LYNCHBURG, Va. -- John Caleb Sanders came off the bench to score 14 points as Liberty won its first game of the season, beating Southern Virginia 76-51 Tuesday.
Liberty's starters opened the game making just 1 of 7 shots. After a mass substitution, the Flames made four of their next five shots to take a 16-12 lead behind a Chad Donley 3-pointer.
Southern Virginia (4-2) closed the gap to 18-17 but Donley hit another trey, sparking an 18-8 run over the final 8 minutes of the half.
Liberty (1-8) shot 13 of 26, compared to just 10 of 29 for Southern Virginia, and got 22 bench points in the first half.
Sanders' two free throws at the 5:36 mark of the second half put Liberty up 64-46.
Liberty shot a season-high 57.4 percent (27 of 47) from the field, including 7 of 14 from deep.
Isaac Jacobson led Southern Virginia with 16 points.
Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.
Seton Hall sophomore Isaiah Whitehead will stay in the NBA draft and not return for his junior season.
Washington State's trio of Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play their senior season with the Cougars.