UNA Lions hold on to first place

Sports

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama men’s basketball team took over sole possession of first place in the ASUN Conference standings Friday with an 82-81 overtime victory over Jacksonville at home.

The second straight overtime win at Flowers Hall gives the Lions an 8-3 overall record with a 4-1 mark in ASUN play. 

North Alabama and Jacksonville entered the matchup tied atop the standings with identical 3-1 conference records. The Lions led by as many as 13 points in the first half and held a 52-41 lead with 14:31 remaining. Jacksonville, however, outscored UNA 34-23 down the stretch to tie the game at 75-75 to send the contest into overtime. 

UNA outscored the Dolphins 7-6 in the extra period. Emanuel Littles tipped in a missed shot with less than 20 seconds to play and Jacksonville was unable to get a shot off in the closing seconds. 

Both teams battled foul trouble throughout the evening. Youngblood and James both fouled out, along with two Jacksonville players. The Lions, however, were able to take advantage at the free throw line, going 23-of-34 on the night while JU hit 15-of-28 attempts from the charity stripe. 

Tyreese Davis led Jacksonville (9-6 overall, 3-2 ASUN) with a game-high 25 points. 

The same two teams will play again on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Flowers Hall.