CONWAY, S.C. – John Caleb Sanders scored 19 points and Liberty held Gardner-Webb scoreless for the final 3:21 for a 65-62 win in the Big South Conference semifinals Saturday.
The Flames (14-20), the South Division's fifth seed, will play division champion Charleston Southern in the final Sunday. They're in their first final since 2004 after beating host Coastal Carolina, North Division champion High Point and the Running Bulldogs (21-12).
Joel Vander Pol's free throw broke a 62-62 tie and Davon Marshall added two more with 14 seconds remaining before Gardner-Webb's Tyler Strange and Max Landis missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds.
Liberty led by as many as 11 points in the second half before Strange made two 3-pointers during an 11-4 run that lifted the Bulldogs into a 62-62 tie with 3:21 remaining. But Gardner-Webb missed its final six shots.
Landis and Tashan Newsome led Gardner-Webb with 15 points each.