Big South Championship: Liberty sweep NCAA bids

The No. 5 North seed Liberty Flames continued its incredible run through the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Conference Basketball Tournament with Sunday’s 87-76 upset victory over top-seeded South Charleston Southern at the HTC Center in Conway.

The Flames (15-20) won their fourth game in as many days at the Big South Tournament to claim the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Liberty, which started the season 0-8, is only the second team in the history of the NCAA Tournament to earn a berth with 20 losses.

Liberty defeated tournament host Coastal Carolina 86-71 on Monday,  edged High Point, the No. 1 seed from the North, 61-60 on Wednesday, and upset No. 2 South Gardner-Webb 65-62 on Friday. The Flames capped the late-season surge by beating the Buccaneers (19-12), leading the majority of the game and pulling away in the final minutes.

Liberty’s John Caleb Sanders scored a game-high 27 points and Davon Marshall scored 20 as the duo combined to hit 8 of 12 3-point attempts. Tavares Speaks added 18 points as the Flames outrebounded the Bucs 38-29.

Charleston Southern had five players score in double figures, led by Saah Nimley’s 18 points and Jeremy Sexton’s 17. Arlon Harper scored 14 despite foul trouble, Mathiang Muo talied 12 and Sheldon Strickland came off the bench for 10 points.

Liberty will learn its NCAA Tournament fate next weekend on Selection Sunday, likely facing an early week play-in game because of its record and ranking. The Bucs hope to land an invitation to the NIT or another postseason tournament.

Women’s Final

For the 15th time in the last 17 seasons Liberty claimed the Big South tournament championship, this time the top-seeded Lady Flames downed seventh-seeded Longwood 54-45 in the 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships final held at The HTC Center in Conway, S.C.

Liberty, 27-6 (16-2 Big South), receives the conference’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The championship is the 12th for head coach Carey Green, who improved to 38-2 all-time in Big South tournament contests.

The loss ends Longwood’s (14-19, 8-10 BSC) inaugural Big South season. Moreover, Longwood’s appearance in the Big South tournament final was the first for member institution in their first year of conference play since the 2004 season.

Liberty’s Tolu Omotola finished as the game’s leading scorer with 16 points. She was joined in double figures by teammate Ashley Rininger with 10. Devon Brown led all players with 13 boards, including nine on the defensive end.

Chelsea Coward paced the Lancers with 14 points, including a pair from long range. Coward and Crystal Smith co-led Longwood with seven rebounds. The Lancer starters combined for 34 of the team’s 45 points.

Liberty opened the second half on a 14-6 run over the first eight minutes of play, expanding their six-point halftime lead to 14 points. Omotola scored nine points during the run with all but a free throw coming inside the paint. Brown scored on a knifing play to the rim and Brittany Campbell drained her second trey of the game as the shot clock expired, giving the Lady Flames a 43-29 lead with 11:10 remaining in regulation.

Longwood’s Neal scored following a timeout to temporarily slow Liberty’s run, but Rininger answered right back with a basket and Katelyn Adams connected on one at the line to push the Lady Flames out to a 46-31 advantage.

Photo by Joel Beachum

Comments

comments

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openers

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openersThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team needed a little [more]

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while [more]

Beach United teams close fall season in Wilmington

Beach United teams close fall season in WilmingtonThe Beach United Football Club saw eight teams close out [more]

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meet

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meetPalmetto Aquatics (PALM) hosted the 2017 Thanksgiving Invite Meet on [more]

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foe

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foeThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team defeated #2 Texas State in [more]

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneys

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneysWinter might still be a month away, but the high [more]

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-OffSouth Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin claimed his 100th [more]

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' win

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' winZac Cuthbertson torched the nets for 31 points in leading [more]

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt win

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt winIdaho scored on the opening possession of the game but [more]

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney final

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney finalThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team opened [more]

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCW

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCWZac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 23 points and had another [more]

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title game

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team is making its second straight [more]

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season North Myrtle Beach's record-setting season came to an end Friday [more]

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoops

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoopsFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina in the [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openers

Hoops: CF, Socastee, SJ win tournament openersThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team needed a little [more]

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach