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Burrus Joins 1,000-Point Club in Win over PC
|Antwan Burrus becomes the 24th member of Liberty's 1,000-point club|
The Liberty men's basketball team's 65-53 win over Presbyterian College inside the Vines Center Saturday night marked a special day for one of its veteran players. Needing just three points to become the 24th member of Liberty's 1,000-point club, Antwan Burrus did just that and more, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
The redshirt senior now joins teammate John Caleb Sanders in the exclusive club, as the tandem is the sixth pair of Liberty players to share the honor simultaneously.
With the win, Liberty moves to 9-12 overall and 3-3 in conference play. PC falls to 4-17 on the year and 0-6 in Big South action. Liberty now leads the all-time series, 7-6.
Sanders and Tomasz Gielo each led the Flames offense with 13 points. Jordan Downing led PC with a game-high 24 points, followed by Austin Anderson who had 11.
Liberty shot 43.6 percent (24-of-55) from the field, while the Blue Hose shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48). The Flames held a slight edge inside the paint (28-22) and along the perimeter (27-24). Liberty took advantage of second chance points (16-2), courtesy of 17 offensive rebounds. Dale Layer's squad ended the night outrebounding the Blue Hose by a margin of 23 (41-18).
Marshall possessed the hot hand early knocking down two three-pointers in the opening 4:42 to give Liberty a four-point lead. Downing responded with a pair of treys of his own during the next 3:04. Downing's second three-point basket at 12:14 put the Blue Hose ahead momentarily. Sanders answered at the other end with a three-ball to reclaim the advantage for the Flames, 16-14.
The Flames continued to enlarge their lead, going up by nine thanks to a JR Coronado layup at 8:26. PC responded with an 8-0 run, highlighted by three-pointers from Anderson and Danny Herrera to cut its deficit to one, 25-24, with 6:18 left in the half.
Liberty went up by as much as five during the remaining minutes, but a Downing layup with 2:28 remaining cut the home team's cushion to two, 33-31, at halftime.
Downing led all scorers at intermission with 13 points. Sanders paced the Flames with nine, followed by Marshall and Burrus, who each had six.
Liberty shot 37.9 percent (11-of-29) compared to 50.0 percent (11-of-22) for the Blue Hose. The Flames outrebounded PC during the half, 21-8. Liberty's 11 offensive boards in the period allowed the Flames to outscore the Blue Hose, 11-0, in second chance points.
Liberty began the second half with a trio of three-pointers, including one from Marshall sandwiched between two by Gielo. The Poland native's second three-pointer put the Flames ahead, 44-35, at 16:52.
The Flames continued to distance themselves from the Blue Hose, thanks in part to more three-pointers from Casey Roberts and Gielo. Burrus gave Liberty its largest lead, 18, with 4:06 left. The redshirt senior capped his scoring with a highlight reel alley-oop off a long range lob from Gielo at 1:06. Andrew Smith followed cemented Liberty's scoring on the night with a thunderous jam of his own, setting up the 65-53 final.
Liberty heads to the site where it captured its 2013 Big South Championship this Wednesday. The Flames will square off with Coastal Carolina at The HTC Center in Conway, S.C. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.