortunately, Liberty didn’t slow down any, extending their lead even more. Facing adversity, the Ospreys hung in there and entered the fourth quarter down by only two points.

The fourth quarter was full of tension, with the teams dueling back and forth early on. A couple of makes at the free-throw line by UNF guard Rhetta Moore cut Liberty’s lead back down to two points. Marissa Mackins finally got things going, as her first made field goal of the game went down to tie the game at 62 apiece.

The Ospreys and the Flames continued to land hits as the game neared expiration. Clutch free throws from forward Emma Broermann put the Ospreys up by one with just two minutes remaining. UNF was able to get a rebound when it really counted, leading to a near miss by Mackins on the other end. 

Down one, Liberty got the ball back with 27 seconds left on the clock. The Flames moved the ball a good bit but called a timeout with eight seconds left after they couldn’t get anything going. A strong defensive stand led to UNF coming out on top with a 68-67 win. This completed a weekend sweep over Liberty, as the Ospreys improved to 8-2 conference play. 

The Ospreys are now second in the ASUN standings, only behind FGCU, who is on a 13 game winning streak. This is very intriguing, as the two teams are currently scheduled to face off in the last week of the regular season, potentially with the regular-season championship on the line.

Next week, the Ospreys will flock to Louisville, Kentucky, where they will take on ASUN newcomer Bellarmine. The games will be on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+. Stay tuned with Spinnaker for leading coverage of UNF women’s basketball. 


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