Press Release for Thursday, November 5, 2009

Driscoll Era Opens at UNF With 71-56 Exhibition Win


Jeff Wuerth
Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations
(904) 620-4027

 The 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.


Ave 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 game.

Five 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.


The 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.


Haugabrook 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.


All 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.”


North 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.