CONWAY, S.C. -- Tristan Carey had 21 points and a career-best six steals as Longwood began its first Big South Conference tournament Tuesday by knocking off two-time defending champion UNC Asheville 87-72.
Carey scored 17 points and had all six steals in the first half, when the Lancers (8-24), the North Division's No. 6 seed, grabbed a 47-35 lead.
The Bulldogs (16-16), the No. 3 South seed, got to within 71-68 with 3:41 remaining on a layup by Jeremy Atkinson, who finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. But the Lancers responded with a 9-0 run, started by a three-point play by Michael Kessens.
Lucas Woodhouse had 17 points and seven assists and Karl Ziegler scored a career-high 17 points off the bench for Longwood, which has won five of eight and will play Virginia Military Institute on Thursday.
Keith Hornsby had 14 points and five assists for UNC Asheville.