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Sams scores 28, North Florida beats NJIT in ASUN tourney

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Garrett Sam finished with career-high 28 points and North Florida held on for an 80-76 win over NJIT in the first round of the ASUN Tournament on Monday night.

No. 5 seed North Florida (14-18) will play top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast in the semifinals on Thursday.

The Ospreys scored the first 13 points, including eight by Sams, and Noah Horchler's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 47-21 with 18 minutes to play. No. 4 seed NJIT (14-16) answered with an 11-0 run before a 13-1 spurt trimmed its deficit to nine points midway through the half.

Shyquan Gibbs hit two free throws, the last of nine straight Highlander points, to pull within 62-58 about five minutes later and then scored the first six points in a 9-0 run that made it one-point game with 19 seconds to go. Sams made 4 of 4 free throws from there to seal it.

San Antonio Brinson led the Highlanders with 15 points, Donovan Greer scored 14 and Gibbs added 13.

Updated February 26, 2018

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