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3-pointer Seals Flames' Fate, Wednesday
Looking for its first-ever win inside Willett Hall, the Liberty men's basketball team squared off with the Longwood Lancers in a nail biter, Wednesday night. With the contest tied, Lucas Woodhouse knocked down a clutch three-pointer for the home team with four seconds remaining, sealing a 69-66 Longwood victory.
Liberty falls to 8-12 on the year and 2-3 in Big South play. The Lancers' win moves them to 6-14 overall and 1-4 in conference action. Longwood now leads the series, 19-9, and are 13-0 inside Willett Hall against the Flames.
Tomasz Gielo tied a career-high with 20 points, followed by Antwan Burrus and JR Coronado who had 13 and 11 points, respectively. Burrus now needs three more points to reach 1,000 for his Liberty career.
Woodhouse paced Longwood with a game-high 27 points, followed by Karl Ziegler who had 14.
Dale Layer's squad finished the night on 44.4 percent shooting (24-of-54), compared to 43.9 percent (25-of-57) for Longwood. Liberty held the advantage in the paint (34-22) but the Lancers outscored the Flames from three-point land (27-15). Longwood capitalized on Liberty's turnovers, converting 15 Flames' miscues into 18 points, while allowing nine turnovers for four tallies.
The Flames and Lancers went back-and-forth in the opening 5:32, with three ties taking place during the span. Longwood took the lead with two Ziegler free throws at 15:35, maintaining the edge for the ensuing 2:46. Gielo knotted the contest for the fourth time with a three-pointer, while Marshall followed suit with a trey to give the Flames a 20-17 lead at 12:24.
Liberty led by as much as seven with 7:31 left in the half, but Longwood climbed its way back to tie the contest, 28-28, with a traditional three-point play by Darrion Allen at 5:24.
Longwood took the lead less than a minute later with two more Ziegler free throws. Liberty eventually reclaimed the advantage, ending the half with a Gielo three-pointer to carry a 36-32 edge into the locker room at halftime.
The Flames concluded the half shooting 53.8 percent (14-of-26), marking the third straight game Liberty has shot above 50.0 percent in the opening period. Longwood ended the stanza on 40.0 percent (12-of-30) shooting.
Gielo led all scorers with 12 points at halftime. Zielger and Woodhouse paced the Lancers with 10 points apiece.
The contest remained close during the second half. With Liberty holding a three-point advantage, Tristan Carey knotted the game with a three-pointer at 11:49. Gielo countered with an old fashion three-point play 31 seconds later, but Fisher fired a three-ball of his own to make it 52-52 at 10:56.
Liberty held a five-point lead with 5:25 remaining, but Longwood erased its deficit thanks to a Ziegler jumper and a Woodhouse three-pointer to tie the game again, 63-63, at 2:44. Woodhouse's seventh and final trey of the night would later put Longwood ahead for good, setting up the 69-66 final.
The Flames return to the Vines Center on Saturday, playing host to Presbyterian College at 7 p.m. The contest will air live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.