CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Cortez Mitchell scored 24 points and Charleston Southern downed Liberty 87-75 on Wednesday night.
A Jordan Jones dunk early in the first half sparked a 22-9 run that included three 3-pointers by McConico, and one apiece from Keeling, Deontaye Buskey and Sean Price to put the Buccaneers up 31-18 with 6:43 to go. They led 37-28 at the break.
Liberty battled back early in the second half and took a 61-59 edge with 7:45 to play but the Buccaneers answered on a 7-0 run to take a 66-61 lead and Mitchell made two 3s after that and Keeling added another to make it 75-66 with 3:13 left.
Lovell Cabbil scored 15 points to lead the Flames (15-11, 6-7). The loss snaps a three-game win streak for Liberty.
Missouri guard Cullen VanLeer is retiring from basketball after tearing his ACL in the Tigers' final regular-season game last season.
For some teams, a win in the NCAA tournament would be a significant achievement. For the elite contenders, anything short of a Final Four run would be a disappointment.
Former NBA All-Star guard Kenny Anderson is taking over as the coach at NAIA program Fisk University.