Second Week of @ASUNMBB Action Wraps Up With Four Games on Saturday

Second Week of @ASUNMBB Action Wraps Up With Four Games on Saturday

Weekly Notes Packet | Conference Stats

 - ASUN Conference Men's Basketball closes out its second week of action Saturday with a set of four games. Saturday's action tips off when Liberty hosts its first-ever ASUN Conference contest when they welcome Jacksonville into the Vines Center at 2 PM. The Flames look to start 3-0 in league play for just the second time in program history.

Saturday's slate rolls on when NJIT pays a visit to North Alabama for a 3:30 PM CT tip with both sides looking to pick up their second league win of the year. North Florida and FGCU tangle at UNF Arena at 5 PM CT, while Lipscomb looks to start 3-0 in conference play when they host Stetson in Nashville at 4 PM CT. 

Make sure to follow @ASUNMBB on Twitter for live updates throughout the season.

FGCU Eagles (5-12; 0-2)
Twitter: @FGCU_MBB
Next Two Games: at North Florida* (1/12 - 5 PM - ESPN+); at Kennesaw State* (1/19 - 4:30 PM - ESPN+)
- The Eagles look to bounce back from a midweek defeat at UNA when they travel to North Florida on Saturday. FGCU holds the 17-12 series lead, and is riding an eight-game winning streak against the Ospreys.
- FGCU's offense has been outstanding in its last three trips to UNF Arena. The Eagles are averaging 90.3 PPG at UNF Arena and have brought home three victories. Last year's regular season matchup at UNF ended 96-87 in favor of the Eagles.
- Decardo Day scored a season-high 20 points in the game at North Alabama in midweek. He becomes the sixth different FGCU player to score 20 or more points in a contest this season.
- Christian Carlyle scored 17 points in last season's victory at North Florida, while Dinero Mercurius had 19 points, the most of any returning player in FGCU's lineup this season.
- The Eagles attempted 30 or more free throws for the second time this season in midweek. They are averaging 20.1 attempts on the season, which ranks them among the top-three in the ASUN.
- FGCU has averaged 14 made triples in its two road victories on the season this year. At 36.0 percent on the season, the Eagles rank second in the league in three-point field goal percentage.
- Schadrac Casimir scored 13 points on Tuesday and is averaging 14.5 PPG in conference action. The senior guard has scored in double figures in 12 of his 17 appearances this season for the Eagles.
- The Eagles have had a different leading scorer in each of their last five games. FGCU has been led in scoring by nine different players this season. Casimir has led them in five games this year, which sits most on the team

Jacksonville Dolphins (8-9; 1-1)
Twitter: @JAX_MBB
Next Two Games: at Liberty* (1/12 - 2 PM - ESPN+); vs. North Alabama* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- Jacksonville heads to Lynchburg on Saturday as the Dolphins are the first league team to face Liberty on their home court. It marks the first-ever meeting between the programs. JU enters with four road wins; fourth-most in the ASUN behind NJIT (7), Liberty (5) and Lipscomb (5).
- In Jacksonville's four road victories entering Saturday's contest, the Dolphins are averaging 83.5 PPG, scoring at least 71 points in each outing. JU has held its foes to 69.2 PPG in the four wins.
- JD Notae registered the first triple-double in the ASUN this season with his 15 point, 10 rebounds & 10 assist showing at KSU on Wednesday. It marked the first triple-double in the ASUN since fellow Dolphin Devin Harris on Feb. 22nd, 2018. It is only the third triple-double in the ASUN since Feb. 2011.
- In Wednesday's road win vs. Kennesaw State, the Dolphins dished out 24 assists on 35 buckets as Tyreese Davis contributed six dimes on top of Notae's 10. Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
- After tallying 16 points vs. KSU, Jace Hogan has registered double-digit scoring in 10-straight games. The senior forward is leading the team in field goals per game (5.6) and free throws made (3.1), while trailing only Notae for scoring, 14.5 to 14.4.
- The Dolphins continue to lead the league with 5.8 blocks per game as a team. They are on pace to have the highest blocks per game average in the league since 2003-04, when the Dolphins finished at 6.0. Jalyn Hinton's 2.2 BPG leads the league, while David Bell sits fourth at 1.3.
- Jacksonville sits two victories away from 1,000 in their program history. They would become the fourth current ASUN program to reach the millennium milestone joining Lipscomb (1,405), Stetson (1,249) and North Alabama (1,091). 

