UNC Asheville (12-9, 5-3 Big South) made 11 of 15 3-pointers in the first half and cruised.
UNC Asheville doubled Liberty, 36-18, through the first 13 minutes with 12 points from Thomas and Vannatta's 10. The Bulldogs led 51-30 at halftime after having 14 assists on 16 field goals and shooting 67 percent overall. Vannatta tied a career-high with five 3-pointers and scored 19 points. The Flames were just 1 of 10 from distance and shot 35.5 percent.
Scottie James had 19 points for Liberty (12-9, 3-5).
Watts is one of the most dynamic scoring guards in the country and looks to develop his game under coach Tom Izzo's tutelage.
Rocket Watts, the No. 27 overall prospect in the 2019 class, has committed to Michigan State.
UNC Wilmington will open its preseason basketball practices at North Carolina due to lingering effects of Hurricane Florence.