North Florida at Liberty
|Date & Time||Thursday March 7, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
Liberty Flames +11
The North Florida Ospreys will travel to the Vines Center to take on the Liberty Flames this Thursday night in the Semifinals of the ASUN Men’s Championship.
The 3-seed North Florida Ospreys improved to 16-16 (9-7 ASUN) on the season after defeating the 6-seed North Alabama Lions, 77-66, this past Monday in the Quarterfinals of the ASUN Men’s Championship. North Florida was outstanding on the defensive end against the Lions and pulled away in the 2nd half after a 7-0 Ospreys run gave North Florida a 61-51 lead with 4:21 left in regulation. North Florida shot 39.3% from beyond the arc while holding North Alabama to just 34.2% shooting from the field & 28.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Ospreys was Garrett Sams who had a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal.
On the season, North Florida is averaging 75.7 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field. The Ospreys are averaging 9.2 three-pointers per game on 33.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Florida has been led by Noah Horchler (16.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.7 bpg), Garrett Sams (12.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.3 spg), Wajid Aminu (11.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.1 bpg), and Ivan Gandia-Rosa (10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, North Florida is allowing their opponents to average 76.9 ppg on 43.2% shooting from the field. The Ospreys have a rebound margin of -0.4 and a turnover margin of -3.1.
The 2-seed Liberty Flames had no trouble advancing and improved to 26-6 (14-2 ASUN) on the season after defeating the Jacksonville Dolphins, 72-58, this past Monday. Liberty game out of the gates strong against Jacksonville and held a double-digit lead for the majority of the 2nd half after entering halftime with a 34-19 lead. Liberty shot 52.2% from the field and held Jacksonville to 23.8% shooting from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Flames was Scottie James who had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist.
On the season, Liberty is averaging 74.1 ppg on 49.0% shooting from the field. The Flames are averaging 9.0 three-pointers per game on 36.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Liberty has been led by Scottie James (12.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.1 apg), Caleb Homesley (12.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg), Lovell Cabbil Jr. (11.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.4 spg), and Darius McGhee (8.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, Liberty is holding their opponents to an average of 60.5 ppg on 41.1% shooting from the field. The Flames have a rebound margin of 2.4 and a turnover margin of 2.5.
The Ospreys are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Flames are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
North Florida and Liberty split their regular season series as the Ospreys won at home by a 75-70 margin in late February while the Flames won at home by a 70-64 margin in mid-January.
North Florida comes into this game on a 7-game winning streak and although their defense ranks just 303rd in scoring defense, the Ospreys have a solid offense that ranks 101st in scoring offense & 49th in three-pointers made per game.
Liberty has won 8 of their last 9 games and has been solid on both ends of the court as the Flames rank 12th in FG%, 5th in scoring defense, and 52nd in defensive FG%.
Liberty is an impressive 15-1 at home this season and has solid non-conference wins in blowout wins against Georgia State & UCLA, however, they are facing a North Florida team that has been playing some of their best basketball of the season as of late, which includes a recent home win against Liberty. North Florida was competitive in their earlier season loss at Liberty and as I think the Ospreys offense will be able to put up some points against the Flames defense, I think North Florida will cover with the double digit points. Good Luck!