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Second-Half Breakaway Puts Virginia over Flames
|Davon Marshall led all scorers at Virginia with 15 points.|
The Liberty men's basketball team stepped into John Paul Jones Arena, Saturday afternoon, squaring off with Virginia in its first contest of the Corpus Christi Challenge. While the Flames (1-4) hung with Cavaliers in the first half, a 20-0 Virginia (4-1) run in the second stanza allowed the host to take the contest, 75-53.
With the victory, Virginia now leads the all-time series against the Flames, 7-2. The contest was the first meeting between Liberty and the Cavaliers since the Flames upset the ACC member, 86-82 on Nov. 25, 2008.
Davon Marshall led Liberty with a game-high 15 points, followed by Antwan Burrus, who chipped in 12. Anthony Gill and Joe Harris had 13 and 12 tallies, respectively, for the Cavaliers.
Virginia shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) for the contest, compared to 38.6 percent (17-of-44) for the Flames. The Cavaliers held a 27-21 edge from three-point range. Virginia won the battle inside, 32-16, outscoring the Flames in the paint, 24-8, in the second half.
Liberty went a perfect 12-of-12 from the foul line, marking the first time the Flames shot 100 percent at the charity stripe since going 18-for-18 in a 74-65 win over Hampton on Dec. 17, 2011.
Virginia struck first with a three-pointer by Malcom Brogden, but Marshall countered with one of his own. The Cavaliers proceeded to outscore the Flames, 9-2, to take a seven-point advantage. Marshall answered once again with another trey, cutting it to four, 12-8, at 14:31.
Virginia jumped out to its largest lead of the half, 24-12, at the 8:46 mark thanks to an Evan Nolte three-pointer. Liberty chipped away at the deficit on the strength of a 9-2 burst, but Justin Anderson widened the gap again with a three-pointer at 3:12, making it 29-21.
Marshall's third three-pointer of the half put Liberty within four points of the Cavaliers with 1:12 remaining. A Darion Atkins jump shot with 13 ticks left gave Virginia a 32-26 advantage at halftime.
Liberty shot 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from the field in the first half, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from three-point land. Virginia concluded the period at 40.0 percent shooting (12-of-30) and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from beyond the three-point arc.
Marshall led all scorers at the half with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Anderson paced the Cavaliers in the period with eight tallies.
The Cavaliers began the second half with six unanswered points. John Caleb Sanders halted the run with a jump shot at 15:44, making it 38-28. After a Gill layup, Sanders put the Flames within nine with a three-pointer.
Virginia then broke away, going on a 20-0 run over an eight-minute span. Sanders broke up the Liberty scoring drought with a three-pointer at 5:59, leaving the Cavaliers with a 60-34 advantage.
Virginia took its largest lead of the contest (32 points) after a Gill dunk and a Thomas Rogers free throw made it 70-38 at 3:32. The Flames outscored the home team, 15-5, down the stretch, setting up the 75-53 final.
Liberty continues play in the Corpus Christi Challenge on Tuesday, squaring off with Missouri State. Game time in Springfield, Mo., is slated for 8:05 p.m. (EST).