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Trio of 20-point Performances Highlight Flames' Win

January 29, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Liberty men's basketball team returned to the win column, Tuesday night, defeating Big South North Division leader Campbell, 89-72, inside the Vines Center. The Flames posted their highest point total against a Division I opponent this season, while tying a season-high in shooting percentage (57.4).

Despite entering the contest with five total previous individual 20-point performances on the year, three Flames surpassed the mark against the Fighting Camels.

Tavares Speaks finished with a career-high 22 points, including 17 in the opening period. After posting 23 points against South Division leader Charleston Southern on Saturday, Davon Marshall followed up with a 22-point performance, hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range. John Caleb Sanders rounded out the trio with 21 points.

Trey Freeman led the Camels with 17 points, followed by Marvell Harris (15), Darian Hooker (15) and Leek Leek (14). Campbell concluded the night shooting 40.3 percent from the field.

The Flames finished the night with its second highest three-point field goal shooting percentage of the season, connecting at a clip of 52.9 (9-of-17). Liberty also benefited from the charity stripe, connecting on a season-high 26-of-33 foul shots.

Liberty moves to 7-15 overall and 3-5 in conference play. The Camels fall to 10-12 on the year and 5-3 in Big South action. The Flames' win knots the all-time series at 10-10 between the two schools. Campbell is now 0-6 all-time in the Vines Center.

For the second straight contest, Speaks sparked the Flames offense in the opening minutes, posting seven of Liberty's first nine points. With Campbell leading, 7-4, Speaks knotted the contest with a three-pointer. The senior followed up with a fast break layup 22 ticks later, giving Liberty a two-point lead.

During the ensuing 5:52 minutes, the Flames outscored the Camels, 9-2, to own an 18-9 advantage with 12 minutes remaining in the half. During the span, Marshall found an airborne Andrew Smith open for fast break layup that wowed the Vines Center crowd.

With Liberty still leading by nine at the 4:26 mark, Campbell looked to mount a comeback, posting five unanswered points highlighted by an Antwon Oliver layup to make it 34-30 with 1:57 remaining. Liberty prevented the Camels from closing the distance, capping the period with two Sanders free throws to take a 38-32 lead into the locker room.

The Flames capitalized from the foul line in the opening half, sinking 13-of-16 from the charity stripe. Campbell made just two trips to the free throw line in the period, hitting 3-of-4 shots.

During the second half, the Camels made it a two-point game thanks to a Leek layup at 17:26. Liberty pulled away again in the ensuing minutes, receiving big plays from Smith. The sophomore forward swatted a shot by Freeman at 13:38, which was picked up by Casey Roberts and dished to Marshall for his second three-pointer of the contest.

Nearly a minute later, Smith contributed on the offensive end, flushing an alley-oop on an inbound pass from Larry Taylor. The highlight reel dunk put Liberty ahead, 55-47.

Marshall continued to knock down shots from long distance, sinking three more treys during the next four minutes. The junior's fifth and final three-pointer with 9:35 left gave the Flames a 66-53 lead. Marshall closed out the period 4-of-4 from three-point range.

Liberty took its largest lead with 3:03 on the clock, as JR Coronado connected on a tip-in put the Flames up by 21. Campbell closed out the contest with four more points, resulting in the 89-72 final.
Campbell returns to Gore Arena on Saturday to host two-time defending Big South champion UNC Asheville at 3:30 p.m.

Liberty heads to Rock Hill, S.C., Saturday, to take on Winthrop. The contest tips off at 7 p.m. and will air exclusively on MASN.