Dolphins Drop Conference Opener to Cross-Town Rival UNF

UNF uses a strong second half to thwart a JU win

What was recently tagged as the “River City Rumble” turned out to be more of an unfair backyard brawl between cross-town rivals that favored the UNF Ospreys. It was a tale of two halves as the Ospreys took advantage of the Dolphins’ turnovers in the second half, helping pave the way to their 86-63 victory over the Dolphins.

The Dolphins (6-12) looked to be on a mission in the first half, finding the open lanes to the basket and scoring at will.

Junior guards Andris Misters and Kofi Babineaux were able to find open space on the floor as they took advantage of a sluggish defense from the Ospreys (9-9). That defense gave up four buckets in transition to the Dolphins making it seem easy for the Dolphins to score.

Misters and Babineaux finished the first half with nine points and five points respectively.

Even with their contributions, the Dolphins found themselves down at half 35-31 due in large part to the contribution from the Ospreys’ sophomore forward, Chris Davenport, who was able to hold off a Dolphins scoring outbreak by grabbing five rebounds in the first half.

Although the Dolphins were down at halftime, they were still in a position to compete to win the game.

“Even though we didn’t play a clean first half, we were in a position to make a run and make a run,” said Tony Jasick, Dolphins’ head coach.

After both teams visited the locker rooms during the intermission, the Ospreys came out with a new defensive attitude that set the precedent for the second half and forced 16 turnovers from the Dolphins, leading to 22 points for the Ospreys.

“We came out in the second half and didn’t have any energy and we didn’t have any attention to detail,” Jasick said.

Photo by Kenneth Pasley
Photo by Kenneth Pasley

The Dolphins had no response for the improved Ospreys team in the second half, allowing four Osprey players to reach double digits in points.

Osprey starters Jalen Nesbitt, Beau Beech and Dallas Moore all scored in double digits and were joined by Demarcus Daniels who also scored in double digits, but came off of the bench to do so.

Jasick seemed very frustrated with his team’s performance in the second half, citing responsibility issues for the drop off in production from the first half to the second.

“I think it’s a little bit of personal responsibility and a lot of my responsibility but, gosh, we’re really frustrated with the way we started in the second half,” Jasick said.

The Dolphins will only have a couple days to try and find the winning formula, as they play host to Stetson on Wednesday Jan. 14 at Swisher Gymnasium.