Matchup: Jacksonville (11-5 ASUN, 21-9 overall) vs. Bellarmine (11-5 ASUN, 19-13 overall)
Location: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Ky.
Time: 5 p.m. ET
DraftKings line: Bellarmine -3, O/U 122
Jacksonville and Bellarmine meet Tuesday night in the Atlantic Sun title game as both programs are in search of their first conference title.
Bellarmine finished second in the West Division in its second season in the ASUN. The Knights knocked off defending champion Liberty 53-50 in the semifinals Saturday. It was a game of runs as they scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points but then trailed 31-21 at halftime. They scored 10 straight to open the second half. Bellarmine shot 54.5% in the second half.
Dylan Penn led the way with 19 points. Ethan Claycomb (16 points) and CJ Fleming (11 points) were also in double figures.
Jacksonville is playing in the ASUN championship game for the third time. The Dolphins finished second in the East Division and upset Jacksonville State 54-51 in the semifinals Saturday. JSU entered the game as the second-best 3-point shooting team in the nation at 39.9% but was limited to 22.2% in this game.
ASUN First Team All-Conference selection Kevion Nolan was the lone Dolphin in double figures as he netted a game-high 19 points.
Defense has been Jacksonville’s calling card all season. It is fifth in the nation by allowing just 58.7 points per game. JSU’s 51 points in the semifinals was a season-low for the Gamecocks.
Both coaches are relatively new to the Atlantic Sun. Jacksonville’s Jordan Mincy is in his first season. He is aiming to become the first coach to win the conference crown in his debut season since UCF’s Kirk Speraw in 1994.
Bellarmine is in its second year competing in the ASUN tournament after making the transition to Division I. Scott Davenport is in his 17th season leading the program, which he coached to the 2011 Division II national championship.
The two teams met just once in the regular season, a 76-73 Bellarmine overtime victory on Jan. 22. Penn netted 29 points, and Fleming poured in 25. Nolan paced Jacksonville with 21 points.