No. 13 seed Liberty leads No. 4 seed Oklahoma State 30-27 at halftime from Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Oklahoma State grabbed the early lead, but the pace was at Liberty’s preferred tempo from the start of the game. The Flames have not allowed the Cowboys to get out into transition frequently, and possessions are routinely reaching single digits on the shot clock. It took OSU over 12 minutes to pick up their first fast break points of the evening.
The Flames trailed 8-4 early in the first half, when ASUN Player of the Year Darius McGhee scored 5 straight points in just 16 seconds to give Liberty its first lead of the game at 9-8. McGhee’s insanely quick release helped him to get a three-point attempt off which he buried. He then made a layup in transition after an Oklahoma State turnover.
McGhee’s burst was part of a 12-2 run by the Flames as the 13-seed in the Midwest grabbed a 16-10 lead.
First-team All-American and likely number one overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, freshman Cade Cunningham struggled in the first half of his first NCAA Tournament appearance. The 6’8″ guard had just one point, was 0/5 from the field, 0/3 from three while making 1 of 2 from the charity stripe to go along with 3 turnovers. He checked out at the 6:04 mark of the first half after picking up his 2nd personal foul on a charge drawn by ASUN Defensive Player of the Year Elijah Cuffee.
After Cunningham checked out, guard Avery Anderson picked up the scoring for the Cowboys. He scored 8 of their final 10 points in the first half to keep Oklahoma State within just a possession or two throughout the final 6 minutes of the first half.
Blake Preston led the Flames in scoring in the first half with 9 points. Darius McGhee scored 8 points while Elijah Cuffee added 5. Both teams are shooting 40% from the field while Liberty is 5 for 11 from three and OSU is 1 for 8 from deep range.
The winner of this game will advance to play the 12-seed in the Midwest Oregon State who defeated 5-seed Tennessee. That game will be played on Sunday, time and exact location still to be determined.