Va. - Liberty held off a furious Gardner-Webb rally in the final minute to hold
on for a 63-58 win Thursday night at the Vines Center.
Gardner-Webb (10-14, 5-7 Big South) cut the lead to 59-56 with 37.5 seconds
left, the Runnin' Bulldogs made it difficult for the Flames to inbounds, but Jesse
Sanders drew a foul with 21.6 seconds left and made a pair of free throws to
put Liberty up 61-56.
Runnin' Bulldogs missed a pair of 3-pointers on the ensuing possession, and
David Minaya made two more free throws to seal the game with 8.7 seconds left.
finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Flames (9-15,
4-8 Big South). His younger brother John Caleb Sanders added 12 points off the
bench and David Minaya scored 16 points - making six shots in a row after
starting the game 0-for-8 from the floor.
lost its fourth league road game in a row by six points or less, falling behind
for good midway through the second half as Liberty used a surprising 14-2 run
to go up 47-37 with 7:05 remaining.
Runnin' Bulldogs cut the lead back to five points on a pair of Tashan Newsome
baskets, but saw Liberty go on another 6-0 spurt to lead 53-42 with just over
four minutes left.
led 55-45 after a Jesse Sanders' layup with3:47 left, but Jason Dawson
connected on a 3-pointer with 2:00 left in the game to spark an 11-4 run that cut
the Flames' lead to 59-56 with 37.5 seconds left on back-to-back buckets from
Runnin' Bulldogs endured a very tough night offensively, shooting just 4-of-17
from 3-point range for the game (23.5 percent) and 24-of-60 from the floor
overall (40.0 percent) .
was on fire from long distance in the early going, knocking in 5-of-10 chances
in the opening half to lead 25-22 at the break. The Flames came into the game
shooting under 29 percent from 3-point range on the season.
heated up for Gardner-Webb in the early stages of the second half, helping the 'Dogs
build a four point lead with 14:08 remaining - but Minaya found his stroke
after starting 0-for-8 from the floor and J.C. Sanders continued to knock down
perimeter jumpers to spark the Flames' game-changing run.
led Gardner-Webb with 21 points, Dawson had nine and Max Landis scored seven
for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
shot lights out in the second half, knocking down 13-of-23 shots (56.5 percent)
to finish at 43.1 percent for the game (22-of-51) - and made 6-of-13 shots from
long range (46.2 percent).
will now head to High Point, N.C., to face High Point on Saturday night at 7:00
pm in another key Big South Conference matchup. The Runnin' Bulldogs rallied in
the final minute of regulation at home and held on to beat High Point in
overtime on January 7.