Conference play starts for Jacksonville, North Alabama

Jacksonville (7-8, 0-0) vs. North Alabama (5-8, 0-0)

Flowers Hall, Florence, Alabama; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Jacksonville visits North Alabama as Atlantic Sun play starts for both teams. In conference play last season, Jacksonville finished with five wins and 11 losses, while North Alabama won seven games and lost nine.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: David Bell is averaging 10.5 points and 9.3 rebounds to lead the charge for the Dolphins. Destin Barnes is also a primary contributor, accounting for 10.7 points per game. The Lions have been led by Jamari Blackmon, who is averaging 13.2 points.JUMPING FOR JAMARI: Blackmon has connected on 37.8 percent of the 74 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 9 for 27 over his last five games. He’s also converted 80.4 percent of his free throws this season.

SLIPPING AT 71: North Alabama is 0-7 this year when it allows 71 points or more and 5-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 71.

STREAK STATS: North Alabama has won its last five home games, scoring an average of 74.8 points while giving up 55.2.

DID YOU KNOW: North Alabama has attempted the second-most free throws among all Atlantic Sun teams. The Lions have averaged 19.6 foul shots per game this season.