ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ahmad Thomas and MaCio Teague scored 17 points each and Thomas lofted a short jumper after his defender fell backward and UNC Asheville went down to its last possession before holding off Charleston Southern 71-66 in a Big South Conference quarterfinal Thursday night.
UNC Asheville (21-11), the regular-season conference champion and top seed in the tournament, will meet No. 4 seed, Liberty (10-9) in a semifinal on Friday.
Travis McConico sank two free throws, pulling eighth-seeded Charleston Southern (15-16) to 69-66, making the final 1:16 a one-possession game. UNC Asheville got a stop when Raekwon Miller grabbed a defensive rebound and the Bulldogs called timeout with 29.7 seconds to play.
Thomas scored as UNC Asheville ran the shot clock down to the buzzer and in the frenetic 10 seconds that remained, Charleston Southern launched two 3s but neither dropped in.
Miller scored 12 points with nine boards and nine assists, and Jonathan Baehre scored 10. The Bulldogs led by 14 early in the second half.
Christian Keeling poured in 24 points and Cortez Mitchell 14 as the Buccaneers fought back, holding UNC Asheville scoreless until Thomas hit his final shot.
UNC Asheville’s seniors have a school-record 81 wins, topping the previous record of 78 in the 1982-83 season.