A Liberty team that won only 11 regular season games put it all together this week in the Big South Conference Tournament and will be moving on to the NCAA Tournament for the third time. The Flames used their height advantage and dead eye outside shooting by Davon Marshall to defeat regular season league champion Charleston Southern 87-76 Sunday for the tournament title at Coastal Carolina.
The Flames will wait for their NCAA assignment a week from today but no doubt will be part of the First Four in Dayton, OH. The Buccaneers also have more basketball ahead of them. They will play in the NIT by virtue of having won the league’s regular season crown.
Liberty opened the season 0-8 and didn’t win a game against a D-1 opponent until defeating Western Carolina on New Year’s Eve. They won only six league games and lost at home to Charleston Southern in late January. But the Flames hardly resembled that bunch this week rolling defeating Coastal Carolina, High Point and Gardner-Webb to reach the title game.
Marshall hit six of seven three pointers on his way to a 20 point game, but his backcourt mate John Caleb Sanders led all scorers with 27 points including 11-12 from the foul line. Inside, the Flames scored 24 points in the paint and out rebounded the Bucs by seven.
Saah Nimley led CSU with 18 points and Jeremy Sexton added 17.
The Bucs are 19-12 and Flames will enter postseason play with a 15-20 record.