- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Bronaza Fitzgerald, a 47 percent free-throw shooter who had missed her other four attempts, made two from the line with five seconds left, giving UNC Asheville a 49-48 victory over top-seeded Radford on Sunday for a second straight Big South Tournament championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Khaila Webb scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Asheville with Chatori Major adding 10 points. The Bulldogs (19-14) became the first seventh-seed to win the conference tournament and the first to win four games in four days.

Last season, the Bulldogs pulled out a 64-62 win in double overtime over Liberty in the championship game before losing to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAAs.

“It’s hard to say ‘oh, this one is sweeter than last year’ but I do feel that way a little bit,” UNC Asheville coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick said. “Last year we were on our home court, and we were the one seed, and we only had four losses in conference. It’s all kind of adding up to, ‘Hey, if you lose this, you’ve kind of dropped the ball.’

“This year it was different. We were the underdog, no pun intended.”

It was the first time the tournament’s champion has won all of its games by singles digits: six points, nine, one and one.

Janayla White scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Jayda Worthy added 14 points for the Highlanders (24-8), who will play in the WNIT.

Radford scored the game’s first eight points and never trailed until Fitzgerald’s free throws.

White made four straight free throws and Worthy a layup in a 6-0 run to lead 48-41 with five minutes left. The Highlanders wouldn’t score again. Major had a layup, Webb two free throws and Major another basket on a short jumper after a scramble for the ball with just under a minute to go to set the scene for Fitzgerald’s winning three throws.

After a timeout, Radford’s Destinee Walker had a shot at the hoop blocked and Worthy’s putback appeared to be partially block as it missed at the buzzer.

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