Jacksonville Sports Day

MBB: Ospreys Swoop into March Madness in Front of Record Crowd

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Top-seeded North Florida battled No. 3 USC Upstate and came away with the 2015 Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball Championship title with a 63-57 victory in sold-out UNF Arena. With an A-Sun Championship Final record 6,155 fans in attendance, the Ospreys claimed their first-ever A-Sun title.

Demarcus Daniels, the A-Sun Championship MVP, scored a game-high 22 points and Jalen Nesbitt (16) and Dallas Moore (13) also scored in double figures for UNF. A-Sun Player of the Year, Ty Greene finished with a team-high 21 points with Fred Miller adding 14 points for the Spartans. Both Spartans made the All-Tournament Team alongside Daniels, Nesbitt & Moore. FGCU’s Brett Comer & Lipscomb’s Talbott Denny capped the squad.

North Florida held a nine-point lead at halftime, 34-25, behind 11 points from Daniels and nine by Nesbitt. Shunquez Stephens tallied seven first-half points for the Spartans as Miller added six of his own, while Greene struggled from the field with a 2-11 start to head to the break with five points.

Out of halftime, the Spartans marched into the lead with an 11-0 run to quiet the UNF Arena crowd and take a 36-34 advantage. USC Upstate pushed its advantage to as much as four points with 11:11 left in the contest, but the Ospreys grabbed hold of the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest at the seven-minute mark behind two free throws by Chris Davenport as UNF locked up the A-Sun title by holding the Spartans scoreless for 6:34 late in the second half.

For Greene, it marked his 20th 20-point game of the season, which is third-most in the A-Sun since the 2007-08 season. Greene’s 21 points pushed his career total to 1,841, which sits 13th-most in conference history, while his 666 points points this season are the 13th-most in conference single-season history. 
UNF became the first A-Sun team to win the conference title on their home court since 2001 as the Ospreys improved to 12-2 at UNF Arena and 23-11 overall. USC Upstate drops to 23-11 with the loss which sits as a Division I program record for victories for both squads. The UNF victory also snapped a five-game losing streak for the Ospreys to the Spartans.

North Florida finds out its opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 15th at 6 p.m. The NCAA Selection Show will broadcast on CBS.

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