After suffering a setback in their conference opener at Gardner-Webb, the Flames got back in the win column after knocking off Charleston Southern, 70-53, Tuesday night in the Vines Center.
The Buccaneers’ pressure forced the Flames into multiple mistakes in the opening of the game, as CSU pushed their lead to 16-11 at the 10:46 mark in the first half, their largest lead of the game. From there, Liberty settled into the flow of the game and, sparked by an 8-0 run late in the first half, to seize the lead and control of the game. After leading 38-37 in the 2nd half, the Flames finished the game on a 32-16 run.
Charleston Southern forced 29 turnovers in their 41 point victory over Longwood on Saturday, and forced Liberty into a season high 22 on the game. Liberty entered the game averaging 12.3 turnovers per game.
George Pacheco-Ortiz had a career night as he finished with 7 made three pointers, tied with 7 others for the 2nd most threes in a game by a Flame. The school record is 8, set by Larry Jackson in 1996. Georgie finished the game with a season-high 27 points on just 9 field goal attempts. He was 7/8 from 3 and 6/8 from the free throw line.
Scottie James had his 6th double-double of the year and also added a season high in assists as the sophomore big man finished the game with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Caleb Homesley sparked the Flames in the 2nd half, recording 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, all in the final 20 minutes of play.
Lovell Cabbil and Ryan Kemrite, two of Liberty’s top 3 leading scorers, struggled against CSU, finishing the game a combined 3/12 from the field for 9 points. Kemrite is just 2 points shy of becoming the 25th member of Liberty’s 1,000 career points club.
Liberty hosts Presbyterian on Saturday at 4pm. The Blue Hose are 0-1 in the Big South after falling to Radford. PC is at Longwood Wednesday.
Just prior to tip, Coach McKay picked up a commitment from 2019 shooting guard prospect Marten Maide who was on his official visit. For more on Maide, check out our story on his commitment.