Kennesaw State Owls (3-14; 0-2)
Next Two Games: vs. Liberty* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+); vs. FGCU* (1/19 - 4:30 PM - ESPN+)
- Kennesaw State squares off with Liberty for the first time in program history on Wednesday, January 16th. The Owls seek their first road victory of the season. KSU is 0-4 all-time against programs from Virginia.
- In Wednesday's setback to Jacksonville, junior guard Tyler Hooker poured in 28 points for the Owls. His 28 points against the Dolphins are the most in a conference game this season. Hooker sits second in the league in scoring at 18.5 PPG.
- With 11.6 offensive rebounds per game, the Owls rank second in the league. They have pulled down 21 total in their first two league games and have pulled down 10 or more offensive boards in 11 of 17 games this season.
- In conference play, Kennesaw State leads the league in rebounding, hauling in 37 total rebounds per game. Through two ASUN contests, Isaac Mbuyamba is hauling in 9.0 RPG, which ranks fourth in the conference.
- Dishing the rock has been a key for the Owls in their three wins this season. In those victories, they average 17.3 APG, compared to just 11.2 on the season. They have recorded double-digit assists in eight of their last nine contests.
- Kosta Jankovic is Kennesaw State's second leading scorer at 9.8 PPG. Last time out against Jacksonville, Jankovic tallied 17 points and has averaged 14.3 PPG over his last three games.
- Bryson Lockley has posted three double-doubles, including one in the conference opener at NJIT of 11 points and 14 rebounds. The forward has increased his PPG from 3.7 to 6.5, while his RPG have gone up from 3.4 to 7.2 this season.
-The Owls rank fifth in the ASUN in blocks per game with a mark of 2.8 BPG. Isaac Mbuyamba (t5th, 1.1) and Antonio Spencer (t15th, 0.6) both rank in the top-15 for blocks. 

Liberty Flames (13-4; 2-0)
Twitter: @LibertyMBB
Next Two Games: vs. Jacksonville* (1/12 - 2 PM - ESPN+); at Kennesaw State* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- After taking down Stetson, 71-53 on Wednesday night, Liberty moved to 2-0 in conference play for just the third time in program history. They look to start 3-0 for just the second time in school history when they host Jacksonville on Saturday. The Flames began league play at 5-0 in 2011.
- Saturday's contest will mark the first-ever contest between Liberty and Jacksonville. The Flames have won three of their last four contests against programs from the state of Florida.
- In Wednesday's win vs. Stetson, forward Scottie James scored 15 points on 7-10 shooting with five rebounds. In conference play, James is averaging 13.5 PPG and shooting 76.5 percent from the field. This season, James ranks second in the ASUN in rebounding at 8.6 RPG.
- Darius McGhee, a four-time ASUN Newcomer of the Week winner, is averaging 11.3 PPG this season, which would be the fourth highest average ever by a Liberty freshman. In the ASUN opener against FGCU, McGhee poured in a game-high 18 points on 6-9 from three-point land.
- McGhee is second the league in three's made per game at 2.6, while he is connecting on 38.5 percent of his shots from deep which ranks 10th in the league. He has made at least one three in each game this season except for one, and is 7-13 from distance in ASUN play.
- Balanced scoring has been a key for the Flames this season as four players are averaging 10.0 PPG or more including Scottie James (12.3), McGhee (11.3), Caleb Homesley (10.6) and Lovell Cabbil (10.4).
- Liberty's pack-line defense has been stellar this season, as they are holding opponents to 60.9 PPG, which is best in the ASUN. In their 13 victories this season, the Flames are surrendering just 54.5 PPG.
- Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz is shooting a conference-high 56.5 percent from three-point range, while Elijah Cuffee sits at 49.2 percent giving Liberty the top-two three-point shooters in the league. As a team, the Flames are shooting 39.9 percent from three-point range, which ranks 14th nationally. 

