Career high for Hendricksen not enough as Ospreys fall to Lipscomb

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

It was an affair of broken records, but not all were desirable.

While broken records are typically positive, it is also how head coach Matthew Driscoll described another soul-crushing loss that UNF suffered on Saturday to the Lipscomb Bisons. 

“Back in the old days, especially with my Thriller album, it had a bad scratch on it. It would just go over and round and round and round… This is the fourth [close loss] at home and fifth of the first eight [ASUN games],” Driscoll explained.

By merely looking at UNF’s record of 5-17, one wouldn’t see the whole picture. Sure, the Ospreys are 1-7 in conference play, but they wouldn’t see that four of these losses came by a combined 10 points. They wouldn’t see the heartbreaking buzzer-beaters and the late losses that this team has experienced, as was the case Saturday.

The Bisons got off to a strong start, having their way inside the paint. Despite falling in a hole early, the Ospreys fought back to not only tie it up, but take the lead. A pair of threes from guard Jose Placer contributed to a UNF run that gave them a 21-13 lead.

Three-point shooting has been a blessing and a curse this season, but it was most certainly a blessing early in Saturday’s contest. The Ospreys hit five of their first attempts from deep, playing a key role in acquiring the lead.

This lead faded quickly, though, as a 7-0 Lipscomb run snowballed into the Bisons taking a 36-29 lead towards the end of the first half. The Ospreys got one last punch in, as Placer sunk a three to barrow the deficit to four points going into halftime.

Whatever Coach Driscoll said to his team during halftime, it worked. The Ospreys came out swinging, opening up the second half on a 8-0 run. Scoring 8 of their first 11 was forward Carter Hendricksen, who accounted for a career-high 26 points on the night. 

Despite recently returning from an injury, Hendricksen hasn’t lost any faith in his ability. “I understand what I can do on a basketball court,” he said following the game. “I’m not gonna shy away from who I am as a basketball player, or [as] a person.”

While he struggled from three, a usual strength, Hendricksen stepped up in other areas to lead his team down the stretch. But would this be enough to knock off a scrappy Lipscomb team?

In a fashion that fans have become accustomed to as of late, the Ospreys found themselves in a close one down the stretch. Everyone in UNF Arena knew it was going to come down to the wire, but maybe this one would be different.

It wasn’t.

To continue the cruel cycle of dejá vu, the Ospreys fell in yet another one-score loss. Lipscomb’s slight lead led to UNF needing a three to fall, something they couldn’t get. They fouled to extend the game, but this was to no avail.

In a near mirror image of the final seconds to the loss against Jacksonville, the Ospreys heaved the ball down the court down three points in hopes of tying the game. Unlike the previous game, forward Jonathan Aybar couldn’t quite secure the hail mary, with the clock hitting zero soon thereafter as Lipscomb corralled the ball.

The Ospreys now sit at 5-17 overall and 1-7 in ASUN play. Things only get more difficult, with UNF’s next test coming in the form of a road trip to Jacksonville State in Alabama. The Gamecocks are red hot, currently riding a 10-game win streak, including a dominant win over ASUN overlords Liberty University.

Coach Driscoll believes his team is ready for the challenge, though. “We’ve played first-place teams on the road before,” he explained. “We’ll go there, these guys will be prepared, and that will be our next opportunity.”

The Ospreys will have time to prepare for this daunting opponent, as the duel doesn’t take place until Thursday, Feb. 3. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+. 


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