Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Second Half Surges Pushes Louisville Past Ospreys 89-61

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The North Florida basketball team made 11 three-pointers and got 21 points from junior Dallas Moore, but were unable to overcome a second half surge by Louisville in a hard fought, 89-61, loss Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center.

The loss was the first of the season for the Ospreys, who fall to 3-1, while the Cardinals remained undefeated at 3-0. 

Louisville outscored UNF, 46-20, in the second half and capitalized on a size advantage in the paint to post a 53-22 rebounding margin including 22-6 on the offensive end.

Moore collected his fourth consecutive 20-plus point performance, making four three-pointers for the Ospreys, while senior Beau Beech hit four treys of his own en route to 18 points.  UNF shot 47 percent from long distance highlighted by a 9-for-16 effort (56 percent) in the first half, but were hindered by 15 turnovers that UL converted into 23 points.

Damion Lee paced the UL offense with 24 points while Ray Spalding chipped in a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

“I was proud of the fight our guys played with today,” said head coach Matthew Driscoll. “I felt like when we played our style we were able to compete with a very talented Louisville squad. Unfortunately, the way they play forced us to play faster than we wanted to at times and that hurt us some. They have some relentless rebounders and they killed us on the glass. Give them credit for taking it to us in the second half. We just need to wash this game out of our minds and get better as we prepare for our next game.”

The opening half saw the lead change nine times as the two squads battled back and forth. The Ospreys kept things close early thanks to hot long range shooting as Trent Mackey, Beech and Demarcus Daniels each hit a three to keep score knotted at nine.

UNF then scored seven straight points including five from Moore to take their first lead of the game. The Cardinals rallied minutes later using a 21-5 run to build a 30-21 advantage with just under six minutes left in the half.

Moore hit another trey sparking a 13-1 surge that featured a run of 10 consecutive points. He added two more threes in the spurt that also included free throws from Mackey and a dunk by Demarcus Daniels, putting the Ospreys up 34-32 with 2:45 remaining.

The Cardinals scored eight straight points in the closing minutes before a long distance three-pointer by Beech at the buzzer sent UNF into the break down, 43-41. 

A 19-6 start to the second half by Louisville seized the momentum and opened up a 20-point margin the Cardinals would keep the rest of the game.

North Florida is in the midst of a four-game road swing with the next game coming Tuesday at Saint Louis.

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