Lions, Highlanders, Dolphins & Bisons Pick Up Wins In Thursday Night Action

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ATLANTA, Ga. - ASUN Conference Men's Basketball midweek action wrapped up on Thursday, as North Alabama, NJIT, Jacksonville and Lipscomb picked up victories. North Alabama improved to 5-2 in league play with a hard fought victory over Kennesaw State. NJIT stretched its winning streak to three, as they raced by Stetson down in DeLand.

Jacksonville took round one of the River City Rumble from North Florida, as they went into UNF Arena and came out victorious. Lipscomb kept its ASUN record spotless, as they edged FGCU in a rematch of last year's ASUN Championship Final. 

ASUN Conference Men's Basketball Results: Jan. 24th
North Alabama 76, Kennesaw State 71
NJIT 82, Stetson 59
Jacksonville 86, North Florida 81
Lipscomb 89, FGCU 81

The Lions of North Alabama moved to 5-2 in conference play as they defeated Kennesaw State 76-71. Kendarius Smith led UNA with 18 points, while Kendall Stafford had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jamari Blackmon added 15 points, including some crucial buckets down the stretch to preserve the victory. The Owls got a career-high 33 points from Tyler Hooker, who almost single handedly carried the Owls to their first road league win of the season. North Alabama dominated the opening period as they led 42-27, but the Owls began the comeback midway through the second half as Hooker scored 13 consecutive points to pull Kennesaw State within 61-57. In the final minutes, the Owls got as close as 64-62, but were unable to knock down a couple of go-ahead buckets. Blackmon then two-straight buckets to make it 71-65 as UNA converted free throws down the stretch. 

NJIT extended its winning streak to three on Thursday evening, as they took down Stetson, 82-59. With the win the Highlanders moved to 4-2 in ASUN play. Zach Cooks, the ASUN's leading scorer, led the way once again with 16 points on 5-10 shooting, to go along with five boards and four steals. Donovan Greer and Abdul Lewis chipped in with 14 and 12 points a piece. Lewis also posted a team-high seven boards. For Stetson, Christiaan Jones was the high point man, leading the way with 10 points. NJIT will look to make it four in a row on Sunday, when they host North Alabama at the WEC, while Stetson will welcome one of the top teams in the ASUN in Lipscomb to the Edmunds Center. 

Jacksonville improved its winning streak to three over North Florida on Thursday, as they took round one of the River City Rumble by a score of 86-81. JD Notae led the charge for the Dolphins, as he scored a team-high 22 points with seven boards and three assists. David Bell helped out with 16 points and six boards, while Jalyn Hinton contributed with 12 points and eight boards off the bench. UNF was led by JT Escobar and Noah Horchler, who each scored 23 points. Horchler posted a double-double with 10 boards. Jacksonville will be back in action on Sunday when they host Liberty. North Florida travels down to Fort Myers on Sunday, looking to sweep the season series from FGCU. 

Lipscomb maintained its unbeaten record in ASUN play with a hard fought 89-81 win against FGCU on Thursday night. Garrison Mathews was the star as he scored 31 points, his eighth career 30-point game, to lead the Bisons offense. Matt Rose and Michael Buckland added 11 points each. FGCU got 17 points from Dinero Mercurius, 14 from Schadrac Casimir and 11 from Troy Baxter Jr., but it wasn't quite enough to get over the hump for the Eagles. Lipscomb controlled most of the first half as they built a 14 point lead after Mathews knocked down one of his five triples. But FGCU responded with a 7-0 run to close the half and carried that momentum over into the second half. They took the lead at 56-55 on Brian Thomas' layup in the paint. Later in the half, Baxter Jr. knocked down a three to give FGCU a 68-66 lead with 4:53 to go. Mathews responded every time though as he made big buckets down the stretch. He scored seven in a row to give Lipscomb a 78-72 lead and the Bisons didn't look back from there. 

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