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Williams leads Samford past Appalachian St. 70-56


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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Tim Williams scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 8 seed Samford bounced ninth-seeded Appalachian State 70-56 Friday in the opening round of the Southern Conference tournament.

The Bulldogs (13-19) face top-seeded and two-time defending tournament champion Davidson (19-11) in a Saturday quarterfinal.

Friday was the teams' third meeting in 23 days, Appalachian State sweeping the regular-season contests.

Williams contributed five points in a late burst as the Bulldogs edged to a 29-25 halftime lead, and scored 14 after halftime when Samford never trailed. Samford forced 15 turnovers and held a 37-33 rebounding edge.

Appalachian State, which is leaving the Southern Conference after this season, had won its five previous tournament openers. The Mountaineers were balanced — five players scoring 11 or 10 points — but cold, hitting just 20 of 51 shots, 2 of 14 on 3-pointers. Frank Eaves and Tab Hamilton scored 11 each.

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