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UNF Spinnaker

Men’s basketball needs an explosive second half as it tries to end three-game losing streak

By Josh Brannock, Sports Editor

Email Josh Brannock at [email protected]

Follow at @spinnaksports

After losing three-straight road blowouts the UNF men’s basketball team returned home to a raucous crowd of 824 fans Nov. 23. The Ospreys hosted Wright State as they looked to end a three game losing streak that included losses to no. 3 Ohio State and no. 9 Florida. UNF used a highly explosive second half to come away with a 69-52 win over the Raiders.

The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half as the teams would exchange the lead multiple times. The Ospreys used an efficient 55% shooting from the field to stay in the game and go into halftime tied at 28 with the Raiders.

In the second half it seemed like a completely new UNF team had taken the floor, on both offense and defense.

In what has become expected recently the Ospreys improved their shooting in the second half hitting 17 of their 29 shots from the field. The team was able to put up 41 points in the half thanks to multiple runs, including a nine point run to give it a double-digit lead after Wright State had narrowed the lead to just three points with nine minutes remaining. Junior Jerron Grannberry led both teams with 19 points as he made four of his eight shots from long distance. Sophomore transfer Travis Wallace added 11 points as he continues to make a name for himself in Jacksonville.

The team also improved immensely on defense in the second half only giving up 21 points. After allowing the Raiders to shoot 46% during the first half, the defense tightened up and forced Wright St to take contested layups and forced jump shots. In the second half Wright state shot just 30% from the field and 22% from beyond the arc. UNF’s defense was able to hold Wright State scoreless in the final two minutes of the game allowing the Ospreys to stretch their lead even more.

The Ospreys continued to improve on the boards this season. They were able to out rebound the Raiders 35-24, but still allowed Wright State to come down with 11 offensive rebounds. Senior guard Jimmy Williams grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Ospreys and shared the game high with Wright State’s AJ Pacher.

UNF continued its struggles at the free throw line though as it shot just 50% from the charity stripe, tying a season-low shot in its last game against Ohio State.

The Ospreys will continue their four game road stretch as they play host to Jackson State at 7pm Nov.25. The team will look to get closer to the .500 mark as they are currently 2-4.

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