Jacksonville, North Florida, Flagler, EWU: The week ahead in First Coast college basketball

·8 min read
Florida State's Matthew Cleveland (35) tries to get a shot off against University of North Florida forward Jadyn Parker during last week's game in Tallahassee.
Florida State's Matthew Cleveland (35) tries to get a shot off against University of North Florida forward Jadyn Parker during last week's game in Tallahassee.

Recapping the past week and a look ahead to this week for First Coast NCAA college basketball teams.

Men

Records: Flagler 14-3 (7-1 Peach Belt), Jacksonville 11-6 (3-2 ASUN), Edward Waters 8-12, North Florida 4-16 (0-6 ASUN).

Player of the week: North Florida sophomore guard Jarius Hicklen helped pull the Ospreys out of their slump from beyond the 3-point arc as he made 14 of 32 3-point attempts and scored 55 points in three games. Hicklen also had 14 rebounds and 10 assists. UNF made 33 of 89 3-pointers in the games (.371), all losses but it was a vast improvement over the previous three games when they hit on 13 of 78 (.167).

Game of the week: JU had no answer for Bellarmine's Dylan Penn, who scored the last four points in regulation, then hit a 4-point play in overtime as the Knights won 76-73 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. Penn had 29 points. JU's Kevion Nolan returned to form with 21 points, hitting 5 of 13 3-pointers. He made one with 36 seconds left in OT but Penn answered and was fouled, making the free throw to put Bellarmine ahead for good.

Stat line of the week: Junior center Jonathan Kanyanga of Edward Waters had 12 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots in the Tigers' 83-82 loss to Clark Atlanta. Eight of his rebounds were on the offensive end and EWU out-rebounded Clark 49-27.

ASUN scoreboard

This week’s schedule

Monday

Jacksonville at Kennesaw, 5 p.m.

Wednesday

Flagler at Clayton State (Ga.), 7:30 p.m.

Thursday

Central Arkansas at North Florida, 7 p.m.

Lipscomb at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Lander (S.C.) at Flagler, 3:30 p.m.

Lipscomb at North Florida, 5 p.m.

Central Arkansas at Jacksonville, 6 p.m.

Edward Waters at Oakwood (Ala.), 8 p.m.

Noting JU: The Dolphins' 76-73 overtime loss at Bellarmine on Saturday was their fourth in five that went past regulation. JU is 19-31 in history in road overtime games. ... Sophomore forward Osayi Osifo is shooting .684 over his last six games. ... The Dolphins' game at Kennesaw to open the week is a makeup of the ASUN opener that was postponed because of COVID-19 protocols within the KSU program. JU has a seven-game winning streak over the Owls and Nolan scored 55 points and made 21 of 35 from the floor (.600) in two victories at Kennesaw last season. … JU’s last six games against Lipscomb have been single-digit margins, four by four points or less. The Dolphins are 1-5 in those games. … JU plays its first game ever against Central Arkansas to close the week.

Noting UNF: Junior forward Carter Hendricksen remains game-to-game after suffering a concussion last Monday against Kennesaw. He's missed the last two. ... As is the case with JU, the Ospreys will play their first game in history against Central Arkansas. … UNF leads the rivalry against Lipscomb 18-16 but has gone 2-6 since beating the Bison in eight of nine games between 2015-2018. … The Ospreys lost 86-73 at Florida State but had their season-high 3-point percentage of .583 (14 of 24). ... UNF didn’t score a point on offensive rebounds against the much taller 'Noles (the Ospreys had only three) and were outscored 46-26 in the paint.

Noting Flagler: The Saints' victory over Augusta University on Saturday was their third in a row over the Jaguars since breaking an eight-game losing streak. ... Senior guard Jaizec Lottie is a bit of a shooting slump, hitting on .400 from the floor and .236 on 3-point attempts in Peach Belt play. But he's also averaging 4.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game over that span. ... The Saints will try to extend a four-game winning streak against Clayton that has narrowed the gap in the rivalry to 8-6 in Clayton’s favor. Flagler has won three of the last four games in Morrow, Ga. … The Saints ended a 15-game losing streak against Lander last season with a 98-91 overtime victory in Greenwood, S.C. Flagler is trying to pick up its first home victory against Lander since Jan. 12, 2013.

