Eleven attempts in the past five seasons came up empty for the UNF Ospreys men’s basketball team against the Jacksonville Dolphins. A four-point loss back in 2006 started UNF’s 11-game losing streak to JU.
During that span, UNF twice fell in overtime, lost by 20+ points twice and this season saw both games decided by just one bucket. The feelings around the UNF camp believed that the River City Rivalry was not necessarily a rivalry but more of a one-sided affair.
Then came the quarterfinal matchup between the two teams in the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Basketball Championship.
It marked the second appearance for UNF in the A-Sun Tournament after falling to the Dolphins in its inaugural appearance in the 2010 quarterfinals, but this year sophomore Jerron Granberry and the rest of the Ospreys broke through with a 68-64 victory to stop the slide to their crosstown foes and advance to the semifinals for the first time in program history.
“[The win] means we are moving forward as a program,” Granberry said. “Last year, we came in and almost were satisfied to be there, but this year we came here to win the A-Sun Championships as well as gain some respect across the league for UNF.”
Nearly perfect in the game, Granberry scored 23 on 7-of-8 shooting and 8-for-9 nine from the charity stripe to not only secure the comeback victory for the Ospreys, who trailed by six at the break, but also take the River City Rivalry to another level .
“It’s a rivalry now because it’s not a rivalry when they always beat us,” he said. “So now that we got a win the series is just going to be even better.”
With the program’s second win against Jacksonville and by knocking off the three seed in the championships, UNF has now accomplished one of their goals and with two more wins they can accomplish the second.