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Moller's 22 Points Move Liberty Past Rams
Freshman guard Peter Moller put on a show, Saturday afternoon inside the Vines Center, netting a career-high 22 points to lead the Liberty men's basketball team to a 79-61 victory over Bluefield College (5-5).
Coming into the game averaging 5.3 ppg, Moller went 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point land.
Junior forward David Andoh rounded out Liberty's double-digit scorers, finishing with 10 points. Junior point guard Joe Retic tied a career high with 10 assists, while grabbing four steals. In the last three contests, Retic is averaging 9.0 assists per game.
With the win, Liberty moves to 4-5 on the year. The Flames are now 10-6 all-time against the Rams.
The Flames shot a season-high 49.2 percent (31-of-63) from the field, while holding the Rams to 34.4 percent (21-of-61). Liberty has now held its opponents under 35.0 percent shooting in four straight games.
Head coach Dale Layer's squad outscored Bluefield in the paint, 44-20, and 25-9 off second chance points. The Flames pulled down a season-best 54 rebounds, the team's most since finishing with 54 boards versus Milligan on Dec. 21, 2012. Liberty's 20 offensive rebounds versus the Rams also mark a season-high.
Liberty began the game with a 7-0 run, receiving baskets from Theo Johnson, Moller, James Johnson and Smith. After the Rams cut it to two with a three-pointer and a layup, Liberty countered with a 6-0 run. Andoh connected on a jumper followed by an A.C. Reid trey. Andoh then followed up with a free throw to put the Flames ahead, 13-5, with 11:21 remaining in the half.
The Rams outscored the Flames, 12-4, over the next 4:35. A layup by Devin Page knotted the contest at 6:46, 17-17.
Liberty led by as much as seven during the remainder of the period thanks in part to four straight points from Andoh. The Rams closed the half with a layup and a free throw, giving the Flames a 30-26 lead at halftime.
Andoh led all scorers at the half with nine points and five rebounds. Joseph McClain paced the Rams with eight tallies.
Liberty shot 42.3 percent from the field in the stanza, while holding the Rams to 31.0 percent (9-of-29). The Flames outscored Bluefield in the paint, 16-8, and off second chance points, 10-0.
The Flames began the second period with a 10-2 run, with Smith, James Johnson and Theo Johnson all contributing to the burst. James Johnson capped the run with a layup under the basket to make it 40-28, at 17:06.
Bluefield made it a six-point game with nine minutes left after a McClain free throw. Liberty countered with a 16-0 run. Moller kick started the surge with a trey and a two-point jumper. Following a traditional three-point play from Theo Johnson, Smith tacked on back-to-back buckets. After a Retic jumper, Moller closed out the run with a layup, making it 72-50 with 3:39 remaining.
Liberty led by as much as 23 courtesy of a Moller three-pointer with 2:50 left. The Denmark native closed out his scoring on the day with a jumper at 1:54, ultimately leading Liberty to the 79-61 victory.
The Flames return to action on Wednesday at UNCW. Game time versus the Seahawks inside Trask Coliseum is slated for 7:30 p.m.