ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Jesse Sanders scored 16 points and Evan Gordon added 15 as Liberty defeated North Carolina-Asheville 59-55 on Sunday.
The Flames (10-6), 4-0 in the Big South Conference for the first time, got there by surviving a 21-turnover performance. Meanwhile, UNC-Asheville squandered a potential advantage at the free throw line. The Bulldogs (6-8, 1-3) got nine more chances at the line (28-19), but only made two more free throws than the Flames (17-15).
The Bulldogs struggled no matter where their shots originated. They shot only 18 of 51 from the field (35.3 percent), including only 2 of 15 from 3-point territory (13.3 percent). Chris Stephenson led UNC-Asheville with 16 points and J.P. Primm added 11.
Following a timeout, Sanders' long 3-pointer put the Flames ahead 53-49 with 1:27 left. Gordon helped milk the shot clock, then hit a 10-footer to make it 55-50 with 35 seconds left.