The North Alabama Lions and the Liberty Flames meet in college basketball action from Liberty Arena on Thursday night.
The North Alabama Lions will look to snap a three-game losing streak after a 67-65 loss to Stetson last time out. Daniel Ortiz leads the Lions in scoring with 11.5 PPG while Jamari Blackmon has 10.8 PPG as the only other double-digit scorer for North Alabama up to this point in the season. C.J. Brim has 9.6 PPG with a team-high 2.9 APG while Damian Forrest leads the Lions on the glass with a team-high 5.9 RPG this season. As a team, North Alabama is averaging 72.4 PPG on 40.8% shooting from the field, 33.1% from three and 77.7% from the foul line while allowing 65.6 PPG on 39.9% shooting from the field and 31% from three this season.
The Liberty Flames will be out to build on a five-game winning streak after an 88-49 win over Jacksonville last time out. Darius McGhee leads the Flames in scoring with 23 PPG with 3.8 RPG and 2.9 APG while Keegan McDowell has 10.6 PPG as the only other double-digit scorer for Liberty so far this season. Shiloh Robinson has 9.8 PPG and 4 RPG and Blake Preston leads Liberty in rebounding with 5.2 RPG while Kyle Ride has a team-high 3.9 APG to lead the Flames in the assist department. As a team, Liberty is averaging 73.5 PPG on 48.5% shooting from the field, 39.1% from three and 72.1% from the foul line while allowing 60 PPG on 39.1% shooting from the field and 30.9% from three.
North Alabama is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 road games. Liberty is 14-6 ATS in their last 20 home games while the over is 7-1 in their last 8 games overall.
I get why Liberty would be favored here, as the Liberty Flames have quickly become the class of the ASUN in recent years. However, while North Alabama isn’t the world-beater of the conference, the Lions have been fairly competitive lately and aren’t that far off from the Flames in terms of scoring and scoring defense this season. The Lions also shoot their free throws well, which could end up being the difference if we’re relying on a backdoor cover from North Alabama. Either way, I’m taking a stab at North Alabama and the points in this one.