Men’s basketball thrashes Trinity Baptist with all-hands-on-deck performance

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

Following a rough week on the road, the University of North Florida (UNF) got back on track Tuesday with a 90-49 win over crosstown opponent Trinity Baptist College (TBC).

UNF emptied its bench throughout the night, with 12 players taking the court at one point or another. Of those 12, four accounted for double-digits in scoring. 

From the very start, the Ospreys were in full control. The Birds of Trey didn’t have the prettiest night from three-point range, but they made up for it in the paint, outscoring the TBC Eagles 54-24 on the glass.

This dominance down low was evident from the start, with the Ospreys connecting on three dunks in the first two minutes of play. 

Dorian James dunks the ball
Longtime Osprey Dorian James joined the party at the rim in a 10-point night. (David Heitz)

The score may not have been close, but there was excitement in the area of firsts. While blowouts like these often receive their fair share of criticism, it allows younger players that don’t usually get much action to get quality playing time.

Newcomer Jah Nze hit a three-pointer midway through the first half, his first made field goal since coming to UNF. Joining him in the frenzy of firsts was fellow guard Max Hrdlicka, who hit his first three-pointer in the navy and gray not long after Nze.

UNF head coach Matthew Driscoll liked what he saw from this pair, along with acknowledging the difficulty of finding oneself in this unusual role.

“They’ve got to seize these opportunities,” Driscoll said. “These are every bit as good as practice.”

While the Ospreys entered halftime with a 42-21 lead, it could have been far worse for their opponent. Barring three early makes from guard Jose Placer, UNF struggled mightily from deep in the first half, making just five of their 19 attempts.

Nevertheless, the Ospreys came out firing in the second half. In the span of just under five minutes, UNF opened on an 11-0 run to increase their lead to 32 points. From here on out, it was smooth sailing for the home team.

Carter Hendricksen drives to the hoop
As someone who has seen the ups and downs of UNF basketball, forward Carter Hendricksen’s leadership has been crucial in recent years. (David Heitz)

A full team effort, including 38 points off the bench, helped the Ospreys secure their second win of the season. Veteran forward Carter Hendricksen led the team with 15 points and nine rebounds, which helped anchor the UNF defense.

“Last year, we didn’t do too well rebounding the basketball on the defensive end,” Hendricksen said. “Let’s just go get the ball, be physical, and get the ball down the court.”

UNF will be back in action on Saturday, hitting the road to face High Point University. Their last duel with the Panthers was one to remember, as the 2020 meeting got away from the Ospreys at the end in an 85-74 loss. 

Following UNF’s opportunity for revenge over the weekend, they will head to the Lone Star State on Tuesday to take on the nation’s top-ranked team, the Houston Cougars. This will serve as a great test to see how the Ospreys have progressed so far in the young season.


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