Seton Hall 85, Liberty 81
PROVO, Utah (AP)—Brian Laing led Seton Hall with 23 points, including a three-point play with 37.7 seconds left, in an 85-to-81 win against Liberty at the BYU Holiday Classic.
Seton Hall (8-3) had their biggest lead, 17 points, when Laing scored a layup at 17:59 in the second half. But the score was tied at 65 with 6:52 remaining when Larry Blair scored two of his team-high 22 points for Liberty (6-6).
Blair had 16 in the second half, finishing on 9-of-18 shooting despite going just 1-for-7 from three-point range. He hit a few late acrobatic shots that had the small Marriott Center crowd taking notice, although the Flames never led in the second half.
Dwight Brewington added 20 points and Anthony Smith chipped in 17 for Liberty.
Seton Hall used a constant press to force the action. It created 20 turnovers and 15 steals.
None of those mattered more than Paul Gause’s pick in the closing seconds. The 5-foot-11 guard had 14 points and five steals. He made one of two free throws with 28.2 seconds remaining to seal the win.
That came just after Laing’s tie-breaking play, as the 6-foot-5 guard-forward got to the basket and banked in a right-handed shot to go with a foul. The free throw made it 82-79.
After the Pirates’ last burst, Liberty missed three close-range shots. Eugene Harvey, who had 18 points, iced the win for Seton Hall with a layup off a scattered fast break.
Friday was the second day of the three-day round-robin tournament hosted by Brigham Young in Provo, Utah.