Defense Helps Ospreys Handle Rattlers on Hardwood

Defense Helps Ospreys Handle Rattlers on Hardwood

OPENING TIP
Score: North Florida 81, Florida A&M 62
Records: North Florida (3-5) | Florida A&M (2-5)
Location: UNF Arena (Jacksonville, Fla.)
The Short Story: North Florida held Florida A&M to just 17 points in the first half and built a lead of more than 30 points midway through the second half en route to a decisive 81-62 victory on Thursday night in UNF Arena. Noah Horchler led the way for UNF with a season high 23 points.

GAMEDAY MEDIA CENTER
Final Boxscore (PDF)

NOTABLE NUMBERS
Noah Horchler finished with 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor while also pulling down 8 rebounds
Wajid Aminu (12 pts), Garrett Sams (10 pts) and Trip Day (10 pts) joined Horchler in double digits for the Ospreys
- Freshman Carter Hendricksen grabbed a career best 10 rebounds and Ivan Gandia-Rosa dished out a season best 8 assists in the victory
- Bryan Moragne scored 18 points to pace a trio of Rattlers in double figures
- UNF outrebounded FAMU, 47-36, on the night while also holding them to just 1 of 10 from the three-point line

HOW IT HAPPENED
First Half Notes
- North Florida missed its first five shots of the game but used solid defense to hold FAMU to just six points during the cold shooting stretch
- The Ospreys eventually knotted the score at 9 before seizing control of the first half with a 16-2 run
Ryan BurkhardtCarter Hendricksen and Ivan Gandia-Rosa all connected on three-pointers during the surge that also included a thunderous dunk by Wajid Aminu
- UNF closed the half scoring the final eight points to hold a 35-17 advantage at intermission
- The 17 first half points were the fewest allowed by the Ospreys this season
  
Second Half Notes
- The Ospreys put the game out of reach with a 16-4 spurt to start the second half that push the margin to 30 points (51-21) with 16:22 left on the clock
- UNF maintained a comfortable lead for the rest of the game with the Rattlers trimming the final deficit after netting 12 of the final 14 points against the North Florida reserves

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Horchler became the third UNF player this season to top the 20-point mark
- Ospreys committed a season low nine turnovers in the victory
- North Florida topped FAMU for the 6th straight time and also earned its 5th consecutive home victory
- The win marked the 150th in HC Matthew Driscoll's 10-year career at UNF

LAST WORD
"Winning is great when you are making three but it is even better when you do it and aren't making them but are defending at the level we were defending at. I think many people started to panic when they made their first few 15-foot shots but we stayed focused on not allowing their hot shooters to take threes and eventually those same shots became tougher and tougher to make. Then we started getting rebounds and playing out in open space. Ivan (Gandia-Rosa) did a great job of pushing the ball up the floor and distributing the ball. Noah (Horchler) is as good a player that I've seen live in this league. He is special and his commitment over the offseason is paying of in a large way. I'm proud of the way we fought but don't like the way we ended the game defensively. I am proud of our focus with a one-day turnaround from the game on Tuesday and will have to make another quick turnaround for a road game on Saturday." -- Head coach Matthew Driscoll

NEXT UP
North Florida opens December with the first of five road tilts in the month at Charleston Southern on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Following the game, UNF gets a week off from competition for fall semester exams. 

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