Noting EWU: The Tigers lived on the edge last week with three games decided by three points or less, winning two. Senior forward Kimini Binder's two free throws with one second left gave EWU a 79-77 overtime victory at home on Saturday over Oakwood. The Tigers beat Coastal Georgia 77-74 and lost to Clark Atlanta 83-82. ... Senior forward Elias Harden had 45 points combined against Coastal Georgia and Clark, with 26 points and 6 of 12 3-point attempts against Coastal. ... After Saturday’s home game against Oakwood, the Tigers will play three road games in a row, at Oakwood (Huntsville, Ala.), Miami-Middletown (Middletown, Ohio) and Wilburforce (Wilburforce, Ohio). The travel distance will be a combined 1,808 miles.

Women

Records: Edward Waters 12-7, Jacksonville 10-6 (3-2 ASUN), Flagler 10-8 (4-4 Peach Belt), North Florida 9-9 (2-4 ASUN).

Flagler College senior guard Tori Pearce has four double-doubles this season.
Flagler College senior guard Tori Pearce has four double-doubles this season.

Player of the week: North Florida senior forward Jazz Bond had 51 points, 17 rebounds and four blocked shots as the Ospreys won their first two ASUN games over Kennesaw and Eastern Kentucky. Bond was 6 of 11 from the 3-point arc and 11 of 12 from the foul line.

Game of the week: Liberty edged JU 49-48 in Lynchburg, Va., with the lead changing hands five times in the fourth quarter. Priscilla Smeenge hit the game-winner with 16 seconds left and the Dolphins Taylor Hawks and Asiah Jones missed shots inside the last five seconds.

Stat line of the week: The triple-double by Edward Waters senior guard La’Quanza Glover in an 84-65 victory over Coastal Georgia (20 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) was the first this season by a First Coast college player and was the 12th game with at least a double-double this season for the Ribault graduate.

ASUN scoreboard

This week’s schedule

Wednesday

Edward Waters at Tuskegee, 5:30 p.m.

Flagler at Clayton State (Ga.), 5:30 p.m.

Thursday

Central Arkansas at North Florida, 11 a.m.

Lipscomb at Jacksonville, 2 p.m.

Saturday

Central Arkansas at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Lander (S.C.) at Flagler, 1:30 p.m.

Lipscomb at North Florida, 2 p.m.

Noting JU: The Dolphins held Bellarmine to .262 shooting in their 64-46 victory in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, the fourth opponent in a row to hit on less than 40 percent of its shots against JU. JU has forced an average of 19.5 turnovers per game during that span. ... Asiah Jones had her first double-double of the season against the Knights with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and had her fifth game of the season with three or more blocked shots. ... JU used to own Lipscomb, winning 10 in a row from 2015-2019. But the Bison swept the Dolphins last season and have won three of the last five. … JU plays Central Arkansas, one of the three new teams in the ASUN this season, for the first time.

Noting UNF: The Ospreys won their first two ASUN games of the season mostly because seniors Jazz Bond and Rhetta Moore took charge. They combined to score 86 points and pull down 27 rebounds in beating Kennesaw 66-49 on Thursday and Eastern Kentucky 78-64 on Saturday. ... The Ospreys’ first-ever game against Central Arkansas will be the second morning tipoff for a UNF game this season. UNF beat Florida Atlantic 85-79 in overtime on Nov. 21, in a game that started at 9:30 a.m. … Due to a quirk in the ASUN schedule, such as last year’s doubleheader format, the Ospreys will play their fourth home game in a row against Lipscomb and their fifth in six games. It hasn’t been a lock at home against the Bison: UNF is 2-2 in the last four games against Lipscomb at UNF Arena.

Noting Flagler: Senior guard Tori Pearce logged her seventh double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Saints' 73-60 victory over Augusta on Saturday. Five of Pearce's double-doubles have been on points and assists. ... Flagler's 70-69 victory in Morrow, Ga., last season ended a five-game losing streak against Clayton. The last three meetings have been decided by one, four and two points. … Lander is 21-4 all-time against the Saints and has won the last five, and 13 of the last 14.

Noting EWU: The Tigers dominated Coastal Georgia in every department in their only game last week. EWU out-rebounded CGC 55-33 and had edges of 18-4 in second-chance points and 36-13 in bench points. … Glover is averaging 20.4 points and 14 rebounds in her 12 double-double games. ... Junior center Emari Bell has scored in double figures in her last eight games and averaged 16.1 points and 8.4 rebounds during that span. … Two of the Tigers’ last three scheduled games were postponed because of COVID-19 protocols within the opposition programs.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Week ahead in First Coast college basketball, January 23-29

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