2022 Atlantic Sun semifinals recap: Jacksonville, Bellarmine set up title clash with road upsets
Photo: Bellarmine University athletics

Jacksonville and Bellarmine are headed to the Atlantic Sun championship game after each team defeated division champions by three points on the road in the semifinals.

Both teams finished second in their respective divisions and will clash for the title. If Bellarmine wins, Jacksonville State will get the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the Knights are ineligible due to being in the middle of their transition period.

Jacksonville 54, Jacksonville State 51

Kevion Nolan scored 19 points as Jacksonville advanced to the Atlantic Sun final for the first time since 2009, upsetting the regular-season champions.

The Dolphins broke open a close game at halftime, opening the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 31-18 lead. Nolan hit a big three late in the game to put Jacksonville up 48-44.

Kayne Henry led the Gamecocks with 14 points while Darian Adams added 10 and six rebounds as Jacksonville State awaits to see which postseason tournament they will be playing in.

Bellarmine 53, Liberty 50

In a game of runs, it was the Knights who prevailed in a low-scoring, defensive struggle to upset the three-time defending Atlantic Sun champions and reach the conference final for the first time in program history.

Dylan Penn led Bellarmine with 19 points while Ethan Claycomb added 16. Darius McGhee was the high man for the Flames, who were 10-0 in the conference tournament since joining the league.

Bellarmine trailed by as many as ten in the second half, but rallied behind Penn, who hit two contested, driving layups in the final minute and Claycomb, who made two critical free throws to give the Knights a 51-48 advantage.

"That was an epic college basketball game", said Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport. "I'm not saying it was a thing of beauty, but in terms of the game from a respect level, it was incredible.

"I couldn't be prouder of them (the players)", he continued. "I don't know how you can thank them enough."