Jacksonville Sports Day

MBB: UNF’s Road Woes Continue for Ospreys At Austin Peay

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — For the second consecutive game, the North Florida basketball team saw a second half lead slip away as Austin Peay rallied for a 65-60 win on Wednesday afternoon at the Dunn Center.

In eerily similar fashion to the Ospreys (7-8) hard fought loss on Monday at Tennessee Tech, UNF built a near double-digit lead midway through the second period only to see APSU (5-8) find away to chip away at the lead and escape with a last minute victory.

“These have been some tough losses for our team,” said head coach Matthew Driscoll. “We continue to battle and compete against good teams on the road but can’t seem to make the few late plays to earn the wins. Both of the games this week have been highly competitve and similar to road conference games. We again gave ourselves opportunities at the end of the game but unfortunately couldn’t get a shot to fall. This group has been resilient and just needs to figure out a way to change the outcomes.”

North Florida led 51-44 with 8:33 to play when Chris Freeman’s layup sparked a 19-9 run to give Austin Peay a 63-60 lead with 34 seconds left. Freeman made five layups and three free throws during the span. The Ospreys then missed three 3-point attempts and Zavion Williams made a pair of free throws to seal it for the Governors.

Chris Davenport scored 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds with four steals to lead North Florida. Jalen Nesbitt had 12 points and Beau Beechchipped in 10 for the Ospreys. UNF hit seven of 10 three-point attempts in the opening half but struggled in the final 20 minutes of play missing all 11 attempts. The Ospreys were able to make 11 of 12 free throw attempts and posted a 34-33 advantage in rebounding.

Freeman finished 10 of 15 from the field en route to a career best 23 points for the Govs. Chris Horton had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Khalil Davis added 11 points for Austin Peay.

The two squads traded the lead early in the game before a 12-2 surge by APSU midway through the half allowed them to grab their largest lead of the game, 22-14. The Ospreys would rally with a 9-0 spurt of their own keyed by seven points from Nesbitt to retake the lead 23-22. UNF then found their touch from long distance hitting four consecutive treys to hold a 37-31 lead a the half.

An 8-2 run early in the second half allowed the Ospreys to grab their own eight-point lead, 47-39, with 12:31 left in the game.

North Florida will next ring in the New Year on Jan. 2 with a game against Alabama at 6 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. The game also marks the end of the squad’s current six-game road stretch.

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