Top-Two ASun Squads Battle; Five Games Remain in Regular Season

LakePoint, Ga. – FGCU hosts Lipscomb as the top-two teams in ASUN Conference Men’s Basketball battle on Thursday night in Alico Arena with the Eagles sitting at 8-1 in league play just ahead of the Bisons at 7-2. The Eagles won the first series meeting in Nashville by four points when both sides entered undefeated in league play.

Kennesaw State, NJIT and USC Upstate enter Thursday hoping for season sweeps of their foes with the Owls heading to DeLand to tangle with Stetson. All four games on Thursday tip at 7 PM ET. The Highlanders return to the scene of their lone conference victory with a contest against North Florida, while the Spartans enter Swisher Gymnasium to face Jacksonville.

Team-By-Team Breakdown

Kennesaw State Owls (11-14; 5-4) – 
– With the win vs. Stetson on Jan. 14th, Kennesaw State moved ahead of the Hatters in the all-time series, 12-11. The Hatters are the only current ASUN squad in which KSU holds a winning record against.
– On Jan. 14th, four players registered double-digit scoring led by 20 from Kendrick Ray and 15 by Nick Masterson as the tandem combined for eight three’s. Aubrey Williams tallied 13 points and 17 rebounds. The Owls outrebounded Stetson, 55-39, in an 84-65 victory.
– Kennesaw State has won four of its last five ASUN contests to move into a tie for third place in the ASUN with USC Upstate and North Florida. A victory at Stetson gives KSU 12 wins for the season, which would tie for the second-most in the program’s Division I history.
– As a team, KSU is shooting 42.3 percent from behind the arc, which ranks fifth in the NCAA. In ASUN play, Kennesaw State is connecting on a league-best 41.2 percent. Last year, the Owls ranked seventh in the league, connecting on only 35.2 percent.
– Aubrey Williams recorded his league-leading 14th double-double in the win vs. Upstate on Saturday with 17 points, 11 rebounds. He sits in a tie for 11th in the NCAA for double-doubles and seventh for total rebounds.
– In ASUN play, Williams is averaging 14.3 PPG & 11.1 PPG. He is one of two ASUN players averaging a double-double in league play.
– Kendrick Ray collected ASUN Player of the Week on Monday after guiding the Owls to two ASUN victories with 22 points in each game

FGCU Eagles (19-6; 8-1) – 
– FGCU has won the last three games vs. Lipscomb in Fort Myers with all three victories coming by at least 13 points. The Eagles’ defense has held the Bisons to 67 points or less in all three meetings. Lipscomb enters averaging 85.1 PPG this season.
– The Eagles enter Thursday’s contest on a five-game win streak. FGCU has already posted win streaks of six and seven this year. The Eagles are 12-1 in their last 13 contests. Lipscomb owns a four-game win streak.
– A victory vs. Lipscomb would give FGCU 20 wins for the fifth-straight season making the Eagles the first ASUN team since 1998 to post five-straight 20-win seasons.
– Under Joe Dooley, the Eagles are 55-12 at Alico Arena over the past four years. FGCU has posted an 11-2 record at home this season. Against ASUN foes, the Eagles are 38-6 at Alico since 2012-13.
– Guard Brandon Goodwin collected his second-straight ASUN Newcomer of the Week honor on Monday and his fifth of the season, which is the most in ASUN history. He averaged 26.5 PPG in two FGCU victories, while adding 8.5 RPG and 4.0 APG.
– FGCU sits fourth in the nation in field goal percentage at 51.2, while also leading the ASUN in defensive field goal percentage at 42.1. As a result, FGCU sits with a +10.4 margin of victory; best in the ASUN.
– Marc-Eddy Norelia needs three points vs. Lipscomb to become the 176th player in ASUN history to reach 1,000 career points. Norelia is averaging 8.5 PPG this season and registered 14 points off the bench vs. Lipscomb in FGCU’s 84-80 victory on Jan. 14th in Nashville.

