JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- A rough second half performance by the University of North Ospreys sealed the team's fate in the 2016 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship semifinals against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Thursday.
The two rivals met in a mostly one-sided matchup that ended in a 89-56 loss for the Ospreys at UNF Arena.
A 13-point first half performance by guard Dallas Moore wasn't good enough for UNF as the team headed to the locker room trailing, 45-31, at halftime. A few offensive mishaps allowed the FGCU Eagles to take the lead midway through the first half, after the Ospreys had led by nine early on.
The Ospreys were 5-of-10 from the free throw line in the first half, allowing the Eagles to take over the game despite early foul trouble. Eagles guard Zach Johnson stood out in the first half with 11 points to pace FGCU. Forward Filip Cvjeticanin went 3-of-4 from behind the arc as he produced nine first half points.
The Ospreys continued to struggle in the second half as missed shots plagued UNF. The home team also failed to secure rebounds as the Eagles got several second chance buckets. A game-high 35-point lead by FGCU put the Ospreys in a hole they could not overcome.
FGCU forward Marc-Eddy Norelia led all scorers with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Johnson added 15 points, while fellow guard Christian Terrell put up 16 points.
Moore led the Ospreys with 15 points and five assists. Forward Beau Beech added 10 points for UNF.
The Ospreys can still make the NCAA tournament as Stetson University is ineligible for a bid. Stetson beat Lipscomb, 96-75, on Thursday. FGCU will face Stetson Sunday to decide the A-Sun championship.
If Stetson wins, the Ospreys will get the NCAA bid, as they won the regular season conference title.