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McLean's 22 Points Lead Liberty to Victory
The Camels, who are now winless in four all-time visits to the Vines Center, fall to 4-7 on the season. Liberty obtained revenge for its 73-70 setback to Campbell in Buies Creek, N.C., on Dec. 15. The victory moves the Flames' record back to .500 at 6-6.
Both squads were playing their first contest in over a week due to the Christmas holiday, and started a little slowly at the offensive end. The score was knotted at 4-4, three minutes into the game.
The Flames then sprinted on an 11-0 run, courtesy of three-point baskets by TeeJay Bannister, B.J. Jenkins and Kyle Ohman. The bucket by Ohman at 13:18 gave the Flames a 15-4 advantage.
Liberty extended the lead to 12 points, 20-8, when Anthony Smith hit a three-point field goal from the corner at the 11:26 mark.
The Camels cut the lead down to six, 20-14, after a 6-0 run, capped by a Jonathan Rodriguez layup at 6:39. The Flames extended the lead back to 11 via an 11-6 surge, finished by back-to-back Alex McLean buckets, the last coming at 3:05.
Campbell charged back with another 6-0 run, this one finished by a pair of free throws by Reggie Bishop, cutting the lead to 31-26, with 1:07 left in the first stanza. The Flames wasted no time answering the surge, as Ohman tallied the six points back when he hit two-straight three-point buckets. The last connection came with three seconds left in the opening period, sending Liberty into the intermission with a 37-26 lead.
Liberty fired well from the floor during the first 20 minutes, hitting 55.6 percent (15-of-27) of its shots, including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from three-point land. McLean tallied 14 first-half points while Bannister dished out six assists.
Meanwhile, the Camels struggled from the floor, connecting on 38.5 percent (10-of-26) of its shots, including 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from three-point territory.
Campbell scored the first points of the second half via two Rodriguez free throws, cutting the Liberty lead to 37-29 at 19:00. The Flames then extended the lead to 15 points, 44-29, courtesy of a 7-0 run, capped by a Bannister layup at the 17:39 mark.
Liberty pushed the lead to 46-32, via two McLean markers from the charity stripe at 17:05. The Flames continued to extend their lead via six-straight points, capped by a McLean field goal at 13:26, giving Liberty a 52-37 edge.
The Camels started to mount a comeback with eight-consecutive markers, cutting the Liberty advantage to 52-45, via a jumper by Oladapo Fagbenle in the lane at 7:00. Campbell then cut the lead to two points, 61-59, via a 14-9 surge, capped by a Jake Wohlfeil three-point bucket at 3:25.
Ohman pushed the Flames' lead back to five, 64-59, with a three-point bucket of his own at 2:18. Bishop hit a layup in the lane at the 1:50 mark, cutting the deficit to three points, 64-61, but that was as close as the Camels would get.
Bannister missed a three-point attempt with 41 seconds remaining. The ball became stuck between the glass and the rim, prompting a jump ball situation. The Flames held the possession arrow and were able to milk the clock down to 24 seconds before Bannister was fouled by Junard Hartley.
Bannister made both of his attempts, giving Liberty the 66-61 lead. Bishop then missed a field goal on the next possession, and then capped the play by fouling Ohman. The walk-on sank both of this free throw attempts, sending Liberty to the final score result, 68-61.
Liberty finished shooting 48.9 percent (23-of-47) from the floor, while Campbell improved in the second stanza, finishing at 40.0 percent (24-of-60).
McLean led Liberty with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Ohman chipped in a career-high 17 points, aided by five three-pointers, while Bannister dished out eight assists.
Bishop had a game-high 23 points for the Camels on 8-of-20 shooting. Rodriguez chipped in 17 points in the loss.
Liberty returns to action on Sunday when the Flames travel to Fairfax, Va., to take on George Mason. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m., inside the Patriot Center.