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Liberty Moves Past Austin Peay in Overtime, 79-73
|Flames forward JR Coronado|
Playing in its final game of the Ramada Wordlwide BracketBusters series, the Liberty men's basketball team hosted Austin Peay inside the Vines Center, Saturday afternoon. The Governors forced the Flames into overtime for the second time this season, but Liberty came out firing in the extra period to take the contest, 79-73. The Flames' win marks their first-ever BracketBusters win.
Tavares Speaks paced the Flames with 18 points, followed by Davon Marshall (16), John Caleb Sanders (14), Tomasz Gielo (12) and JR Coronado (10).
Coronado also had a career-high 18 rebounds, setting a new Liberty Vines Center record for most rebounds in a single game.
Marshall's trio of three-point field goals gives him 77 on the season. The junior is now fourth all-time in program history for most three-point field goals in a single season. Marshall needs eight more treys to surpass Anthony Smith (84, 2008) for the No. 3 spot.
Anthony Campbell paced Austin Peay with a game-high 21 points, followed Travis Betran who chipped in 18 tallies.
Liberty shot 48.4 percent (31-of-64) from the field in the contest, while holding Austin Peay to 39.1 percent (27-of-69). The Governors knocked down 10 three-pointers on the afternoon, outscoring the Flames, 30-18, from downtown. However the Flames won the battle on the boards (41-39) and in the paint (40-28).
With the win in its first-ever meeting against Austin Peay, Liberty moves to 10-19 (5-9 Big South) on the season. The Governors are now 7-22 (3-11 Ohio Valley Conference) on the year.
Austin Peay jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening 3:16, capped by a three-pointer from Anthony Campbell. Gielo halted the Governors hot streak 19 ticks later, sinking a layup to make it 9-2.
The visitors led by as much as 10 in the opening half, following a dunk by Will Triggs at 12:32. Liberty countered with six straight points by Marshall. The junior knocked down a trey and later followed up with a traditional three-point play, pulling the Flames within four, 17-13, with 11:20 remaining in the half.
The roller coaster trend continued. After Austin Peay took a nine-point lead at the 9:54 mark, the Flames answered with an 8-2 burst over the next 3:14. A Speaks layup at 6:40 made it a three-point game, 25-22.
Liberty was unable to climb any closer in the remainder of the period. A Triggs layup at 1:14 allowed the Governors to take a 39-31 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Flames began the second half with an 8-0 run off two baskets by Sanders, a fast break Speaks dunk and a JR Coronado tip-in. A Sanders' put back at 15:03 tied the game at 39.
Still tied with under 12 minutes to go, Gielo knocked a three-pointer, which put the Flames up by three. The contest remained within one possession until a Coronado layup gave Liberty a four-point advantage, 52-48, at 7:11.
A Speaks three-pointer gave the Flames a six-point lead at 4:11. Austin Peay later closed the gap, as Travis Betran connected on a layup to make it a one-point game. After a Coronado layup, Betran tied the contest with a three-pointer. With time for one more Liberty play, Marshall jacked up a three-point attempt, which bounced off the rim, leading to the 65-65 stalemate at the end of regulation.
Liberty began the overtime period with a 6-0 burst off baskets from Andrew Smith, Marshall and Sanders. Jerome Clyburn answered at the other end with a three-pointer at 2:22, making it 71-68.
The Governors were eventually forced to foul, ultimately leading to the 79-73 final.
The Flames return to action on Tuesday, playing host to VMI in their final game in the Vines Center of the 2012-13 season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest airing live on the Liberty Channel, MASN and ESPN3.