Quarterfinals, Thursday, March 4, 2021 (ESPN+)
#1 Liberty 69, #8 Kennesaw State 59 (Box Score)
The game was a struggle for the Flames, particularly in the first half, as Kennesaw State held Liberty to 28.6% shooting from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Blake Preston and Kyle Rode sparked a 12-0 Liberty run midway through the second half, as the Flames began to create some separation, leading by 12 with 12 minutes left in the game. Liberty would push the lead to as many as 19 and hold on to the win by 10. ASUN Player of the Year Darius McGhee led the Flames in scoring with 16 while Kyle Rode added 15. Owls’ leading scorer Spencer Rodgers was held to just 4 points and 1 of 13 shooting from the field.
#5 North Alabama 68, #5 North Florida 60 (Box Score)
The Lions pick up their first ever win in the ASUN Tournament, with the slight upset over the 4-seed Ospreys. North Florida made just 1 of their first 20 three point attempts, not good for the so called Birds of Trey. Emanuel Littles and Mervin James led the way for North Alabama, finishing the game with 20 and 17 points, respectively. They each had a double-double as well, as Littles grabbed 13 rebounds and James had 11 boards. The Lions owned the glass, 48-30, and held a 12-6 advantage in second chance points.
#6 FGCU 72, #3 Lipscomb 60 (Box Score)
FGCU has suffered through several issues with COVID this season, playing only 16 total games and 9 in conference play entering the tournament. Lipscomb, looking to get back to the ASUN Championship game for a fourth straight season, jumped out to an early 27-10 lead. From there, it was all FGCU as the Eagles went on an 11-0 run 21-8 end to the first half. FGCU would continue their strong play into the second half, taking the lead and pushing it to as many as 23 points before coasting to the finish line.
#7 Stetson 73, #2 Bellarmine 70 (Box Score)
Bellarmine’s magical season comes to an end in disappointing fashion, losing on their home floor in the regular season finale to Liberty to lose out on the regular season title and 1-seed in this tournament. Now, the Knights fall in a heartbreaker to No. 7 Stetson. The Hatters controlled the game and had the lead for a large portion of the game. Mahamadou Diawara made the go-ahead bucket with 29 seconds left for Stetson, and first-team all-ASUN performer Pedro Bradshaw missed a layup with just 4 seconds remaining as Bellarmine’s season comes to an end.
Semifinals, Friday, March 5, 2021 (ESPN+)
#1 Liberty 77, #7 Stetson 64 (Box Score)
For the second straight year, Liberty and Stetson met in the semifinals, and for a second straight year the Hatters proved to be a worthy opponent of the 1-seed Flames. Stetson jumped out to the early lead to begin the game and kept that lead for the majority of the first half until the Flames closed the half with a 10-0 run to take an 8 point lead into the break. Stetson would respond though, taking a four point lead late in the second half, 54-50. Liberty answered with an 8-0 to seize control of the lead it would not relinquish as the Flames remain unbeaten in ASUN Tournament play.
#5 North Alabama 96, #6 FGCU 81 (Box Score)
The Lions led throughout the majority of the game and were able to secure its spot in Sunday’s championship game. Payton Youngblood had a career-high with 26 points as he made 5 of 7 three pointers. Mervin James added 20 points and Emanuel Littles nearly picked up his second straight double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Finals, Sunday, March 7, 2021 (ESPN)
#1 Liberty vs #5 North Alabama, 2 pm
Since North Alabama is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament, Liberty has already secured the ASUN’s auto bid as the league’s regular season champion.