Jacksonville Dolphins (15-11; 3-6) –  
– Jacksonville leads the all-time vs. USC Upstate, 12-7, despite a seven-point loss in Spartanburg on Jan. 14th. JU is 6-2 all-time vs. the Spartans at home including an 81-76 win last season in Swisher.
– In the season’s first meeting vs. Upstate, J.R. Holder led the team in scoring with 20, while Tanner Rubio finished a perfect 5-of-5 from behind the arc for 15 points. Darien Fernandez chipped in 14 points.
– Holder currently sits 82nd in the ASUN record books for career points at 1,248. With 17 points vs. Upstate, Holder would move into the top-75. He is averaging 17.8 PPG for the season and 19.4 PPG in ASUN play.
– Fernandez currently leads the ASUN in steals per game at 2.3. He finished last season in first at 1.7 SPG. He could become the first player since 2002-03 to lead the league in back-to-back seasons.
– Tanner Rubio sits second in the ASUN for three-point percentage at 50.5. JU features four players in the top-eight of the ASUN from deep with Darius Dawkins (3rd; 42.5), Cody Helgeland (6th; 40.9) and Fernandez (8th; 40.3). As a team, JU shoots 41.1 percent on three’s.
– The Dolphins are one of two ASUN teams to rank in the top-five of the NCAA for three’s made this season. JU sits tied for fifth with 257, behind Lipscomb (4th; 264) and just ahead of USC Upstate (t14th; 242).
– Jacksonvillle’s next victory will equal last year’s win total of 16. The Dolphins are on pace to finish with their first winning record since the 2010-11 season when JU posted a 20-12 mark.

Lipscomb Bisons (15-11; 7-2) –  
– A win vs. FGCU would move Lipscomb into a tie for first place in the ASUN with four contests remaining. A win also guarantees the Bisons, their first winning record in ASUN play since finishing 10-8 in 2013-14.
– Lipscomb leads the all-time series vs. FGCU, 10-8, as the Bisons have seen a great deal of success in Alico Arena with a 4-5 record. Lipscomb is one of two active ASUN teams with a winning record vs. the Eagles alongside Jacksonville.
– In the 84-80 loss to FGCU on Jan. 14th, the Bisons were led in scoring by Josh Williams with 24 points. Lipscomb’s last win at FGCU came with an 87-78 overtime decision on 2/16/2013.
– The Bisons are averaging a league-best 86.8 PPG in ASUN play Stetson holding the next best average at 79.9. For the season, Lipscomb is scoring 85.1 PPG, which leads FGCU in second at 79.6.
– Three Lipscomb players are averaging 14.0 PPG or more in conference play. No other team in the ASUN currently has a trio scoring like Garrison Mathews (20.8), Rob Marberry (15.6) and Josh Williams (14.9).
– The Bisons have hit 264 three’s so far this year, which sits fourth in the NCAA & most in the ASUN. Three Bisons have made at least 60 with Nathan Moran (66), Garrison Mathews (64) & Josh Williams (62).
– Williams sits 46th on the ASUN career scoring list with 1,424. He can jump one spot with 18 points vs. FGCU on Thursday.

NJIT Highlanders (9-16; 1-8) –  
– NJIT enters Thursday’s contest at North Florida looking for the season sweep of the Ospreys. The Highlanders posted their lone league victory vs. UNF on Jan. 14th in a 84-78 decision. Anthony Tarke score 23 off the bench in NJIT’s first-ever win vs. North Florida.
– Abdul Lewis is one of two players averaging a double-double in ASUN play alongside KSU’s Aubrey Williams. Lewis is producing 14.9 PPG & 10.7 RPG. He tallied 21 points and eight boards vs. Lipscomb on Saturday and has led NJIT in scoring in five of the last six games.
– Lewis is grabbing the most offensive rebounds in ASUN contests as the sophomore forward is averaging 3.8. He sits second for defensive boards at 6.9. As a team, NJIT pulls down 11.7 offensive boards per game in league play, which ranks second only to North Florida (13.8).
– Senior Tim Coleman is the only active ASUN player with at least 1,300 career points & 700 career rebounds. He sits at 1,357 points and 726 boards and is averaging 10.7 PPG & 6.3 RPG in ASUN play.
– The Highlanders are holding ASUN teams to 33.4 rebounds per game; tied with FGCU for lowest in the conference. NJIT’s rebounding margin in ASUN play sits at +2.8 trailing only UNF (+4.0) and FGCU (+3.8).
– Anthony Tarke is connecting on 63 percent of his field goal attempts in ASUN play, which ranks third. For the season, he is shooting 53.3%.
– NJIT has the second-stingiest defense among ASUN teams, holding foes to 73.3 PPG this season trailing only FGCU (69.2 PPG allowed).

