Jacksonville Sports Day

RUMBLE: Ospreys Drop Third Straight to JU Dolphins

Photo Courtesy UNF/Todd Drexler

JACKSONVILLE – Despite 23 points from both Noah Horchler and JT Escobar on Thursday night in UNF Arena, North Florida came out on the short end of a back-and-forth battle with crosstown rival Jacksonville, 86-81.

“When you can’t get stops and give up 46 points in the second half things probably aren’t going to go in your favor. Early in league play and early in this game, we got to a good place by getting stops but for whatever reason we’ve started to let our offense dictate how we play on the defensive end. Give them credit because they just kept putting it on us. Giving up 20 points off turnovers is pretty hard to play defense against in the open floor,” said UNF coach Mark Driscoll.

North Florida (9-13, 3-4 ASUN) has now lost three straight to Jacksonville (9-12, 2-4 ASUN)  after winning the previous nine meetings.  North Florida cut the margin to three,  84-81, with 13 seconds left but the Dolphins were able to secure the game from the charity stripe.

“I’m not sure where this group is mentally on our plan and desire to make the corrections we need to make. Noah and Wajid were 17 of 23 combined from the floor and we turned the ball over several times trying to get them the ball in the post and that baffles me because they had smaller guys guarding them. Seems like an easy thing to do but I guess with the pressure in the game it just becomes much more difficult. JU came at it and came at us and our guys didn’t respond. I liked our fight at the end and the fact that we were able to get it to a one possession game was awesome. However, it wasn’t that great for me personally, especially giving up 46 points,”  Driscoll added.

North Florida heads out of town for the first of two straight road games on Sunday for a rematch with in-state rival FGCU in Ft. Myers.

GAME NOTES:  UNF’s Noah Horchler netted his ASUN leading 11th double-double of the season finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds…JT Escobar matched him with 23 points including 4 three-pointers….fellow starters, Wajid Aminu (14 pts) and Ivan Gandia-Rosa (11 pts) also reached double digits… JD Notae led the Dolphins with 22 points….both teams shot better than 50% from the floor for the night, UNF – 53 percent, JU – 50.8 percent….Jacksonville’s bench outscored the Osprey reserves, 27-6… JU scored 20 points of 13 UNF turnovers.



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