Matthew Driscoll era began with an exhibition win for the University of
North Florida men’s basketball team as the Ospreys defeated Ave Maria
71-56 Thursday night at UNF Arena.
Maria, an NAIA school from outside Naples, Fla., gave UNF a good test
to open the season. The Gyrenes had already played a regular season
Ospreys made their collegiate debuts, including four true freshmen.
Making their UNF debuts were freshman Andy Diaz, David Jeune, Jerron
Granberry and William Wilson, as well as junior Brad Haugabrook.
game was close throughout until UNF made a run with about nine minutes
remaining in the game. Leading 51-50, the Ospreys went on an 11-0 run
to gain their first double digit lead of the game at 62-50 on senior
Stan Januska’s 3-pointer with 5:17 remaining. Haugabrook tallied the
assist on the key basket. North Florida then held Ave Maria to just six
points the rest of the way in the win.
led UNF in scoring with 13 points and Diaz notched a double-double with
12 points and 12 rebounds in his first college action. Diaz was 5-for-6
from the field and also had a team-high three steals. Januska and senior guard Eni Cuka chipped in 10 points each.
10 players who played for UNF scored. Sophomore forward Matt Sauey had
a team-high two blocked shots. The Ospreys shot 47 percent from the
field for the game and 40 percent from 3-point range. Ave Maria shot 50
percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc.
“I would like to start off by really thanking the UNF community,” said Driscoll. “I
really think they came out tonight. President Delaney and Coach Moon
have done a great job of creating an atmosphere with the band and the
cheerleaders and having the students come back and doing all those
things you need to do to start help tradition and start a new era in
Division I. Our guys were really excited about that.”
Florida played 10 players in the first half and led 33-32 at the break.
Eight of the 10 players who saw action in the first half tallied
points, led by Diaz who led the Ospreys with seven points and seven
rebounds. Sauey added six points. Ave Maria shot 58.3 percent in the first half, while UNF shot 48 percent.
The Ospreys are off until Nov. 14 when they open the regular season at Notre Dame. Game time is 2 p.m.
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