Hot shooting off the bench fuels UNF win vs. Stetson

John Watson, Sports Editor

Home of the Stetson Hatters, DeLand is a city just outside Orlando and located west of Daytona. While usually a quiet and easygoing city, the Birds of Trey were in town and looked to disrupt with their unlimited range and hot shooting. In part one of the two-game series, the UNF Ospreys made some noise. 

The Ospreys were hungry to get a win. With last weekend’s series against ASUN newcomer Bellarmine being canceled and the Liberty series before that being swept, the Ospreys hadn’t won since Jan. 30th. The winning feeling finally came by a score of 79-74.

 Jose Placer went 4-6 from deep and led all UNF players with 20 points. (Justin Nedrow)

The game, however, was a lot closer than the five-point margin of victory shown in the final score. There were 11 lead changes in the game, with the Hatters’ largest lead being just six-points. The whole game’s theme was just staying within reach for both teams and peaking at the right time.

For Stetson, they held close by way of a monstrous performance by guard Christiaan Jones. Jones put up career numbers with almost half of the Hatters point total with 34 points. Those 34 points all came from inside the three-point line as Jones went 14-18 from the field.

The Ospreys had a different starting look as usual starter Dorian James was notably missing from the game’s starting lineup. Instead, freshman Jacob Crews got the start but struggled from the floor.

These struggles, however, did not translate into the team’s energy as the UNF bench put up big numbers in their best showing this season. Notably, Josh Berenbaum and Chaz Lanier had impactful minutes. Berenbaum put up a career-high 15 points in just 13 minutes on the court. For reference, he had played a total of 11 minutes in his previous ASUN outings with the Ospreys.

 Josh Berenbaum made the most of his 13 minutes on the court, recording a career-high 15 points (Justin Nedrow)

For Chaz Lanier, the opportunity to play 23 minutes in today’s game must have felt like a relief after only playing one minute in all ASUN affairs this season. He also put up a career-high in points with 11. In total, the Osprey bench had their best game of the season with 32 points among just three players.

Both Berenbaum and Lanier were instrumental in the Osprey’s usual “Birds of Trey” three-point shooting attack, with each player recording three treys. Osprey starter Jose Placer fueled the fire as well, going 4-6 from deep and recording a team-high 20 points. 

Another crucial aspect of the Ospreys win was having their field goal percentage be above 50 percent. At 52.6 percent, the Ospreys were efficient and made smart choices with the basketball. While Emmanuel Adedoyin didn’t record a point in the affair, he contributed in another way with nine assists. This tied his season-high in assists.

Defensively, the Ospreys limited Stetson to simple buckets on the interior and only allowed five Hatter three-pointers on 17 attempts. If one or two of those had fallen, the game might have looked a little different.

Nevertheless, the Ospreys were able to go into Deland and get a much-needed win using different pieces of their offense and utilizing their full roster. As the series will come to a close on Saturday at 2:00 PM, the Ospreys will look to end the regular season on a high note and complete the road sweep against the Hatters. Follow UNF Spinnaker for more UNF sporting coverage and all the latest UNF news.


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