Men’s basketball falls to top-ranked Houston

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

Featured image via UNF athletics

HOUSTON, Texas – The University of North Florida Ospreys squared off with the Houston Cougars, who currently sit atop the AP Top 25 Poll, on Tuesday, falling 76-42.

The result may not be ideal, but Tuesday’s game allowed the Ospreys to get experience playing against some of the best players in the country. Losses like these also highlight potential areas for improvement before conference play begins later this month.

The Cougars wasted no time getting started, opening up the game on a 8-0 run to cement an early lead. UNF forward Carter Hendricksen put an end to the bleeding with a three-point shot, one of the few areas that went the Ospreys’ way.

Jarius Hicklen works his way down the court
Jarius Hicklen led UNF with 12 points, all courtesy of three-point shots. Photo via UNF athletics.

Runs came and went, but with all things considered, UNF was still in the game as they approached the midway point of the first half. This didn’t last, though, as Houston slammed the door on UNF hope with a 14-0 run going into halftime.

The Cougars didn’t produce any jaw-dropping individual statlines, but teamwork propelled them to victory. Four players scored in double-figures for Houston, combining for 48 points.

One peculiar stat came courtesy of Houston guard Jamal Shead. While the junior didn’t make a dent in the scoring column, he accounted for 10 assists. Shead’s performance was a great example of impacting a game even without taking a lot of shots.

Down 42-18, the Ospreys started the second half on a positive note with a Jarius Hicklen three-pointer. Five scoreless minutes followed for UNF, while the Cougars stretched their lead even further.

If there was still hope, it had surely dissipated by this point. Houston continued their dominant ways, building up a 33-point lead with ten minutes remaining. From here on out, the Ospreys stabilized things, going on to lose by 34.

The Ospreys may have won the three-point battle, but Houston’s dominance in the paint separated the two. 

UNF will next be in action on Saturday when they take on Bethune-Cookman at home. The Ospreys are currently 2-0 at home this season and will look to prolong this streak with a win over the Wildcats.


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