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Charleston Southern holds off Liberty 88-74

AP - Sports

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) Saah Nimley scored 19 points and Charleston Southern took a huge early lead, then fought to hold off Liberty 88-74 Wednesday night in the Big South Conference tournament quarterfinals.

Kelvin Martin and Arlon Harper added 18 apiece for the fourth-seeded Buccaneers (19-11), who led by as many as 18 in the first half and will play No. 1 seed UNC Asheville in Thursday's semifinals.

The fifth-seeded Flames (14-18) got within two points on six occasions, including 58-56 with 9:03 left after trailing by 10.

With the score 63-61, Charleston Southern rattled off 10 straight points, six by Jeremy Sexton, to pull away.

The Buccaneers, who have won five of their last six, shot 50 percent (31 of 62) and made 10 of 22 3-pointers.

David Minaya scored 17 points for Liberty, which was riding a five-game Big South winning streak, starting with a 75-74 win at Charleston Southern Feb. 9.

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