Crusaders fall to North Florida, 77-62
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Crusaders fall to North Florida, 77-62
Schumacher was 5-for-10 from three point range.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – The University of North Florida men’s basketball team opened its 2005-06 season and the school’s Division I era on Tuesday night with a 77-62 win over Division II North Greenville University in a game that looked easy on paper.

Too often statistics can be misleading.

The Ospreys (1-0) shot 51 percent for the game and got 21 points from senior forward Alain Laroche in his UNF debut to outman and outmuscle
North Greenville. In the process, the Ospreys gave head coach Matt Kilcullen the 200th win in his head coaching career.

The victory did not come easy for the Ospreys. UNF overcame a 21-10 first-half deficit with a 30-12 run to end the half and then finally put the Crusaders (1-3) away in the final five minutes with another big run fueled by the Ospreys’ full-court press.

“You have to give credit to
North Greenville,” UNF head coach Matt Kilcullen said. “They ran their motion offense to a tee and really gave us fits at times. Our defensive pressure was the difference. We did a really nice job of being active.”

Laroche transferred to UNF after earning first-team NAIA All-America honors at York (
Neb.) College in 2003-04 and was forced to sit out the 2004-05 season under NCAA transfer rules. In UNF’s only exhibition game – against Edward Waters on Nov. 12 – he played just nine minutes due to foul trouble. On Tuesday, however, he made up for lost time, hitting 10-of-16 field goal attempts, grabbing nine rebounds and tallying two steals to fuel the win.

Senior Derrick Scott added 13 points, while Chris Timberlake and Carl McNally had 11 points each. UNF led 40-33 at halftime but couldn’t shake
North Greenville until late in the game. After Victor Duck’s 3-pointer sliced UNF’s lead to 58-52 with 9:48 to play, UNF put together a 14-3 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 72-55. The Ospreys matched that advantage three times before settling for the final margin.

Strong 3-point shooting kept the Crusaders in the game despite 24 turnovers.
North Greenville shot 49 percent for the game and 39 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (10-of-26). Junior guard P.J. Schumacher did most of the damage for the Crusaders, hitting five 3-pointers to finish with 20 points. Duck and Josh Burgess each added 13 points for North Greenville.

”Things seem to be falling into an ugly pattern,” said Crusader head coach Chad Lister. “We seem to be able to start games very strong, execute well, and get some easy baskets early. Unfortunately, something happens late in the first half that causes us to move away from what has been successful.”

The Crusaders, who fall to 1-3, will return to action November 29th as they host
Wingate University. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. in Hayes Gymnasium.