– Liberty’s defense led the way in the Flames’ 82-52 win over South Carolina State. The Flames extend their home winning streak to 27 games, which is tied for the second longest in the country.
South Carolina State got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 14-5 lead, sparked by Rahsaan Edwards’ nine points. Liberty was able to get back within the game led by Chris Parker (six points) and Blake Preston (five points) scoring 11 of Liberty’s first 13 points. Liberty was able to regain the lead at the 9:55-mark, as the Flames went on a 31-0 run. Darius McGhee was a major part of the run scoring 14 points in a four-minute span. Liberty did not allow South Carolina State to score a field goal in the final 10:50 of the half and ended the 1st half on a 31-1 run, going into the break with a 44-17 lead.
The Flames continued to be efficient on offense to start the half, shooting 50 percent in the first 12 minutes of the half. Elijah Cuffee found his groove on offense, shooting 5-6 from the field, including four three-pointers. As Liberty’s starters set the tone, Liberty’s bench came in and provided offense as well, outscoring South Carolina State’s bench 23-12 throughout the game.
Key Stats & Notes
- Blake Preston earned his first career start and posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
- Liberty became the first team to record 100 made three-pointers this season.
- Liberty shot 50 percent for the game, while holding South Carolina State to 39 percent.
- Chris Parker recorded a game-high eight assists to go along with 11 points and a career-high five steals.
- Liberty had 10 players score, led by Elijah Cuffee and Darius McGhee with 16 points each.
- McGhee passed Seth Curry on Liberty’s all-time scoring list, moving up to No. 46 with 722 career points.
- Liberty had four players score double-figures.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay
“I felt like we had to get back to center after South Carolina State’s early run and I thought we did a good job; that was a good effort. We try and value each possession so what I was most excited about was a good defensive stop and sound execution on the offensive end.”
Liberty will return to Liberty Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 16, as the Flames host Carver College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.