Ospreys Surpass Sharks 95-92 to Reach Las Vegas Invitational Title Game

Ospreys Surpass Sharks 95-92 to Reach Las Vegas Invitational Title Game

Tonight's Results | StandingsLeague Statistics

Score: North Florida 95, Long Island 92
Records: North Florida (5-3) | LIU (1-6)
Location: Orleans Arena (Las Vegas, Nev.)
The Short Story: North Florida overcame a sluggish start and halftime deficit en route to topping LIU, 95-92, on Thursday to advance to the championship game of the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational mid-major bracket.

Final Boxscore

- All nine players that got in the game for the Ospreys recorded points and rebounds for the second straight game
Ivan Gandia-Rosa and Carter Hendricksen both topped the 20-point mark, finishing with 22 and 21 points, respectively
- Hendricksen pulled down 11 of UNF's 34 rebounds to collect his second double-double of the season
Garrett Sams, who returned to the lineup after missing four games due to injury, added 14 points
Dorian James added 12 and Josh Endicott chipped in 11
- LIU had a pair of players score over 20 led by 25 points, 12 rebounds from Raiquan Clark
- Both teams had 10 3PM in the contest | Ospreys held a slim 34-30 advantage on the glass

First Half Notes
- The opening five minutes featured a pair of runs by the squads, as LIU notched the first 10 points of the game followed by a 12-point run by the Ospreys featuring 3PM from Carter Hendricksen, JT Escobar, Ivan Gandia-Rosa and Garrett Sams
- Following those surges, the two teams settled into a back-and-forth battle that saw six ties and 12 lead changes | Neither team would hold larger than a four-point edge
- A late 8-0 spurt by the Sharks gave them a nine-point lead, 46-37, but a Hendricksen triple in the closing minute set the halftime gap at 46-40

Second Half Notes
- Early in the second period, LIU pushed the margin back to nine points (52-43)
- Hendricksen hit another three-pointer to slow the Sharks momentum and then minutes later, North Florida mounted a 9-2 run to retake the lead, 57-56
- The game turned into a seesaw affair over the next several minutes until an 11-2 spurt by the Ospreys gave them a lead they would not relinquish
- North Florida expanded its lead to seven multiple times including, 93-86, with 25 seconds remaining
- After back-to-back treys by LIU cut the margin to a single point, Gandia-Rosa sank a pair of free throws with seven ticks left
- The Sharks game-tying attempt at the buzzer sailed wide

- With 10 3PM, North Florida upped its season total to a nation-leading 100
Carter Hendricksen set a new career-high in scoring while Dorian James and Josh Endicott matched their career-high totals
Ivan Gandia-Rosa netted a season-high
- Marked second time this season that Ospreys had two players with 20+ points | Last: JT Escobar (23) & Garrett Sams (20) vs Georgia Southern
- Win was UNF's first away from home this season
- North Florida will be making their second appearance in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational | Ospreys claimed the title in 2012

"In these tournament settings, the most critical thing is surviving and advancing. You want to put the result in the win column and it can be ugly or pretty, because the important thing is winning to get to the championship game. Our guys understand that and know that you have to win the first game in order to play for the championship. Give our guys credit for being able to separate ourselves by rebounding the ball and defending. We got some really, really big plays from Dorian James and Carter HendricksenIvan Gandia-Rosa was extremely steady and gave us the opportunity to find guys for shots and make plays. Kudos to our guys because in a game like this that went back-and-forth with a variety of lineup changes due to foul trouble. Our guys held strong and did what it took to win the game down the stretch. " -- Head coach Matthew Driscoll

North Florida battles Tennessee State in the championship of the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational mid-major bracket on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Release courtesy of unfospreys.com

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