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Atlantic Sun Quarterfinals

March 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Atlantic Sun Quarterfinals

by Kristy Shonka


Georgia State pulls off upset

Georgia State defended its home court in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, upsetting No. 2 Belmont, 76-58, Thursday. The No. 7 Panthers were the preseason favorite to win the conference, but finished the regular season with a 13-14 record (8-8 A-Sun). Belmont won the North Division with a 12-4 conference record.

Georgia State won the game behind a hot offense, as the Panthers shot 62.2 percent from the floor and made six-of-11 from three-point range. The loss was the worse for Belmont since December.

GSU’s Leroy Davis broke out of a scoring slump scoring 14 of his 18 points down the stretch. The Panthers grabbed a 42-32 lead with 12:55 left in the game and Belmont never cut the lead to single digits again.

A-Sun Player of the Year Adam Sonn scored 22 points in his final game as a Bruin. Nate Williams scored 18 for Georgia State. The Panthers advance to the semi-finals, where they will play Troy State at 8 p.m.

Troy State advances with win over Samford

The Trojans made the case for offense over defense with their 70-54 win over Samford on Thursday night. Troy State has the best offense in the A-Sun, while the Bulldogs had the best defense.

Troy State built a 34-20 halftime lead on 48 percent shooting, but after a Rob Lewin jumper pushed that lead to 36, Samford cut the lead to six on a three-pointer by Jon Mills. The Trojans again extended the lead, this time to 15, before the Bulldogs cut it back down to eight. That was as close Samford would get. Troy State hit six-of-eight free throws in the final two minutes of play.

Greg Davis scored a career-high 20 points for Troy State and Lewin recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Samford’s Tyson Dorsey scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, while Phillip Ramelli scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

UCF overcomes Jacksonville State

UCF used a strong second half to over power Jacksonville State, 68-51, in the first game of the day. The win was the sixth in a row for the Knights in the opening round of the A-Sun Tournament. It was also the third time in four years the Knights beat Jacksonville State in the first round.

The first half remained close and the Knights only had a 30-26 lead at halftime. Senior forward Ed Dotson scored 10 consecutive points for the Knights and they extended their lead to 10 points, 40-30. Jacksonville State pulled to within four with just over 10 minutes left, but a Troy Lindbeck three pushed the lead to seven. The Gamecocks never got closer than nine the rest of the game.

Dotson scored 14 points, while Ray Abellard scored a team-high 20 points. Poonie Richardson and Scott Watson led the Gamecocks with 15 points apiece.

The Knights advanced to play Mercer in the semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday.

Mercer records 23rd win

Mercer beat short-handed Jacksonville, 73-57, in A-Sun Tournament first-round action Thursday. The win was Mercer’s 23rd, which is a school record.

Jacksonville kept it close early with a puzzling zone defense. After Mercer jumped out to a 12-4 lead, the Dolphins went on a 12-1 run to give them a 16-13 lead. The Bears responded though, and after their 14-2 run, they never trailed again.

Mercer led 32-23 at halftime. The Bears held a 46-25 rebounding edge for the game and made 11 three-pointers.

Aleem Muhammad led Mercer with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Clarence Baker and Delmar Wilson each had 13.

Up Next:

Mercer looks for third in a row over Knights

When No. 1 Mercer and No. 5 UCF square off at 6 p.m. in the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament, the Bears will be looking for their third win over the Knights this season. They are the only team to beat UCF twice and handed the Knights their worst loss of the season back on Jan. 13. The Bears most recent win was only by three points. UCF played well against Jacksonville State and isn’t going to take Mercer lightly. The Knights did not play well in their last game against Mercer, yet only lost by three. Look for them to build on that and pull off the upset of No. 1 seed Mercer.

Panthers look for another upset

No. 7 Georgia State will look for another upset at 8 p.m. when the host takes on No. 3 Troy State. The Trojans won by 18 in the regular-season game. The Panthers struggled during the conference season to put together two consecutive wins, while Troy State has won five in a row and had a seven-game streak earlier in the A-Sun season. Look for Troy State to advance to the finals.

     

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