Lipscomb Bisons (11-4; 2-0)
Twitter: @LipscombMBB
Next Two Games: vs. Stetson (1/12 - 4 PM CT - ESPN+); at NJIT* (1/16 - 6 PM CT - ESPN+)
- Lipscomb holds the all-time series lead against Stetson, 20-15, including victories in the last five meetings with three coming last year. The Bisons are 14-4 all-time vs. the Hatters in Allen Arena.
- Last year, the Bisons defeated Stetson 85-82 in Allen Arena during the regular season and then posted a 89-73 win in the ASUN Championship Quarterfinals. Garrison Mathews averaged 22 PPG vs. Stetson in the three meetings with a 29-point outburst on Feb. 26th.
- Mathews enters Saturday's game with 1,986 career points and can become the ninth player in league history to reach 2,000 career points. With 17 points, Mathews will pass former Bisons great Adnan Hodzic (2007-11) for the program's Division I scoring record.
- The senior guard also owns 282 career three's made in his time at Lipscomb. Mathews is currently tied for the program's D-I record for triples made with Jordan Burgason (2008-12). The duo is tied for ninth-best in league history as the record sits at 316.
- On Wednesday, Eli Pepper passed Hodzic for the program's D-I record for career rebounds with 851. Pepper collected 11 rebounds as well as 20 points vs. UNF. Pepper is 11th in the ASUN record books for career boards and is on pace to become the 10th in league history to reach 900 for their career.
- A win vs. Stetson would give Lipscomb its first 3-0 start to league play since the 2014-15 season when the Bisons opened with a 4-0 record.
- With a scoring average of 84.9 PPG, Lipscomb leads all ASUN teams on the offensive side this season. In seven games at Allen Arena this season, the Bisons' average increases to 94.9 PPG.
- Seniors Rob Marberry and Nathan Moran continue to climb the league career record books. Marberry is fifth all-time for field goal percentage (61.0) and 125th for points (1,147), while Moran ranks for four categories; points (1,078; 154th), free throw percentage (85.2; 5th), three's made (247; 18th), three's attempted (648; t17th).

NJIT Highlanders (13-3; 1-0)
Twitter: @NJITHoops
Next Two Games: at North Alabama* (1/12 - 4:30 PM ET - ESPN+); vs. Lipscomb* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- Coming off a 72-52 victory in their ASUN opener last weekend, the Highlanders look for their first 2-0 start to league play since joining the conference. NJIT's last 2-0 start came in 2012-13 as members of the GWC.
- NJIT is also looking for its first win in an ASUN Conference road opener since entering the league in 2015-16. In their inaugural ASUN season, the Highlanders took FGCU to the wire before falling 82-78 in OT in the road opener.
- Zach Cooks carried over his stellar non-conference form into league play when he dropped a team-high 19 points against KSU. The guard has now scored 19 or more points in 11 of NJIT's 16 games this season.
- Abdul Lewis scored 15 points in the opener and nearly finished with another double-double as he pulled down eight rebounds. Lewis has four double-doubles this season and 17 for his career at NJIT.
- Saturday's meeting against North Alabama marks the first time these two teams will meet. NJIT's 13 wins are tied for the lead in  the ASUN, while the Lions are coming off their first-ever ASUN  win in midweek against FGCU.
- Diandre Wilson tied Lewis with 15 points in the league opening win against Kennesaw State. Wilson increased his season scoring average to 11.7 PPG, which ranks third on the team. Last season, he averaged 10.2 PPG.
- The Highlanders committed only eight turnovers in the win vs. KSU last weekend. They rank among the top ASUN teams in that category. They are 5-2 this season when limiting turnovers to single digits.
- Defense has been a big key to NJIT's success this season. They rank among the top-three teams in the ASUN in scoring defense, and lead the league in opponent's field goal & three-point percentage entering Saturday's trip to North Alabama.

North Alabama Lions (4-13; 1-1)
Twitter: @UNA_MBB
Next Two Games: vs. NJIT* (1/12 - 3:30 PM CT - ESPN+); at Jacksonville* *(1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- The Lions earned their first-ever ASUN Conference, and first victory over a Division I opponent. in the midweek when they defeated FGCU 61-56 at Flowers Hall. They look to make it two in a row when they welcome NJIT on Saturday.
- It will be the first meeting between North Alabama and NJIT. The Lions are 4-1 at home this season and are scoring 73.9 PPG in those home games compared to 61.3 PPG on the road this season.
- North Alabama's victory in midweek against FGCU was a big one as it snapped the Eagles' 14-game conference road winning streak. FGCU's last loss in a regular season ASUN road game came February 25, 2016 at Stetson.
- Tavon King, who averages 3.2 PPG, scored a team-high 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting against FGCU. The sophomore guard had scored 14 combined points in his last six games before his offensive explosion in midweek action.
- Kendarius Smith continued his stellar play this season with 13 point and three assists. The senior guard ranks second on the squad with 11.7 PPG and now has 11 scoring double-digit performances on the year.
- Cantavio Dutreil delivered his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds on Tuesday. He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and is the first North Alabama player to record a double-double this season.
- Jamari Blackmon dropped six dimes against FGCU to lead the Lions in that category. It's the third time this season that the freshman has finished a game with six or more assists. His 49 total assists rank him in the top-10 in the league.
- In conference play, North Alabama is averaging 8.0 steals per game, up from 5.8 during non-conference action. Tavon King had three steals against FGCU to lead the team in that category.

