The Atlantic Sun final is now set at USC Upstate will visit the North Florida Ospreys on Sunday for a 2:30 PM tip on ESPN2. The semifinal match ups gave us tremendous drama on one side and a bit of a blowout on the other.
USC Upstate Takes Down Dunk City in a Wild One
The knock coming in on Eddie Payne's USC Upstate Spartans is that they couldn't pull out tight wins against the top echelon programs in the ASun. That changed tonight with Upstate taking down Florida Gulf Coast 63-62 on the road.
It was a wild finish in Fort Myers starting with about 80 seconds left when Ty Greene jacked up an ill-advised, contested three pointer with the Spartans up one. The miss resulted in a Jamail Jones layup on the other end a lead for the Eagles. Upstate would then retake the lead and a Brett Comer airball with 11 seconds left bounced off of Bernard Thompson to allow Upstate to expand their lead to three after Greene converted two clutch free throws.
Greene looked like he might be the goat again as he fouled Bernard Thompson on a game tying three pointer with 1.4 seconds left. Thompson missed the three but could have sent the game to overtime by converting all three free throws. Instead the senior missed his final free throw to cement an Upstate win.
Greene, the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, finished with 20 points and 5 rebounds. ShunQuez Stephens was the only other Spartan in double-figures with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Upstate's zone defense seemingly stifled the Eagles all night as they shot just 35.6% from the field. Thompson lead the Eagles with 25 points tonight and Comer contributed 15 of his own. FGCU finishes the year 22-10 and there is a chance we see the remnants of the infamous Dunk City team play in the CIT or CBI later in March.
North Florida Stays Dominant at Home
Dallas Moore and the number one seeded North Florida Ospreys showed why they won the regular season title with a 71-57 win over Lipscomb tonight. Moore dominated the Bisons with 36 points on the evening, accounting for over half of the Ospreys offensive output. Chris Davenport was the only other Osprey in double-figures with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
North Florida went into halftime up 13 points and never really relinquished anything to the Bisons despite solid games from J.C. Hampton and Josh Williams. Casey Alexander ends his second year in Nashville with a 14-17 mark after going 15-15 a year ago.
North Florida will have plenty of motivation heading into the conference championship on Sunday as USC Upstate handed the Ospreys their only two conference losses this year including a 17 point thumping the last time these two teams met on February 12.