Game #9-190: North Florida Ospreys vs. Portland PilotsDecember 19, 2012 10:00 pm
Las Vegas, NV
. That blowout win was their third overall and most recent to date.
Thanks to this site and its relative, Basketball State, I was able to learn a little about UNF and its strengths and weaknesses. Defensively Portland gave up fewer points per possession than North Florida and were a slightly better rebounding team I knew from the previous recap that Parker Smith was their top scorer and loved to shoot superhoops, as did a few of his teammates. I made a mental note to keep this in mind watching the game. The other Osprey averaging double figures in scoring was forward Travis Wallace. If the guards could challenge Smith's superhoop attempts and the front line could cover Wallace the Pilots would be in good shape.
Portland accomplished one of those two tasks on the night. Smith had 6 points on 2-for-8 FG shooting. His only two shots made were deep, contested threes. UNF was not much better as a team, making four superhoops in 21 attempts, a paltry 19%. The game was not a blowout though, because the Pilots didn't stop UNF's other scorer. Wallace finished with 27 points, most of them on easy layups after beating his man. Several times in the second half the Ospreys were able to get him the ball on a lob over the top of his defender, giving Wallace an easy drive to the basket. After leading the entire game, by as many as 11, with 13 minutes left in the game they were only ahead by one with the score 43-42.
At key times such as this a team needs someone to assert himself and do the extra work needed to preserve the win. Kevin Bailey had been scoring from everywhere all night and would finish with a career high 27 points. It's truly fun to watch him on offense and defense. Normally Ryan Nicholas would contribute his usual share of baskets as well, but he went 0-8 from the field with just 9 points, all on free throws. Like the team leader he is, he still found a way to contribute, with 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Instead it was another Pilot big man who scored the key points in the second half. Redshirt sophomore Riley Barker spent a little more time than usual on the floor because starter Thomas van der Mars was in foul trouble most of the night. When he came in at 12:10 to go in the second half the score was 46-44 Portland. In the next 3:16 he scored 6 points. Four of those came when he grabbed two offensive rebounds, was fouled, and made free throws. The other two came off one of his two steals, and his other steal led to a fast break basket by Korey Thieleke. When Barker checked out at 8:54 the Pilot lead was back to 9. UNF was briefly within 4 but the threat had been contained and the Pilots eased to a 74-64 win.
After four losses to teams above the Red Line left them at 3-6 the Pilots are now back at .500 after three wins in a row. Their 6-6 mark means they're one win away from matching their win total for all of last season. If that next win comes in Las Vegas, where the Las Vegas Classic will finally move this weekend, it will be well earned. Colorado State is their Saturday opponent and they face Virginia Tech or Bradley in the consolation or championship Sunday.
PORTLAND 74, NORTH FLORIDA 64
NORTH FLORIDA 3-8 (0-0) -- W. Wilson 1-4 3-4 5; D. Jeune 0-3 0-0 0; T. Wallace 11-17 5-7 27; B. Beech 2-7 0-0 4; C. McRoy 2-9 2-2 7; P. Smith 2-8 0-0 6; A. Diaz 4-5 0-3 8; C. Naylor 0-1 0-0 0; B. Daniels 1-2 2-2 4; R. Rodriguez 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 24-59 12-18 64.
PORTLAND 6-6 (0-0) -- R. Nicholas 0-8 9-12 9; K. Bailey 9-13 6-10 27; K. Thieleke 2-7 2-4 6; R. Barker 4-7 8-9 16; D. Carr 1-3 0-0 2; D. Rodgers 2-4 0-0 4; T. van der Mars 1-3 2-2 4; T. Riley 2-6 0-0 6; B. Pressley 0-0 0-0 0; J. Bailey 0-0 0-0 0; O. Reinfelds 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 27-37 74.
Three-point goals: UNF 4-21 (P. Smith 2-5; W. Wilson 0-1; D. Jeune 0-3; C. McRoy 1-5; B. Beech 0-3; C. Naylor 0-1; R. Rodriguez 1-3), PORT 5-12 (T. Riley 2-5; K. Thieleke 0-1; R. Nicholas 0-1; K. Bailey 3-4; D. Carr 0-1); Rebounds: UNF 28 (D. Jeune 8), PORT 35 (R. Nicholas 8); Assists: UNF 16 (W. Wilson 8), PORT 14 (D. Carr 5); Total Fouls -- UNF 24, PORT 17; Fouled Out: UNF-A. Diaz; PORT-None.