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Ospreys Move Past Flames, Tuesday

November 25, 2014  Cancun, Mexico  RSS
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James Johnson (center) (Photo by Dalton Joyce)

James Johnson (center) (Photo by Dalton Joyce)

The Liberty men's basketball team stepped into the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya looking to bounce back from a two-game skid, Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Flames, the North Florida Ospreys had other plans. Guided by a 20-point effort from point guard and leading scorer Dallas Moore, UNF jumped out to an early lead and did not look back en route to the 77-57 decision.

With the defeat, Liberty falls to 2-3 on the year, while North Florida also moves to 2-3. For both teams, it was their forwards James Johnson and David Andoh led Liberty with a season-high 10 points apiece, followed by A.C. Reid, who had nine points on a trio of three-pointers.

Although Liberty came into the contest holding its opponents to 39.8 shooting, the Ospreys held close to their season average, finishing 46.7 percent from the floor (28-of-60). The Flames shot 40.8 percent (20-of-49) for the contest. UNF knocked down 12 three-pointers, compared to five for the Flames. The Ospreys also outscored Liberty North Florida started the game with an 8-0 run, until Johnson ended the hot streak with a layup at 16:40. UNF continued to pull away leading by 18 points, 33-15, at the 8:32 mark thanks to Jalen Nesbitt three-pointer.

The Flames began chipping away at the deficit, outscoring the Ospreys 10-1 during the final four minutes of the half. Liberty received baskets from Andrew Smith, Johnson and Andoh during the run. Smith cemented the period with a layup off his finger tips to pull the Flames within seven at halftime, 42-35.

Moore paced the Ospreys with 16 points at the half. Johnson led Liberty with seven tallies, followed by Smith (6) and Reid (6), who knocked down two three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

Liberty shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) during the opening stanza, compared to 44.1 percent (15-of-24) for the Ospreys. UNF outscored the Flames from three-point land, 15-9.

In the second half, Liberty made it a six-point game when Andoh knocked a down a jumper at 15:50. The Ospreys responded by outscoring the Flames, 13-4, over the next 7:20. An Aaron Bodager three-pointer put UNF ahead, 56-

Liberty made it an 11-point contest with under seven minutes remaining courtesy of a Peter Moller jumper. However, the Flames would not climb any closer, as the Ospreys led by 24 in the closing minutes. A Calvin Hoffman three-pointer at the buzzer for Liberty gave way to the 77-57 final.

Liberty continues play tomorrow in Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge, taking on Morgan State. The Bears fell to Elon earlier in the afternoon, 74-73, after leading the Phoenix by 19 with under eight minutes left. Tipoff for tomorrow's contest inside the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is slated for 1:30 p.m.

Photos by Dalton Joyce