Liberty advances in the CIT with a 65-52 win over North Carolina A&T. The Flames controlled throughout leading for nearly 32 minutes of game action.
The Aggies made a run early in the 2nd half to seize momentum and take a lead, their last of which came at the 12:44 mark of the 2nd half. True freshman Keegan McDowell scored all 15 of his points in the 2nd half as part of Liberty’s push to regain control of the game. McDowell made all 4 of his field goal attempts in the 2nd half, all of which were three pointers, finishing with a career-high 4 made threes.
“Keegan is going to be a really good player,” McKay said of his true freshman. “He’s from a great system, Cincinnati Moeller. He pursues his passion incredibly hard. He’s in the gym as much as any player I’ve had as a freshman. I think he remains confident in himself, and he gave us a huge boost off the bench.”
Caleb Homesley paced the Flames with 16 points and also added 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Scottie James finished with his 3rd consecutive double-double, as he had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“Caleb Homesley was terrific tonight,” said McKay. “I think he likes being a starter. I think he attacked more in the 2nd half as opposed to settling. Caleb is such a hard matchup for the other team because of his versatility. When he’s right, he really makes us a lot more effective on both ends.”
The Flames went on a 19-8 extended run to go up 56-44 with 3:48 left to seize control of the game. After shooting just 28% from the field in the first half, Coach McKay’s squad was 59% field goal shooting in the 2nd half to finish the game at 41.2%.
Liberty was down two starters as Lovell Cabbil and Ryan Kemrite both were on the bench in street clothes. Cabbil has been battling lingering knee injuries most of the season and had a “little bit of a muscle thing” pop up this week during practice. Kemrite injured his back in the 2nd half of the Big South Championship game against Radford and re-injured it in practice this week.
Stay tuned for information on the Flames’ next game in the CIT which we should know soon.