ATLANTA, Ga. - ASUN Conference Men's Basketball action wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, as NJIT, FGCU, North Alabama and Liberty all collected wins. NJIT held off a furious comeback attempt from Jacksonville to even up its ASUN record. FGCU collected its first ASUN victory of the year, as they raced by Kennesaw State.
North Alabama extended its winning streak to four on an incredible buzzer beater from Christian Agnew. Liberty remained unbeaten in conference play, as they defeated North Florida at the Vines Center.
ASUN Conference Men's Basketball Results: Jan. 19th
NJIT 77, Jacksonville 74
FGCU 72, Kennesaw State 59
North Alabama 63, Stetson 62
Liberty 70, North Florida 64
NJIT held on for a crucial home conference victory as the Highlanders defeated Jacksonville 77-74 on Saturday. Abdul Lewis set a new single-game program record with 21 rebounds, and added 19 points for a monster double-double. Zach Cooks scored a team-high 23 points and had a crucial steal late in the contest to seal the victory. Jacksonville, which trailed by 20 at one point, got a career-high 20 points from Tyreese Davis and 14 from Jace Hogan. NJIT looked to be in control as they dominated the first half and led 37-21. But the Dolphins went to a full court press early in the second half and it ignited a 20-4 run to get back into the game. In the final seconds, Cooks found Diandre Wilson for a big corner three ball to give NJIT a six-point lead. After Davis answered, Jacksonville fouled and got a final chance by Aamahne Santos couldn't convert a running three at the buzzer. The Highlanders are now 2-2 in league play, while the Dolphins fall to 1-4 in the ASUN.
FGCU collected its first conference win of the season as Schadrac Casimir put on a show against Kennesaw State, leading the Eagles to a 72-59 victory. With the win, FGCU is now 1-3 in conference play, while Kennesaw State continues to look for its first league win. Casimir was on fire early and he didn't cool off for much of the afternoon to lead FGCU's attack. He scored 15 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first five minutes of the game. His offense gave the Eagles an early lead they never relinquished. That lead grew to 40-28 at halftime and was a 21-point cushion in the early stages of the second half. The Owls, who were led by Danny Lewis' 16 points, went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead down to 65-55 with 4:01 to go, but Casimir drilled his sixth triple of the game to put the final dagger in the Owls comeback attempt. He finished the night with 34 points, the second-highest scoring total in the ASUN this season.
North Alabama picked up its fourth win in a row on Saturday as they took down Stetson in a thriller at Flowers Hall. After trailing for much of the second half, the Lions scored eight of the game's final 11 points, including a half court heave from Christian Agnew at the buzzer to lift UNA to victory. With the the win, the Lions improved to 4-1 in league ASUN play. Emanuel Littles had quite the day down in the post for North Alabama, as he notched a double-double of 11 points and 18 rebounds. Kendarius Smith also notched double figures with 15 points and five rebounds. Tavon King also had a solid night for North Alabama with 14 points on 6-10 from the field. Marques Sumner led the way for the Hatters with 14 points, while Kenny Aninye helped out with 10 of his own. North Alabama will looks to extend its win streak to five when they travel to Liberty on Monday, while Stetson makes the trip down to Fort Myers to take on FGCU.
Liberty faced its toughest conference test to date on Saturday night, as they defeated North Florida, 70-64 in Lynchburg. The win improved Liberty's ASUN record to 5-0 and also kept their home record spotless, as they are now 9-0 inside the Vines Center this season. The tandem of Scottie James and Caleb Homesley led the charge once again for Liberty. James scored a team-high 18 points, while pulling down six rebounds. Homesley chipped in with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Liberty is at 5-0 in league play for just the second time in program history, with the last coming back in 2011. The Flames can start 6-0 for the first time ever when they host North Alabama on Monday night. For the Ospreys, Ivan Gandia-Rosa and Noah Horchler led the way. Gandia-Rose scored a game-high 19 points, while Horchler nearly notched a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. North Florida will be back in action on Monday when they host NJIT.