Liberty’s season comes to an end with a 77-65 loss to Winthrop in the first round of the Big South Tournament. Here are our main takeaways from the game:
- The Flames jumped out to an early 17-5 lead before the Eagles responded with a 17-4 run. During the run, Liberty went 8:44 without making a field goal. Winthrop rode this run to a 35-29 halftime lead, and, ultimately, the win.
- Drew Smith had a career game, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. His 17 points ties a career-high. Smith also finished with 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals before fouling out with just over a minute to play.
- Davon Marshall was 5-of-7 from 3 in last year’s first round Big South Tournament game and finished with 28 points. Against Winthrop, he hit his first 3-point attempt before finishing 2-for-5 for just 6 points.
- John Caleb Sanders had a disappointing final game of his career. Sanders shot 1-for-7 from the field and 0-for-3 from 3-point range. He did have 8 points after hitting all 6 of his free throw attempts.
- Tomas Gielo was a nonfactor on offense for much of the game as he attempted just 1 field goal in the first half. Gielo finished with 8 points on 3-for-7 shooting.
- Joe Retic had one of his better games of the season. The sophomore point guard finished with 15 points, just one off his career-high of 16. He also had 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
- Liberty was the best rebounding team in the conference, but lost that battle against Winthrop 32-27.
- The teams combined to shoot 33-for-34 from the free throw line led by Winthrop’s perfect 21-for-21 mark, a Big South record.
- With the loss, the Flames have now lost in the 1st round of the conference tournament in 4 of Layer’s 5 seasons. Last year’s championship run the obvious exception.