Simuel Frazier added 12 points and six assists to help Howard (3-8) overcome a first-half deficit.
Trailing at halftime 32-25, Thompson's steal and fast-break layup to begin the second half sparked a 15-1 run, helping Howard take a 40-33 lead with 12:06 left to play. Thompson capped the run with a three-point play.
With 44 seconds left to play and down by three, Liberty's (1-9) John Caleb Sanders was fouled on a 3-point shot and converted just two of three free-throws to cut the deficit to one, 54-53.
Howard answered making 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Liberty shot just 24.1 percent (7 for 29) in the second half.
Davon Marshall led the Flames with 13 points.
Mike Krzyzewski says he has good reason to be excited for next season thanks to a combination of Duke's incoming freshmen and a core of experienced upperclassmen.
Georgia guard Juwan Parker has been awarded a medical redshirt, leaving him with two years of eligibility, after missing the 2015-16 season with a partially torn Achilles tendon.
Forward Trevon Bluiett has withdrawn from consideration from the NBA draft and will return to Xavier for his junior season.
|South Carolina State||12-4||1||19-15|
|North Carolina Central||7-9||6||13-19|
|North Carolina A&T||7-9||6||10-22|