Mark Thomas scored 28 points and Jody Hill added 19 for Livingstone in a 75-63 quarterfinal victory against St. Augustine’s in the CIAA tournament Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Blue Bears (19-7), the No. 1 seed in the Southern Division, advanced to Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal and will play Fayetteville State, an 81-74 winner against Lincoln.
Tashaun Stockdale and Joel Kindred scored 13 each for St. Augustine’s (13-16), seeded sixth in the division. Amere May added 10 points.
The Blue Bears led 5-2 early, but the Falcons opened a 17-7 lead with a 15-2 run. Stockdale scored five points during that stretch for the Falcons.
“The guys were ready to play,” said Falcons coach Tony Sheals, whose squad lost twice to the Blue Bears during the regular season. “We knew we could play with them, and it would be a dogfight.”
The Blue Bears pulled within 17-13, but May knocked down two free throws for a six-point Falcons lead. The Blue Bears used a 17-9 run in the last 6 minutes, 26 seconds to gain a 30-28 halftime lead.
Thomas scored 18 in the second half to ignite the Blue Bears, who shot 49 percent in the final 20 minutes. The Blue Bears opened the half with a 19-10 run for a 49-38 lead with 13:40 left in the game.
The Falcons climbed back within four points at 57-53 on Kindred’s layup with 6:22 remaining. His basket completed a 15-8 run.