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Gardner-Webb drops UNC Asheville into 3-way tie for 1st

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Tyrell Nelson scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Gardner-Webb dropped UNC Asheville into a three-way tie for first place in the Big South with an 81-76 victory on Thursday night.

During a timeout with 49.8 seconds left, the lights went out in the arena. When play resumed after about an eight-minute delay, Liam O'Reilly hit two free throws to extend Gardner-Webb's lead to 78-72.

Laquincy Rideau added 15 points with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals for Gardner-Webb (17-13, 10-7).

O'Reilly had a one-on-one opportunity in transition and was blocked from behind but Laquincy Rideau put it back to give Gardner-Webb its first double-digit lead, 62-52, of the game with 9:38 left.

After L'Hassane Niangane missed two put backs, Nelson finally tapped it home and was fouled with 4:13 left. He missed the free throw but Gardner-Webb was still up 71-63. At the other end, Ahmad Thomas was left wide open at the wing for a 3-pointer to pull to 71-66.

Thomas led UNC Asheville (22-8, 14-3) with 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting.