MACON, Ga. - Three Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball contests were decided by five points or less on Saturday, while NJIT dealt Jacksonville its first home loss of the season. North Florida held on for the home win to guarantee the Ospreys a share of the regular-season title, while FGCU snapped a three-game winning streak by Kennesaw State. Lipscomb collected its third conference road victory with a three-point decision vs. Stetson.
North Florida clinched a share of its second-ever Atlantic Sun regular season title in a three-point nailbitter against USC Upstate. Dallas Moore's clutch three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining gave UNF the final lead as the upperhand switched 17 times in the rematch of last year's A-Sun Championship Final. Demarcus Daniels' 23 points led North Florida on Senior Day as he added eight rebounds and two blocks, while fellow senior Beau Beech contributed 18 points to the win. Moore finished with 14 points and nine assists to put UNF alone in first place in the A-Sun at 9-4. USC Upstate's Michael Buchanan was a force in the post with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Philip Whittington recorded 14 points for the Spartans.
FGCU and Kennesaw State battled for the entire contest before the Eagles took control of the lead for good at the 4:25 mark on an Antravious Simmons layup. The Eagles finished off the 68-63 victory behind 22 points from Marc-Eddy Norelia with Simmons, Zach Johnson & Christian Terrll contributing 12 each. KSU's Kendrick Ray set the game-high in scoring with 25 with Yonel Brown & Aubrey Williams tallying 11 & 10, respectively. With the win, FGCU moves into a tie for second place with Jacksonville & NJIT before ending the regular season on Thursday at Stetson.
For the first time this season, Jacksonville lost in Historic Swisher Gymnasium as NJIT swept the season series against the Dolphins in a dominant performance, 73-58. With the victory, NJIT locks up a home game in the A-Sun Championship Quarterfinals. The Highlanders led by as many as 24 in the second half to end JU's 13-game home winning streak. Mohamed Bendary's 14 points were most for NJIT as three others tallied at least 11 points to move the Highlanders into a tie for second place with FGCU & Jacksonville at 8-5. J.R. Holder was the lone Dolphins to reach double figures as he registered 22 points in the loss. NJIT caps the regular season with a road trip to USC Upstate, while the Dolphins welcome North Florida into Swisher Gymnasium for the River City Rumble.
In the opening game of the day, Lipscomb survived a second-half run by Stetson behind 21 points from Garrison Mathews as the freshman guard tallied 15 points after halftime. The Hatters briefly held the upperhand in the second half battling back from a 16-point deficit. Divine Myles' 16 points were most for Stetson as Brian Pegg collected another double-double; his 16th of the season, on 15 points and 13 rebounds. Grant Lozoya and Luke Doyle both ended with double-figure scoring efforts in the loss. Four Bisons joined Mathews in double figures including Nathan Moran (13), J.C. Hampton (12), George Brammeier (11) and Eli Pepper (10). Lipscomb (11-19; 7-6) caps the regular season by hosting Kennesaw State (10-19; 6-7) on Thursday.
Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Results: Saturday, February 20th
- North Florida 81, USC Upstate 78
- NJIT 73, Jacksonville 58
- FGCU 68, Kennesaw State 63
- Lipscomb 77, Stetson 74
|Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Standings|
|Team||Conference Record||Overall Record||Next Game|
|North Florida||9-4||20-10||at Jacksonville*; 2/25|
|FGCU||8-5||17-12||at Stetson*; 2/25|
|NJIT||8-5||17-12||at USC Upstate*; 2/25|
|Jacksonville||8-5||16-14||North Florida*; 2/25|
|Lipscomb||7-6||11-19||Kennesaw State*; 2/25|
|Kennesaw State||6-7||10-19||at Lipscomb*; 2/25|
|USC Upstate||3-10||9-21||NJIT*; 2/25|