Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE HOOPS: Ospreys Stay Unbeaten in UNF Arena with 94-72 Win over FIU

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The North Florida basketball team remained undefeated at home this season following a dominating performance in a 94-72 victory over FIU Monday night in UNF Arena.

The Ospreys, who are 5-0 at home this year and extended their current home win streak to 12 games, improved to 8-4 on the season behind a strong second half showing on both ends of the court. UNF shot 51 percent from the floor while holding the Panthers (4-6) to just 39 percent including a 1-for-11 showing from long range in the closing half.

UNF had five players reach double digits led by a pair of 20-point scorers. Dallas Moore led the way with 21 points followed by Demarcus Daniels with 20, marking the senior’s second straight 20-plus outing. Beau Beech finished with 17 highlighted by four three-pointers in the second half while Trent Mackey hit four treys en route to 13 points and Chris Davenport added 12.

North Florida ended the game with 19 assists on 33 baskets and five different players had multi-assist totals. Mackey topped the team with five while Davenport added four. Daniels swatted a season-high five shots to move within 11 of the UNF career record of 145 held by Matt Sauey.

“I was really impressed with the mentality of the guys tonight,” said head coach Matthew Driscoll, who was celebrating his 51st birthday. “We did a great job of not letting missed shots affect our focus on the defensive end. I thought we did a great job of getting stop after stop despite missing some shots we normally make. The team continues to be so unselfish and that sharing the ball makes a tough guard for anybody. We continue to work and get better and find ways to improve defensively and on the glass.”

The Panthers grabbed the early momentum behind the play of senior Adrian Diaz, the younger brother of former UNF standout Andy Diaz. The FIU center made his presence felt around the basket picking up several second chance points on offensive rebounds while altering UNF shots in the lane.

Trailing 29-28 with just over six minutes left in the opening period, the Ospreys used an 8-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish. Daniels got the spurt started with an old-fashioned three-point play followed by a Beech triple and a pair of free throws. UNF would close the stanza with another surge and carried a 45-36 lead into the half.

Minutes into the second half UNF had pushed its lead to double digits and FIU would only get as close as 10 points once, 70-60, over the final 15 minutes of play. The Ospreys would lead by as many as 25 points down the stretch.

North Florida continues its current four-game home stand Wednesday against Austin Peay at 7:30 p.m.

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