Asheville tops Gardner-Webb 81-77

The Associated Press

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) -- Jaron Lane scored a career-high 26 points and D.J. Cunningham scored four points in the final 30 seconds as UNC-Asheville opened Big South Conference play with an 81-77 win at Gardner-Webb on Monday.

Cunningham hit a tie-breaking jumper with 30 seconds left, snagged a defensive rebound and then made two free throws with 14 seconds left for Asheville (7-8). After another miss by the Gardner-Webb, Corey Littlejohn iced the game with two free throws at 4 seconds. Gardner-Webb (7-9) got a layup at the buzzer.

Asheville had a 64-54 lead after an Andrew Rowsey jumper with 7:07 to go.

Rowsey and Cunningham had 12 points each and Dave Robertson 13. Asheville shot 53.7 percent and made 19 of 22 free throws.

Gardner-Webb had five players in double figures, led by Donta Harper with 15. Tyler Strange had 10 with 13 assists. Jerome Hill had 13 points and 9 rebounds.