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Liberty holds off Radford 79-71

Evan Gordon had 20 points and five steals as Liberty held off Radford 79-71 on Thursday night to clinch one of the top four seeds in the Big South Championship.

The Flames (18-8, 12-2), who are in second place in the league standings, will host a quarterfinal game in the tournament.

Liberty, which has won seven of its last eight games, also swept the season series against the Highlanders (5-19, 2-12).

Radford took a 30-22 lead with 7:09 left in the first half, but Liberty used a 14-3 run, capped by a Gordon 3-pointer, to lead 36-33.

The Highlanders regained the advantage at 43-42 on a tip-in by Jareal Smith, who led Radford with 21 points. With the game tied at 51, David Minaya scored six straight points to push Liberty ahead for good.

Radford got within two points twice more, the last time at 59-57, but the Flames went on a 10-1 run to pull away.