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Conference tournament recap: Liberty and Lipscomb set up rematch, Arch Madness, and more

Get caught up as conference tournaments continue.

NCAA Basketball: Liberty at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Conference tournaments are full speed ahead as some of them get started while others inch closer to an end. It can be hard to keep track of everything that happens, so we did the hard work for you.


No. 5 NJIT 55, No. 1 LIPSCOMB 78
No. 3 North Florida 63, No. 2 LIBERTY 71

As many expected to be the case, the ASUN championship game is going to be a rubber match between Lipscomb and Liberty. The Bisons cruised to a convincing win over NJIT, and will have home court advantage with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. Garrison Mathews led all scorers with 22 points in the win.

A hot shooting performance (13-of-27 from 3) from North Florida kept the Ospreys within striking distance of Liberty, but the Flames ultimately held serve at home behind 24 points and nine rebounds from Scottie James. The championship game is on Sunday, where Liberty will try to repeat their performance when they knocked off Lipscomb in Nashville back in February.

Big South

No. 7 Presbyterian 76, No. 2 RADFORD 84
No. 6 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 77, No. 3 Winthrop Eagles 63
No. 8 Hampton 77, No. 1 CAMPBELL 86
No. 5 High Point 69, No. 4 GARDNER-WEBB 75

The Big South had an upset yesterday in what has been an otherwise chalk tournament. Charleston Southern came into the tournament having won four of their last five, and handled Winthrop en route to the semifinals.

Radford hit 11-of-23 from deep to hold off multiple comeback attempts from Presbyterian, and Chris Clemons delivered 34 points in Campbell’s win against Hampton. NMTC Member Gardner-Webb came away victorious in the all-NMTC matchup behind 25 points from David Efianayi.

Today’s Games:

No. 6 Charleston Southern (17-14, 9-7) vs. No. 2 Radford (21-10, 12-4), 6 p.m.
No. 4 Gardner-Webb (21-11, 10-6) at No. 1 Campbell (20-11, 12-4), approx. 8:30 p.m.


No. 9 SAINT PETER’S 71, No. 8 Marist 68 OT
No. 10 Fairfield 53, No. 7 MANHATTAN 57
No. 11 Niagara 72, No. 6 MONMOUTH 76

Given how close of a race the MAAC regular season was, it’s not surprise that the tournament features much of the same. Saint Peter’s overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to ultimately pull out a win in overtime. Manhattan won a grinder of a game against Fairfield, and Monmouth got a great bench performance from Louie Pillari (15 points) to hold off Niagara.

Today’s Games:

No. 9 Saint Peter’s vs. No. 1 Iona , 7 p.m.
No. 7 Manhattan vs. No. 2 Canisius, approx. 9:30 p.m.

Missouri Valley

No. 9 VALPARAISO 77, No. 8 Indiana State 55
No. 10 Evansville 60, No. 7 ILLINOIS STATE 65

Valpo had been limping to the finish line to end the regular season, but delivered stellar defensive performance against Indiana State as they held the Sycamores to just 0.80 points per possession. The Crusaders took control of the game in the second half, and turned a nine point halftime lead into a blowout. That sets up a matchup with top seed and defending champ Loyola Chicago to start the day.

Illinois State won a sloppy game against Evansville to avoid a disappointing end to what’s been a frustrating season in Normal. The Redbirds get Drake in the quarterfinals, a team that they swept in the regular season.

Today’s Games:

No. 9 Valparaiso vs. No. 1 Loyola Chicago , 1 p.m.
No. 5 Bradley vs. No. 4 Missouri State, approx. 3:30 p.m.
No. 7 Illinois State vs. No. 2 Drake Bulldogs, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Northern Iowa vs. No. 3 Southern Illinois, approx. 9:30 p.m.


No. 5 Morehead State 81, No. 4 AUSTIN PEAY 95
No. 7 UT Martin 81, No. 3 JACKSONVILLE STATE 88

Chalk reigns in the OVC, as most expected given how much separation there has been between the top four teams and the rest of the league. Jacksonville State had to sweat a little bit, and actually trailed by 10 at the break. Quintin Dove’s 35 points wasn’t enough for UT Martin as the Gamecocks flipped the switch in the second half. The rest of the tournament is primed for a trio of what should be extremely entertaining games between some of the best mid-majors around.

Today’s Games:

No. 4 Austin Peay vs. No. 1 Belmont Bruins, 8 p.m.
No. 3 Jacksonville State vs. No. 2 Murray State, approx. 10:30 p.m.

Patriot League

No. 8 Boston University 69, No. 1 COLGATE 81
No. 5 NAVY 60, No. 4 American 56
No. 10 Holy Cross 65, No. 2 BUCKNELL 77
No. 6 Army 70, No. 3 LEHIGH 73

One half of The Troops contingent saved us from an all chalk semifinals. In typical Ed Dechellis fashion, the Midshipmen locked down American en route to the win. Colgate and Bucknell comfortably won their games, but Lehigh had to hold off the other half of The Troops to advance. An uncharacteristically poor shooting performance from three (4-of-23) had the Mountain Hawks in hot water that included a 15 point deficit early in the second half. A 29-of-33 performance from the free throw line propelled Lehigh into the semifinals for a matchup with Bucknell.


No. 9 Pacific 53, No. 8 PEPPERDINE 61
No. 10 Portland 47, No. 7 SAN DIEGO 67

Thursday was a fairly uneventful, chalk night from the WCC. Pepperdine avenged a loss to Pacific from the prior weekend to advance, while San Diego stifled a Portland team that finishes the season without a win in WCC play. They’ll have to traverse another round of games before getting a shot at the big dogs.

Today’s Games:

No. 8. Pepperdine vs. No. 5 Loyola Marymount, 9 p.m.
No. 7 San Diego vs. No. 6 Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.