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Longwood Uses Sharp Shooting to Move Past Flames

January 17, 2015
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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David Andoh

A pair of transfer players for Longwood live up to their billing, Saturday night, as Shaquille Johnson and Quincy Taylor posted 31 and 21 points, respectively, to lead the Lancers past the Liberty men's basketball team, 85-71.

With the defeat, Liberty (6-13, 0-6 Big South) is now 0-14 all-time inside Willett Hall. Longwood (6-13, 2-4 Big South) leads the all-time series, 20-10.

The Lancers led by 23 (73-50) with 10:25 remaining, but the Flames began chipping away at the deficit. Liberty climbed within eight points in the final minute, but were unable to pull any closer.

David Andoh paced Liberty with a career-high 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 10-of-10 at the foul line. Andoh's free throws mark the first time a Flame has garnered at least 10 points from the charity stripe since John Caleb Sanders hit 11 foul shots to help Liberty defeat Charleston Southern in the 2013 Big South Championship, 87-76 (March 10, 2013).

Along with Johnson and Taylor, Ryan Badowski finished with 15 points, hitting five three-pointers. Leron Fisher finished with 10 tallies.

For the second straight contest, three-point baskets plagued the Flames, as Longwood shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from long distance. Liberty shot 46.7 percent (21-of-45) from the field, while Longwood finished with 45.9 percent (28-of-61). The Lancers used Liberty's 20 turnovers to out the Flames off miscues, 28-9.

Longwood took a 16-8 lead in the early minutes, thanks in part to eight points from Shaquille Johnson. Liberty erased the deficit with 10-0 run capped by a thunderous two-handed jam from Smith to take a two-point lead. Longwood answered with a 12-0 surge cemented by a Shaquille Johnson three-pointer, putting the Lancers up 28-18 at 6:29.

With Longwood up by 15 in the final two minutes, the Flames chipped away at the bulge, going 6-of-6 at the foul line. Taylor ended the period with a layup to give Longwood a 41-30 halftime lead.

Taylor (19) and Shaquille Johnson (18) accounted for all but four of Longwood's 41 points in the first half. Andoh, Reid and Moller each had six tallies apiece for the Flames.

Liberty shot 50.0 percent (9-of-18) in the opening period, compared to 47.1 percent (16-of-34) for the Lancers. Longwood capitalized on Liberty's 12 turnovers, converting them into 18 points.

Longwood continued to pull away in the second half courtesy of a trio of treys from Badowski. Shaquille Johnson added to the three-pointers, sinking one at 14:35 to put the Lancers ahead, 59-38.

Down by 23 with just over 10 minutes left, Liberty outscored the Lancers, 19-8, to make it an 8-point game. The Flames rallied heavy on its free throw shooting late and a three-pointer by Jordan Dembley to pull within nine. After a  Shaquille Johnson free throw, Andoh capped his scoring with a layup to make it an 8-point game. Longwood recorded six unanswered points down the stretch en route to the 85-71 win.

Liberty returns to action on Thursday to host Winthrop. Tipoff in the Vines Center is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest broadcasting live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN HD, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.