Liberty defeats Samford in the 2nd round of the CIT, 66-58. Here’s our rapid reactions:

  1. The Flames pick up their best win of the season by knocking off the Bulldogs who entered the game ranked #154 in KenPom. Liberty entered the game 0-12 against teams rated in the top 175 this season.
  2. Samford was held 8:34 of game action without a field goal in the first half, the streak ended with 6 seconds left in the first half. The Flames’ defense continues to be key to the team’s success as Coach McKay has designed.
  3. The game was played at a high level of intensity from both sides. Ezra Talbert and Samford’s Wyatt Walker were each assessed a technical foul in the first half as they had to be separated by officials. A second skirmish happened in the 2nd half when the officials had to step in to separate the teams. There was plenty of jawing going back and forth between both teams throughout the game.
  4. The Bulldogs entered the game averaging 79.3 points per game, the 45th best scoring team in the country. They’ve been held under 70 points just 8 times this season and only twice in the previous 25 games while Liberty improves to 21-4 when holding opponents under 62 points in the past 2 seasons under Coach McKay.
  5. The Flames dominated the Bulldogs in points off turnovers, scoring 25 points off Samford’s 16 turnovers compared to just 5 Samford points off Liberty’s 7 turnovers.
  6. 5 Flames scored in double figures led by John Dawson’s 15 points. It was the most points the senior guard has scored since January 19th against Gardner-Webb. Lovell Cabbil, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, and Ryan Kemrite also reached double figures. Cabbil finished with 14 points, Georgie had 13 points to go along with his 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Kemrite added 10 points, but was just 2/10 from 3.
  7. Ezra Talbert was the 5th Flame to reach double figures as he finished with 10 points in 13 minutes. He was perfect from the floor on his 4 field goal attempts and also made both of his free throws. It was his season high in points, besting an 8 point performance against Mississippi Valley State back in November.
  8. Liberty started the game a perfect 8/8 from free throw line to help them maintain their lead. They went on to finish the game 12/16 from the charity stripe.
  9. This is Liberty’s first ever win over Samford, having dropped their first 4 meetings against the Bulldogs.
  10. Liberty will be on the road in their next game, in the quarterfinals of the CIT, with the game likely to be played either Thursday or Friday this week.