Flames NewsFlames Home > Men's Basketball Home > News
Bannister, McLean & Smith Pace Liberty's Win
Liberty joined Auburn, Tulane and Virginia Tech as the only opponents of Charleston Southern to hold the Buccaneers under 70 points in a contest this season.
The win was Liberty's eighth straight at home and pushed the Flames' record back to .500 at 9-9 and 1-2 in Big South Conference play. Charleston Southern falls to 7-11 and 1-2 in league action.
Charleston Southern jumped out to the early 5-2 lead, courtesy of an Omar Carter bucket in the lane, followed by a three-pointer from the wing at 17:30. The Buccaneers then extended the lead to four points, 8-4, via a three-point bucket by Shelton Carter at 15:34.
The Flames responded, exploding on a 20-5 run to take a 24-13 lead, capped by two Alex McLean baskets from the charity stripe at 9:10. During the run, Liberty tallied three-point buckets by Jeremy Anderson, Kyle Ohman and Anthony Smith. An alley-opp from TeeJay Bannister to Smith at 11:19 brought a raucous crowd to its feet, at 10:17 during the spurt.
The Buccaneers were able to cut the lead to five, 32-28, courtesy of a 15-8 advantage over the next nine minutes of play. Jamarco Warren's three-point bucket with 47.2 seconds left ended the spurt.
Charleston Southern went into the intermission down four points, 34-30, after Tovi Bailey sank both his free throw attempts with seven-tenths of a second left in the opening period.
Liberty shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from the floor and 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from behind the arc. Charleston Southern finished the opening stanza hitting 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from three-point range. The Flames won the first half battle of the boards, 20-15.
The Flames opened up the second half on a 24-9 run, taking a 54-39 lead into the second media timeout at 11:35. McLean scored the first five points of the half and seven of the Flames' first nine markers.
Bannister hit two free throws to extend the lead to 21 points, 62-41, after Quinton Goods was tagged for a technical foul. Charleston Southern then ripped off a 15-4 run, cutting the lead down to 10 points, 66-56, capped by an Omar Carter bucket at 6:09.
However, that would be as close as the Buccaneers would get. Liberty closed out the game on a 13-7 surge, taking home its first Big South Conference win of the season, 79-63.
The Flames finished shooting 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the floor, marking the first time this season that the team had not connected on at least 50 percent of its shots in a home contest. Liberty ended up nailing 36.0 percent (9-of-25) of its three-point attempts in the win.
Charleston Southern shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the floor and hit 33.3 percent (8-of-24) from behind the arc. Liberty won the rebound battle, 36-32, and created 14 Charleston Southern turnovers, crediting the Flames with 10 takeaways.
Smith tallied a game-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. McLean chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds, while Bannister dished out a game-high eight assists and tallied 14 points. Bannister was a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe, helping Liberty to hit 88.0 percent (22-of-25) of its free throw attempts.
Omar Carter led the Charleston Southern cause with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Shelton Carter chipped in 13 points from the bench. Chris Moore, who was averaging 14.4 points per game entering the contest, was limited to four points on 2-of-5 shooting.
Liberty returns to action on Monday when Coastal Carolina invades the Vines Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. Charleston Southern will head down to High Point, Monday night, to take on the Panthers, at 7 p.m.