LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty snapped its two-game losing streak with an 83-45 win over Kennesaw State, Thursday night at the Vines Center. With the victory, Liberty became the third team in Division I to reach the 20-win mark this season, joining Gonzaga and San Diego State.
Liberty’s frontcourt duo of Myo Baxter-Bell and Scottie James were a matchup problem for Kennesaw State, scoring 11 of Liberty’s first 16 points in the game’s first 10 minutes of action. Liberty’s defense shutdown Kennesaw State scoreless for over 10 minutes. During that span, Liberty would go on a 17-0 run, as the Owls did not make a field goal in the final 10:39 of the half. Elijah Cuffee got things going for Liberty’s offense, scoring 12 points to close out the first half as the Flames held a 34-18 lead at the break. Kennesaw State missed its last 11 field goal attempts, going 10:39 without making a field goal.
Liberty’s offense continued to roll in the second half, shooting 64 percent (18-28) from the field led by Caleb Homesley’s 10 points. The Flames would control the paint, outscoring Kennesaw State 32-10 inside the paint, while the bench also outscored KSU 20-8 in the final 20 minutes of action.
Key Stats & Notes
· This is the fastest a Liberty team has reached the 20-win mark breaking last season’s record of Feb. 5.
· Liberty has now tied the school record for most consecutive wins at home with 16 victories.
· Liberty held KSU to 18 points in the first half, the ninth time Liberty has held an opponent to under 20 points in a half this season.
· Scottie James recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 26th of his career with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
· Caleb Homesley became the 16th player in school history to score 1,300 career points, ending the night with 15 points.
· Five Liberty players scored in double-figures, the most in a game this season.
· This is the fifth time Liberty has scored 80 points or more in a game.
· Liberty outscored Kennesaw State 52-18 inside the paint.
· This was the 11th game Liberty has held an opponent to under 50 points this season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay
"I thought our guys did a really good job, especially weathering a storm at the beginning, with the game being at 12-11. I thought we showed a lot of maturity and shared the ball real well. We got some great looks in the first half so I felt like we took a step and grew a little bit tonight.”
Liberty will close out the weekend at home against FGCU. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Vines Center and can be seen on ESPN+.