ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -Bryan Smithson scored a career-best 31 points Saturday to lead North Carolina-Asheville past Liberty 74-70.
Smithson went 10-for-12 from the field and hit four 3-pointers for the Bulldogs (12-4, 1-0 Big South Conference), who won for the 16th time in 21 games dating to last season. Kenny George added 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting.
Kyle Ohman had 14 points for the Flames (8-8, 0-1), who rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to take a 70-67 lead with 2:11 left.
Smithson hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, and Reid Augst hit a free throw for a 71-70 lead with 55 seconds left. Then, after a miss by Ohman, K.J. Garland hit two free throws to push the margin to three points with 14 seconds left.
Ohman missed again at the other end, and Garland hit one more free throw with 2.2 seconds left to seal it.
UNC Asheville shot 61 percent for the game.
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