Quarterfinals, Monday, March 4, 2019 (ESPN+)
#1 Lipscomb 86, #8 Kennesaw State 71 (Box Score)
Kennesaw State made it a game, staying even with heavy-favorite and top-seed Lipscomb for the first 16 minutes of the first half. The Bisons would respond with a late first half run to take a 16 point lead into the break. The Owls didn’t go away easily though. Playing without their top player, Tyler Hooker, and their coach, Al Skinner, the Owls would cut Lipscomb’s lead to as few as 4 late in the 2nd half. The defending ASUN Tournament Champions again answered the bell, pulling away late for a double digit win.
#5 NJIT 83, #4 FGCU 78 (Box Score)
In a game of runs, NJIT knocked off FGCU, handing the Eagles their first home loss since falling to Liberty in early January. The visiting Highlanders went on a 24-6 run early in the first half to take a commanding 33-13 lead at the 6 minute mark of the opening stanza. FGCU closed the first half on a 12-0 run to cut it to 5 at the break. This trend continued into the 2nd half, as NJIT pushed the lead to 20 at the 8 minute mark before FGCU answered. The Eagles cut it to as few as 3 on several different occasions over the closing minutes before ultimately coming up short.
#3 North Florida 76, #6 North Alabama 66 (Box Score)
Garrett Sams scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help North Florida to a 10 point victory over the Lions. Wajid Aminu had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds while also adding six blocks for the Ospreys. Jamari Blackmon’s 15 points weren’t enough. The game was close throughout with no team leading by more than 5 points in the first half and the lead at just 3 for North Florida with 8 minutes left in the game. They would slowly pull away down the stretch.
#2 Liberty 72, #7 Jacksonville 58 (Box Score)
It was a flagrant 2 foul and ejection on David Bell in the first half that sparked a Liberty surge that would be too much for the visiting Dolphins to overcome. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz and Scottie James led the way, combining for 31 points. The Flames got production from 3 players that didn’t score in the first half – Elijah Cuffee, Lovell Cabbil, and Myo Baxter-Bell – in the opening minutes of the 2nd half. This trio combined to score Liberty’s first 16 points in the 2nd half as the lead grew to as much as 20.
Semifinals, Thursday, March 7, 2019 (ESPN+)
#1 Lipscomb 78, #5 NJIT 55 (Box Score)
Lipscomb led for all but 14 seconds, utilizing a 13-2 run early to pull away from the Highlanders. The Bisons went into the locker room with a 48-37 lead at the break and NJIT never got within 10 points the rest of the way as Lipscomb advances to its 2nd straight ASUN Championship game where they will attempt to repeat as ASUN Tournament Champions. Garrison Mathews led the way for Lipscomb with 22 points and 9 rebounds while Matt Rose added 17 points off the bench.
#2 Liberty 71, #3 North Florida 63 (Box Score)
Much like the first two games between these two this season, it was a closely contested lead, with nobody taking the lead by more than 8 points all night. Liberty did hold the lead for more than 37 of the 40 minutes, but Garrett Sams did all he could to keep the Ospreys in the game. He scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from 3 to lead UNF who made 13-of-27 threes as a team. Scottie James dominated the paint, scoring 24 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, and drawing 7 fouls. Lovell Cabbil went down in the final minutes with a rough looking left knee injury, but he was see on the stationary bike in the tunnel before the game concluded.