Forty-eight hours after a heart-breaking, triple overtime loss, Liberty reversed their fortunes against Georgia State Monday night, beating the Panthers, 77-74, in overtime.
The Flames trailed by 3 in the final minute of overtime before Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 45 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer by Georgia State, Pacheco-Ortiz grabbed the defensive rebound as he fell out of bounds and threw it off a Panther giving Liberty the final possession of the game. Georgie was then able to hit an off-balanced three pointer as time expired to give the Flames the win.
Georgia State used a 15-0 run early in the game to seize control at 23-9. The Panthers led most of the way, and by as many as 16 points at the 16:29 mark of the 2nd half. D’Marcus Simonds finished the game with 35 points, but it was Isaiah Williams’ defense on Simonds that helped the Flames claw back into the contest. Williams finished the game with 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in his best all-around performance in his short Liberty career.
After struggling to a 4/23 shooting performance from 3 against UNCG Saturday, Liberty was an impressive 14/26 from deep against the Panthers, led by 5 treys each by Lovell Cabbil and Ryan Kemrite.
Cabbil had 16 points on 5/8 shooting from 3. He also added 5 assists. Kemrite was 5/9 from deep as he finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Scottie James led the Flames with 17 points and added 9 rebounds, just one rebound shy of his 4th consecutive double-double.
Caleb Homesley chipped in 5 points and 6 rebounds while Elijah Cuffee added 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
With the win, Liberty moves to 2-0 this season on the road, after knocking off Wake Forest earlier this year. It marks the first time the Flames have won two non-conference road games in the same season since the 2000-01 campaign when Liberty defeated Virginia Tech and Albany under former head coach Mel Hankinson.
Liberty returns home to face Maryland Eastern-Shore Friday night in the Vines Center.