Recap: Winthrop vs. Liberty
Conway, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Keon Johnson scored 15 points and Keon Moore added 14 with eight rebounds, leading Winthrop to a 77-65 win over Liberty in the first round of the Big South Tournament.
Andre Smith and Joab Jerome each chipped in 14 points for the Eagles (18-12), who have won three in a row and advanced to face North top seed High Point in Friday's quarterfinals. Winthrop hasn't won the Big South title since capturing its 10th championship in 2010.
Andrew Smith scored 17 points and Joe Retic contributed 15 for Liberty (11-21), which won last year's Big South championship.
The Flames raced out to a 17-5 lead just under six minutes into the contest, but the Eagles countered with a 19-4 run and grabbed a 24-21 advantage on back-to-back layups by Brandon Vega.
Winthrop led 35-29 at the break and a trey by Andre Smith to start the second half made it a nine-point game, but Liberty battled back and tied it at 51-51 with just under eight minutes remaining.
Johnson snapped the deadlock with consecutive threes and the Flames got only as close as five before Winthrop sealed it at the line in the closing minutes.
The Eagles made each of their 21 free throws and the teams combined for a 33- for-34 effort at the stripe.Game Notes