Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ospreys End 20-Game Losing Streak; Grimball and Riley Are the Heroes in UNF's First Win since Nov. 16

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ospreys End 20-Game Losing Streak; Grimball and Riley Are the Heroes in UNF's First Win since Nov. 16

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

It's over.

North Florida used 18 points and 15 rebounds from James Grimball, received a lift from Cortez Riley's 20 points off the bench, then watched with delight as its students stormed the court following a 67-57 victory over Savannah State on Tuesday at UNF Arena, stopping a school-record 20-game losing streak.

The game was a reversal from the 58-32 thumping the Ospreys took from the Tigers earlier this season, a loss that senior guard Chris Timberlake said "may have been the worst game we've played in the four years I've been here."

Timberlake was singing a different tune after this win, UNF's first since a 57-41 victory over Concordia on Nov. 16.

"I think the fact we stayed together during the streak reveals the character of the guys we've got on this team," he said. "It would have been easy to throw in the towel, quit, pack it up. But we didn't. We stayed positive, and that helped us get to where we are tonight."

The Ospreys (2-22) won with one of their finer defensive efforts of the season. UNF held Savannah State (11-17) to less than 40 percent shooting in both halves, and had the Tigers not hit two 3-pointers and another field goal in the final seconds, they wouldn't have reached the 50-point mark.

"It all starts on the defensive end, and I thought tonight our defense was terrific," Ospreys coach Matt Kilcullen said. "We're tried to emphasize defense. If we were going to get out of this situation [the losing streak], it's going to be at the defensive end.

"We stayed together through the tough times, and that develops a strong sense of character. We didn't point fingers, and it's very easy when you have the type of season that we've had, you can very easily point fingers and have a fractured team."

Grimball, a 6-foot-8 senior center from Wolfson High School, was UNF's offensive threat in the first half, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. …

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