CONWAY, S.C. – John Caleb Sanders had 27 points, Davon Marshall added 20 off six 3-pointers and Liberty defeated Charleston Southern 87-76 to win the Big South Conference tournament and reach the NCAA tournament with a 15-20 record.
The Flames opened the season 0-8 and reached 20 losses in their next-to-last regular season game. But Liberty got hot at the right time with a five-game winning streak, the last four at the conference tournament to gain their first NCAA trip since 2004.
Marshall and Sanders got things going in hurry over top-seeded Charleston Southern (19-12) with 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds — and the Flames barely lost their outside touch. Marshall was 6 of 7 from beyond the arc and Liberty finished 9 of 18 on long-range baskets.
Saah Nimley had 18 points to lead the Buccaneers, who as the Big South's regular-season champs will play in the NIT.