Liberty defeats Radford with a buzzer beater to win, 57-54. Here’s our rapid reactions:
- AC Reid was 0/5 from 3 point range entering the final 3 seconds of the game, but he saved his one make as time expired to give the Flames the win. Reid was well defended and used the backboard to knock in the game winner. The made 3 was also the only made 3 pointer for Liberty in the 2nd half, as the Flames were 1/11 from deep during the final 20 minutes.
- It was the tale of 2 different games from the first meeting between these two schools this year. In the first meeting, Radford scored just 12 points on 4 made field goals and 15% shooting in the first half against Liberty back on January 14th. During the first 20 minutes against Liberty tonight, the Highlanders scored 34 points while shooting 45% from the field. Radford didn’t reach the 34 point mark in the first game until the 11:33 mark of the 2nd half.
- The pace slowed considerably in the 2nd half, with both teams combining for 46 points in the final 20 minutes with both teams shooting below 37%.
- Radford opened the game on an 11-2 run, but the Flames responded with a 15-5 run of their own. From that point forward, the lead changed hands 11 times and was tied on 8 different occasions with noone getting a lead larger than 7.
- The Highlanders, who dominated the Flames on the offensive glass the first time around, did much of the same this time in the first half. They had 8 2nd chance points during the opening stanza, but Liberty tightened down in the 2nd half. Radford was held to 0 2nd chance points in the 2nd.
- Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz continues to play unreal as a freshman. He recorded career highs in points (15) and rebounds (6) while also recording 3 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers. The true freshman point guard has not recorded a turnover in the previous 3 games. He’s gone 103 consecutive minutes without recording a turnover. Georgie has committed just 2 turnovers in the past 7 games.
- Liberty continues to struggle shooting at home, particularly from 3. That trend continued against Radford. The Flames shot just 20% from 3 for the game.
- Myo Baxter-Bell and Ryan Kemrite certainly had off nights. Myo finished the game 0/7 from the field with 3 turnovers and just 2 rebounds. Kemrite, who was plagued by foul trouble all night and only played 16 minutes, finished the game with just 5 points on 2/5 shooting from the field and 1/3 from the free throw line. He also finished the game without recording a 3 pointer, ending a streak of 13 straight games connecting from deep.
- The Flames improve to 18-3 when holding opponents to 62 points or fewer since McKay took over a season and a half ago. Liberty has held its last 9 opponents under 65 points.
- The Flames hit the road for a brief one game road trip as they head to Boiling Springs to take on the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs on Thursday night at 7.
John Dawson – “AC was the 2nd look (on the final play). AC being the play-maker that he is, you know late clock, we all know throughout the season AC has dug us out of a lot holes with the shot clock. He hit the shot, and I’m glad.”
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz – “AC wasn’t hitting the shots that he usually makes, but he hit the last one.”
AC Reid – “I just kept telling myself, ‘keep shooting, keep shooting’. Alex (McLean) was on the bench telling me, ‘this is what we work on everyday.'”
Coach McKay – “When you reside near the top of the standings, you’re usually going to get the other teams’ best shots, and we certainly got it tonight. I was proud of our group. To not shoot the ball like we’re capable of, for Myo to struggle offensively, and Ryan Kemrite didn’t make a 3 and missed 2 free throws which I haven’t even seen in practice. I felt like our guys really, really showed some growth and maturity to come out with a win in a very difficult setting after Justin Cousins made the 3. That’s a stop that we’ve been getting, we’ve been getting the nail in the coffin stop, and we didn’t. For us to rally back and feel good about the last play, we were fortunate.”