Liberty (2-1) picked up its first win over a Division I team of the season on Monday night with a 79-63 win over North Carolina Central (0-3).

“Really pleased with our guys effort,” said Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay. “I feel like they’ve got a maturity about them. They had a right response in their nature, and I think you saw a little bit of that this evening.”

After scoring just 8 points in Friday’s loss at No. 20 Alabama, Darius McGhee eclipsed that point total with 9 before the first media timeout as he made his first three triples. McGhee would end up with 20 first half points, making 5 of 7 from behind the arc including a four-point play. In total, Liberty made 9 of 15 three pointers in the first half, going into the locker room with a 45-21 lead.

The Eagles attempted to cut into the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Flames were able to thwart the run and keep them at bay.

McGhee led the team with 27 points while Brody Peebles chipped in 12 points. Shiloh Robinson, Kyle Rode, Joseph Venzant, Blake Preston, Zach Cleveland, and Colin Porter all scored between 5 and 8 points. Liberty shot 52.5% from the field and made 11 of 24 three pointers.

The Flames will return to action on Friday night against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are currently 2-0 on the season with a non-Division I win over William Carey while also knocking off Vanderbilt, 60-48. Southern Miss is currently leading non-Division I Loyola (LA) in the second half.


It was an uncharacteristic night for Darius McGhee on Friday at Alabama. He struggled with fouls and Alabama’s length as they attempted to keep the two-time ASUN Player of the Year from taking over the game. The Crimson Tide were successful in doing that, holding Darius to just 8 points on the night.

Start of a cold spell for the potential All-American? Not so fast.

McGhee knocked down his first three three-point attempts on Monday night against North Carolina Central, all coming before the first media timeout and all the first nine points for the Flames. It was the start of a 20-point first half for the senior guard from Roxboro, North Carolina that included a highlight reel four point play late in the half. He finished the game with 27 points while making 6 of 10 from three and eclipsed the 1,900 career scoring mark on the evening.

“Left-handed bank threes should surprise me, but he’s a magnificent player,” McKay said of McGhee. “I think he had a little bit of an edge after the Alabama game and not having a chance to move freely. He was going to come out and be a little bit more aggressive.”


Coming into the program, Brody Peebles was known as a scorer and rightfully so after scoring over 3,000 points during his high school career in Hartselle, Alabama. As a freshman last season, Peebles struggled with consistency. He would occasionally show a scoring burst in a half or even a game, but was unable to find consistency.

Three games into his sophomore campaign, Peebles is making a case to prove he can be a consistent scoring option for the Flames. For the first time in his career, Brody has scored in double figures in three straight games, doing so to begin the season. On Monday, he had 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the field, while making 2 of his 4 three point attempts.

“I worked really hard in the off-season to try to earn the guys’ trust, coach’s trust,” said Peebles. “I’m playing with a freedom because of my faith. Not trying to prove myself or be outside of myself but just trust in Jesus in that. Guys trust me and find me for open looks.”


With the first two games being out of hand, we didn’t get a good look at the expected rotation for Coach McKay and the Flames this season. That appears to have changed Monday night. The same starters took to the court to begin the game for a third straight game in Colin Porter, Darius McGhee, Joseph Venzant, Kyle Rode, and Shiloh Robinson. The next three off the bench were Blake Preston, Brody Peebles, and Zach Cleveland. Isiah Warfield was the 9th man.

If that turns out to be the rotation for the majority of the season, it appears that Jonathan Jackson, Bryson Spell and the walk-ons are out of the primary rotation.