Jacksonville, Fla. (AP) – Demarcus Daniels scored a career-high 22 points of the bench to lead North Florida to a 63-57 victory over USC Upstate Sunday in the Atlantic Sun Tournament finals from UNF Arena.
Daniels made two three-pointers, hit all six of his free throws and added six rebounds and two blocks. The Ospreys needed his effort, especially with Dallas Moore, Beau Beech and Chris Davenport a bit off. Upstate held Moore to just 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
Beech, the team’s second-leading scorer, was 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range. Davenport had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Jalen Nesbitt added 16 points for the Ospreys, who snapped a five-game losing streak against the Spartans.
Upstate won both previous meetings this season and looked like they might sweep the series when it scored the first 11 points of the second half. The Spartans erased a 12-point deficit after the break and led 48-44 midway through the second half.
But North Florida answered with a 12-0 run to open up a 56-48 lead with 3:30 remaining. Greene hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to five, but Daniels scored on the ensuing UNF possession to push the lead back to seven.
Miller pulled Upstate within five with a basket on the next possession, but two missed jump shots and a turnover forced the Spartans to foul with less than a minute remaining. Daniels hit two free throws and Moore added a third to put the Ospreys ahead by eight with 37 second remaining.
Ty Greene, the A-Sun Player of the Year, led the Spartans with 21 points and set the USC Upstate single-season record for three-pointers with 96. Greene and Fred Miller were each named to the all-tournament team. Miller finished with 14 points, three assists and three steals.
Greene, Miller and fellow senior Mario Blessing will finish their careers as the all-time winningest players in USC Upstate Division I history. They are also the first class at USC Upstate to play in an A-Sun Tournament championship game.