Jacksonville (9-6, 3-2) vs. North Alabama (8-3, 4-1)
Flowers Hall, Florence, Alabama; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: North Alabama looks for its fifth straight conference win against Jacksonville. North Alabama’s last Atlantic Sun loss came against the Stetson Hatters 86-77 on Jan. 8. Jacksonville fell short in an 82-81 overtime game at North Alabama in its last outing.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: North Alabama’s Mervin James has averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while Emanuel Littles has put up 9.1 points and 10 rebounds. For the Dolphins, Dontarius James has averaged 17.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while Kevion Nolan has put up 12.9 points.
ATLANTIC SUN IMPROVEMENT: The Lions have scored 72.8 points per game and allowed 68 points per game in conference play so far. Those are both noticeable improvements over the 66.8 points scored and 74.5 points allowed per game to non-conference foes.
FUELING THE OFFENSE: Nolan has directly created 43 percent of all Jacksonville field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has 38 field goals and 19 assists in those games.
PERFECT WHEN: The Lions are 5-0 when at least four of their players score 10 or more points and 3-3 when any fewer than that achieve double-figures. The Dolphins are 8-0 when they hold opponents to 69 points or fewer and 1-6 when opponents exceed 69 points.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Dolphins have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Lions. North Alabama has 25 assists on 70 field goals (35.7 percent) across its previous three matchups while Jacksonville has assists on 41 of 80 field goals (51.3 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The North Alabama defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 24.1 percent of all possessions, which is the 26th-highest rate in the country. Jacksonville has turned the ball over on 21 percent of its possessions (ranked 258th among Division I teams).
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