North Florida Ospreys (10-16; 5-4) –  
– In the 84-78 loss to NJIT on Jan. 14th, Dallas Moore record 30 points.Moore has tallied 11 career 30-point game with eight coming this season. Three of his eight have come against ASUN opponents.
– Moore’s scoring average of 23.3 is highest in the ASUN since the 1984-85 season and currently sits eighth-best all-time. In ASUN contests, Moore is averaging 24.7; 2.6 points ahead of Stetson’s Derick Newton.
– Dallas Moore sits third on the ASUN all-time scoring chart with 2,230 career points. He needs 58 points to move into second place passing Mercer’s James Florence (2006-10). Moore is second among all active NCAA player in career points trailing Valparaiso’s Alec Peters (2,249).
– Chris Davenport has reached double figures in scoring in each of the past six games and is averaging 21.6 PPG in the past three games. Davenport ranks in the ASUN career record books for points (72nd; 1,281), rebounds (18th; 770) and blocks (17th; 146).
– Garrett Sams leads all ASUN freshmen in scoring at 10.2 PPG ahead of JU’s Tanner Rubio (9.9) and teammate Wajid Aminu (8.6). In home games, Sams is averaging 12.5 PPG after tallying 20 vs. Stetson.
– North Florida earned the 300th victory in program history on Saturday vs. Stetson. The 128 of those wins have come under the leadership of Head Coach Matthew Driscoll, who is 128-128 all-time at UNF.
– The Ospreys are in a three-way tie for third in the ASUN with KSU and Upstate. Three of UNF’s remaining five ASUN games take place at home.

USC Upstate Spartans (15-11; 5-4) – 
– A win on Thursday would give USC Upstate its first-ever season sweep of Jacksonville. The Spartans trail in the all-time series, 7-12, but posted a 73-66 victory on Jan. 14th behind four players in double-figure scoring.
– Upstate has won only twice in eight meetings at Jacksonville. The first victory came in the 2008-09 season, while the Spartans last won at JU on Jan. 29, 2015 with a seven-point triumph.
– The Spartans have already eclipsed their overall and conference win total from last season. USC Upstate is on pace for its first third winning record in the past four seasons.
– USC Upstate’s defense is preventing opponents to shoot well from behind the arc as ASUN teams are connecting on only 29.2 percent from deep. Jacksonville enters shooting 38.7% from deep vs. ASUN squads.
– The Spartans have made 242 three’s this season, which sits third in the ASUN & tied for 14th in the NCAA. Upstate is making 9.4 three’s per game in conference games, trailing only Jacksonville at 9.7. Last season, the Spartans made 218 three’s for the entire season.
– Upstate has seven players averaging at least 8.0 PPG led by Buchanan (14.6), Mike Cunningham (13.2) and Moore (11.4). As a team, the Spartans are scoring 78.4 PPG up from 72.3 PPG last season.
– The Spartans has several players to handle the basketball with three players in the top-six of the ASUN for assist to turnover ratio; Jure Span (3rd; 2.3), Cunningham (5th; 2.2) and Josh Cuthbertson (6th; 2.1).

Stetson Hatters (10-16; 2-7) –  
– The Hatters look to snap a three-game losing streak to Kennesaw State on Thursday. With a win, Stetson can even the all-time series record at 12-12. Stetson has dropped the last three games vs. KSU in DeLand.
– In the first meeting vs. KSU, Larry Dennis led the team in scoring with 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Derick Newton, Luke Doyle and Divine Myles combined for 21 points. The trio averages a combined 48.9 PPG in ASUN contests.
– Stetson is the only ASUN teams to have three players with 1,000 career points; Divine Myles (1,222), Brian Pegg (1,037) and Derick Newton (1,025). All three reached the mark this season with Newton crossing the scoring plateau last week in the win at Bethune-Cookman.
– The Hatters have dished out 10 or more assists in 18 of 26 games this season, including their last three outings. Angel Rivera (5.5) and Divine Myles (4.1) rank first and second respectively in the ASUN for assists.
– Newton and Myles are the only teammates in the ASUN to average at least 15.0 PPG with Newton dialing in 18.2 and Myles at 16.4. In league play, Newton is averaging 22.1 with Myles at 16.7.
– Angel Rivera could become the first Hatter since Ravii Givens in 2000-01 to lead the ASUN in assists. Rivera sits ahead of three players in second place (Myles, Brandon Goodwin & Nathan Moran) by 1.3 APG.

– Stetson is a different team at home, averaging 88.3 PPG in the Edmunds Center compared to 67.7 PPG in true road contests.The ASUN Conference is a NCAA Division I league with eight member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the ASUN footprint reaches into seven of the top 50 media markets in the nation. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University. The University of North Alabama will join the league for the 2018-19 season bringing the membership total to nine.

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