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Liberty Snaps Skid at Coastal Carolina with Dawson 3-Pointer
A clutch three-pointer by John Dawson with 13 ticks remaining propelled the Flames over Coastal Carolina inside the HTC Center, 62-61, Wednesday evening. The victory snaps a 12-game skid for the Liberty men's basketball team.
Following the go-ahead trey, the Chanticleers got an attempt at a game-winning shot, but came up short. Due to the Flames' defensive pressure, Shivaughn Wiggins was forced to heave up a short jumper with three seconds remaining. Freshman guard Lovell Cabbil grabbed the rebound and hurled the ball down the court to seal the Flames' win.
With the victory, Liberty moves to 4-13 overall and 1-3 in Big South action. The Flames' road win marks the first since the 2013-14 season, when Liberty defeated Campbell, 79-59, at Gore Arena on Feb. 22, 2014. Coastal Carolina is now 8-7 on the year and 2-3 in conference play. Liberty leads the all-time series over the Chanticleers, 29-26.
Dawson paced the Flames with a career-high 18 points, followed by Anthony Fields (11) and Cabbil (11). Nine of Dawson's 18 points came in the final 3:05, hitting three trifectas. Cabbil also grabbed six rebounds and a career-high five steals in addition to his point total. Elijah Wilson paced the Chanticleers with 15 points.
Coastal Carolina shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) for the contest. The Flames finished with 45.3 percent shooting (24-of-53), including 51.9 percent (14-of-27) in the second period.
Liberty knocked down 12 three-pointers on the night, tying its second-best mark of the season. The Flames also tied a season-best for fewest turnovers with seven, while converting the Chanticleers' 12 miscues into 13 points.
Wilson began the contest by posting nine of the Chanticleers first 12 points. Meanwhile, the Flames received a trio of three-pointers from Ezra Talbert, Homesley and Dawson. Following Dawson's trey, Wilson followed up with a layup at 12:40 to give Coastal Carolina a 12-9 lead.
The Chanticleers led by as much as eight in the period after a Diagne layup with 7:14 left. The Flames chipped away at the bulge with the help of baskets from Homesley and Dawson. A trifecta from Fields made it a three-point contest at the 2:33 mark. Diagne capped the first half scoring with another layup 62 ticks later, giving the Chanticleers a 31-26 halftime advantage.
The Flames surprised the home team with its effective rebounding in the first half, keeping up with CCU on the boards, 16-16.
Coastal Carolina shot 48.0 percent (12-of-25) in the first half, compared to 38.5 percent (10-of-26) for the Flames.
Although the Flames held Wilson the rest of the half, the junior still led all scorers at halftime with nine points. Homesley led Liberty in the opening stanza with seven points.
Cabbil opened the second period with a three-pointer to quickly cut the Flames' deficit to three. Following a 7-0 CCU run, Liberty responded with an 8-2 burst, featuring treys from Fields and Cabbil. A three-ball by Cabbil at 15:27 put Liberty within four points of the Chanticleers, 40-36.
Liberty stayed within close range of the Chanticleers, as Dawson nailed a jumper near the free throw line to make it a two-point game with 6:46 left. Tristian Curtis responded with four straight points for the Chanticleers to boost the lead back to six at the 5:22 mark.
Dawson turned up the heat in the final minutes with his barrage of three-pointers. Dawson's second three-pointer of the game gave the Flames the lead for the first time, 53-52, with 3:05 remaining. The Chanticleers reclaimed the advantage and a three-ball from Cabbil knotted the contest at 59 with 51 ticks left. Following a Wilson basket on the other end, Dawson knocked down his fourth and final trey of the game to set up the 62-61 final.
Liberty returns to the Vines Center on Saturday, playing host to Campbell. The Flames look to remain unbeaten when facing the Fighting Camels in the facility, as they currently hold an 8-0 record over Campbell all-time. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., with the contest broadcasting live on ESPN3.