LYNCHBURG, Va. – For the second straight season, Liberty is headed to the ASUN Championship after pulling out the 66-62 win over Stetson, Thursday night at the Vines Center. Liberty will face the No. 3 seed, Lipscomb, in the ASUN Championship for the second consecutive season. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET and will be on ESPN.
Both teams struggled on offense early in the contest the game was tied at 7-7 from the 15:14-mark until the 11:04-mark. Stetson got in a groove late in the half as they jumped out to an 18-9 lead with just under four and a half minutes left in the period. Liberty responded by making its last five field goal attempts as Darius McGhee provided the exclamation point with a three-pointer at the buzzer. Liberty would trail at the break, 25-22. Caleb Homesley led all scorers with 11 points at the break.
Liberty was able to get its first lead of the game (29-28) at the 16:19-mark off a steal and layup by Elijah Cuffee and the Flames would never relinquish the lead after that. The Flames were exceptional in the first 10 minutes of the half as Liberty went on a 15-2 run just over six minutes to jump put to a 40-30 lead. Stetson cut Liberty’s lead to single digits with 10:42 left in the game and came within two points (58-56) with 1:12 left in the game. In order to maintain its lead, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz was clutch in the final minute, converting 8-8 free throws in the final 44 seconds of the game.
Key Stats & Notes
- Liberty extends its school record winning streak at home to 21 games.
- Liberty has tied its school record for most wins (29) in a single season
- Myo Baxter-Bell joins Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz as the only two players in school history to win 100 career games.
- Caleb Homesley recorded his ninth 20-point game of the season and 14th of his career with a game-high 26 points to go along with eight rebounds.
- Twenty-six points was the most Homesley has scored in an ASUN Tournament game in his career.
- Homesley passed Matt Hildebrand on Liberty’s all-time scoring list as he now sits in 11th place with 1,523 career points.
- This was Liberty’s third win this season where an opponent outshot them from the field as Stetson shot 46.9 percent (23-49) while Liberty shot 45.8 percent (22-48).
- Pacheco-Ortiz tied his season-high in free throw makes with eight against Stetson.
- Liberty dished out 13 assists on 22 made field goals.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay
"Flames Nation was amazing tonight. That was the best home court since I have been here in seven years. I thought they were the difference. Our guys who I rode with for a lot of the second half they were inspired. I thought we were better in the post and got in a rhythm on offense and we were decent enough on defense to get the win.”
Liberty will face Lipscomb in the ASUN Championship at the Vines Center on Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased here and admission is free for Liberty students with their Flames Pass.