North Florida Ospreys (7-10; 1-1)
Twitter: @OspreyMBB
Next Two Games: vs. FGCU* (1/12 - 5 PM - ESPN+); at Stetson* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- North Florida comes back to UNF Arena on Saturday to host FGCU. The Ospreys are just one of two ASUN teams to own a spotless record at home this season, as they are 5-0. North Florida is 87-39 at home in the Matthew Driscoll era (since 2009-10).
- The Ospreys trail the all-time series 19-10 against FGCU. North Florida looks to snap an eight-game slide against the Eagles. UNF's last win came back on Jan. 30th, 2016.
- Noah Horchler earned his first career ASUN Player of the Week honor after tallying 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the ASUN opener against North Alabama. His 15.6 PPG average ranks sixth in the league, while he leads the league in rebounding at 9.9 RPG.
- The #BirdsofTrey have been out in ASUN play as UNF drilled 13 triples vs. UNA and 10 against Lipscomb. The Ospreys rank second in the league in threes per game at 8.6. JT Escobar is knocking down 2.6 threes per game, which is tied for second in the ASUN.
- Garrett Sams is averaging 12.5 PPG this year for the Ospreys, which ranks second on the team behind Horchler. The junior has been in double-figure scoring in 12 of 16 games this season, including the last three games for UNF. For his career, he's averaging 10.6 PPG in six games against FGCU.
- North Florida has enjoyed a balanced scoring attack recently, as they have had at least four players score in double-figures in each of the last three games; Horchler (17.0 PPG), Sams (16.3 PPG), Ivan Gandia-Rose (13.6 PPG) and Wajid Aminu (13.6 PPG).
- Gandia-Rosa assist production has seen an uptick since the beginning of conference play. In conference play he's averaging 7.0 APG, and overall leads the conference in the category at 5.4 APG. In three career games against FGCU, Gandia-Rosa is dishing out 7.3 PPG, including a 10-assist performance on January 24th, 2018.
- Aminu and Horchler rank first and second among all active ASUN players for career blocks. Aminu has swatted away 94 shot attempts in his three-year career, while Horchler has totaled 84 in his two years as an Osprey.

Stetson Hatters (4-12; 0-1)
Twitter: @StetsonMBB
Next Two Games: at Lipscomb* (1/12 - 5 PM - ESPN+); vs. North Florida* (1/16 - 7 PM - ESPN+)
- Stetson tangles with Lipscomb on Saturday in Nashville as the Hatters trail in the all-time series, 20-15. The last win vs. Lipscomb came in the 2016 ASUN Semifinals as Stetson earned a 96-75 victory vs. the Bisons.
- In last year's regular season meeting in Nashville, Stetson fell to Lipscomb by only three points, 85-82. Five different Hatter players reached double-figure scoring including 10 from Abayomi Iyiola. The Hatters averaged 10 three's made per game in the regular season meetings.
- Christiaan Jones led the Hatters in scoring in their league opener on Wednesday vs. Liberty as the sophomore scored 12 off the bench. He has tallied 12 points in each of the last two games.
- Stetson has made at least seven three's in each of their last seven games including a season-high of 12 on Dec. 21st at Longwood. For the season, the Hatters are averaging 7.1 three's made per game.
- Iyiola has tallied four double-doubles this season tied with NJIT's Abdul Lewis for second-most in the ASUN and just ahead of Liberty's Scottie James & KSU's Bryson Lockley with three. Iyiola enters Saturday's league road opener averaging 10.6 PPG & a team-best 6.8 RPG.
- In league play last year, Stetson was tops in the ASUN for turnover margin (+.2.84) and assists to turnover ratio (1.4). The Hatters dished out 15 assists per game and only turned it over 10.5 times each outing.
- Kenny Aninye sits tied for second in the league for assists, averaging 4.0 per game. His 64 assists this season are way up from his total of 28 last season on an average of 0.9 per game.
- Stetson is third in the league for steals this year as a team, averaging 7.4 per outing. Six Hatters have swiped at least 10 steals so far including a team-high 19 by Jahlil Rawley.