Placer’s 25 points not enough as Ospreys fall late to Arizona State

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

A stellar performance by UNF guard Jose Placer on Monday gave his team a chance against Arizona State, but the Sun Devils were able to secure the win in the closing minutes.

Tempe, Ariz. served as the next stop on the long road trip to start UNF’s season. Arizona State’s season got off to a rough start with a buzzer-heater loss to UC-Riverside, so a win against UNF would help get things back on track.

Things couldn’t have started any better for the Ospreys, who jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the opening minutes of the game. They led throughout the majority of the first half, but ASU took the lead seconds before halftime. 

Despite being down, there was a sense of hope throughout Osprey nation. After multiple hard-fought losses to one the season, would this be UNF’s first win of the year?

Placer and the Ospreys during the first half of Monday’s game against Arizona State. (Photo by Jeremiah Wilson)

The Sun Devils held onto the lead, but the Ospreys managed to keep it close. Jose Placer was a large reason for this, scoring 25 points, 12 of which came via three-pointers. His drive helped keep UNF in the game on a night where forward Carter Hendricksen was the only other Osprey to post double figures in scoring.

Throughout the middle stages of the second half, it looked like the Sun Devils might pull away with it. However, some timely baskets and steals by the Ospreys narrowed the gap to just two points with just under four minutes remaining.

This would be the closest UNF got, though, as a series of crucial three-pointers by ASU destroyed any hope of a UNF victory. The Sun Devils slipped away, winning 72-63. 

UNF Head Coach Matthew Driscoll acknowledged the progress made, but wants more from his team. “Really proud once again of the fight, but our guys know and understand that we’re not about moral victories,” Driscoll said postgame. 

The Ospreys will have one more shot at a Pac-12 school as they take on UCLA on Wednesday. The Bruins are the second-ranked team in the nation and are coming off of a huge win against top-five Villanova. A win will be tough to come by, but stranger things have happened.


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