Liberty (22-10, 12-4) vs. Bellarmine (18-13, 11-5)
Lynchburg, Virginia – Liberty Arena (Capacity: 4,000)
Saturday, Feb. 5, 6:00 p.m.

Last Meeting: Liberty defeated Bellarmine, 66-53, on Feb. 3, 2022
Series History: Liberty leads 2-0

Projected LU Starters:

2 Darius McGhee (Sr., 5-9, 150) – 24.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg
23 Joseph Venzant (Fr., 6-3, 170) – 3.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.6 apg
20 Keegan McDowell (R-Sr., 6-6, 180) – 10.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.8 apg
22 Kyle Rode (Jr., 6-7, 220) – 9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.3 apg
33 Shiloh Robinson (R-Jr., 6-7, 200) – 9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 apg

Projected Bellarmine Starters:

25 CJ Fleming (Sr., 6-0, 180) – 15.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.1 apg
1 Juston Betz (Sr., 6-3, 190) –  7.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
13 Dylan Penn (Sr., 6-3, 190) – 16.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.1 apg
2 Alec Pfriem (Jr., 6-5, 205) – 7.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.8 apg
42 Curt Hopf (Fr., 6-8, 220) – 7.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.6 apg


Bellarmine captured their first-ever victory in the ASUN Tournament on Thursday, dominating FGCU down the stretch in pulling away for an 81-68 win in the quarterfinals. The Knights trailed, 38-35 at halftime, but they outscored the Eagles, 46-30 in the second half, shooting 62.1% from the field after the intermission.

The Knights will be making their first ever trek to Lynchburg to take on the Flames in the ASUN Semifinals on Saturday. Liberty, the three-time defending conference champions, will be looking to advance to the program’s fifth straight trip to a conference championship game.

The Flames are 2-0 all-time against Bellarmine, winning both games at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. Liberty knocked off Bellarmine just about a month ago, 66-53. Four players reached double figures for the Flames in the win that day, led by Shiloh Robinson’s 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Rode had 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Darius McGhee chipped in 13 points and 5 assists and Keegan McDowell added 13 points.

Darius McGhee has set Liberty’s Division I record for most points scored in a single season with 791 points. On Saturday, McGhee will be looking to secure his 105th career win at Liberty, which would break Elijah Cuffee’s career record of 104 wins, set just one season ago. Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay will be looking to pick up his 200th career win during his time with the Flames.

“The seeds held true,” said Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay of the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. “It’s been a tremendous ASUN Conference regular season. This is what you prepare for. We know how good they are, Scott Davenport. People thought that Bellarmine wouldn’t be a factor, they just didn’t pay attention. They went to 12 straight Division II Tournaments, 12 straight. Then, they played in the postseason last year. We are very aware and very respectful of what they do. We’re going to need everybody to recover quickly and have a quick turnaround. They are hard to guard and they are really hard-nosed defensively.”


Liberty 73, Bellarmine 65