LU Falls, Radford Wins at Big South Tourney
BIG SOUTH MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP:
Winthrop 77, Liberty 65
Conway, SC - (AP) -- Keon Johnson scored 15 points as fourth-seeded Winthrop beat defending tournament champion Liberty 77-65 to open the Big South Conference tournament Wednesday.
Keon Moore, Andre Smith and Joab Jerome had 14 apiece for Winthrop (18-12). The Eagles made all 21 of their free throws and hit 8 of 22 from 3-point range. Jerome made all nine of his free throws, Johnson made three 3-pointers and Moore had eight rebounds.
Andrew Smith led No. 5 seed Liberty (11-21) with 17 points and Joe Retic added 15. The Flames were up by as many as 12 in the first half.The game was knotted at 51 with 7:52 left. Then Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 10-2 run to pull away. Moore's free throws at the 1:33 mark gave Winthrop its first double-digit lead of the game.
Winthrop moves on to play top-seeded High Point in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Radford 78, Presbyterian 73
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) -- Ya Ya Anderson scored 18 points as third-seeded Radford hung on to beat No. 6 seed Presbyterian 78-73 in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament Wednesday. Radford was up 70-59 with 4:49 left, but Presbyterian stormed back to trail by just one with 27 seconds left. Radford's Rashun Davis made two free throws with 20 seconds remaining and Presbyterian's Jordan Downing missed a long 3-pointer that would have tied it. Javonte Green sealed it with two free throws.
Green finished with 16 points for Radford (21-11) and R.J. Price added 15. Downing scored 32 for Presbyterian (6-26) and Reggie Dillard had 13.
After surrendering a 19-4 run, Presbyterian got within single-digits until Davis' 3-pointer, Radford's seventh of the game, ended an 8-3 PC run and gave the Highlanders a 65-54 lead with 7:12 left. Radford will play No. 2 seed UNC Asheville in the quarterfinals on Friday.