North Florida (4-12) will host Palm Beach Atlantic to start 2017 on Monday night at the UNF Arena. The Ospreys are looking to snap a three-loss skid – UConn, FIU and Ball State. UNF should have an easy time against the Sailfish, even though the Ospreys have one of the 30 toughest schedules so far in America. It’s why no one should sleep on North Florida. The Blue and Gray will look to carry momentum from tonight into Saturday’s conference opener at Jacksonville University. UNF and PBA will tip at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2. ESPN3 and 1010XL will have your coverage.
UNF and PBA will face each other for the fourth time Monday – all of which have been at the UNF Arena. North Florida is 3-0 in this series. The last time the Sailfish and Ospreys met was Dec. 30, 2011 – Coach Driscoll’s third season. UNF took it 85-78.
Senior Dallas Moore is a next-level player. Far and away Moore is the best player in his conference. His 24 second-half points vs. Ball State last week was one of a handful of times he has put the team on his back and made exciting after thrilling play.
Again, keep it simple for North Florida: Dallas Moore (#14), Aaron Bodager (12), Garrett Sams (11), Wajid Aminu (2) and Romelo Banks (33).
About Palm Beach Atlantic:
PBA is on a two-game win streak. A buzzer-beating win over St. Leo last Friday has got them feeling good. Palm Beach Atlantic’s head coach is David Balza, who was the head man at Florida Gulf Coast (2002-11) during the Eagles’ transition to Division One. It is a team that has similar characteristics t0 those early FGCU squads that move downhill well and have wings that can shoot.
A fun fact: UNF’s associate head coach Bobby Kennen was a standout guard with PBA from 1989-93. He closed his career as the school’s all-time assists leader for a career, season and game.
Chris Davenport should be the first Osprey off the bench tonight since we have seen him enter against FIU and Ball State. His last outing was 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, one steal and 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
How UNF Can Win:
Show up, and start the new year off right. Twelve losses during the non-conference portion speaks volumes as to how difficult North Florida had it in November and December. The Ospreys are still one of the four best in the ASUN.