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LU Drops Non-Conference Contest at Longwood
Liberty falls back to .500 after losing three of its last four contests, pushing its record to 14-14. The Flames remain knotted at 6-6 in Big South play. The win moves the Lancers record to 9-22, in what served as Longwood's final game of the season.
Alex McLean grabbed a Kyle Ohman miss under the basket and placed it back in the cylinder at 17:32, helping Liberty to the early 9-4 lead. Longwood then scored five-straight points to tie the game at nine apiece when Billy Robinson, Jr. tallied a bucket at 13:35.
Liberty retook the lead, 22-16, via a 13-7 spurt, capped by Anthony Smith's old-fashioned three-point play at 8:45. Longwood took its first lead of the game, 23-22, at 7:15 when Brandon Giles hit a trey from the wing, capping a 7-0 run.
The Lancers maintained their narrow lead, closing out the half with a 12-9 advantage to head in the intermission leading at 35-31.
Liberty shot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the floor, including 30.0 percent (3-of-10) from three-point range. Longwood connected on 50.0 percent (14-of-28) of its shots, including 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from beyond the arc.
A Giles trey 66 seconds into the second stanza extended the Longwood lead to seven points, 38-31, with 18:54 left in the game.
Liberty cut the deficit down to one point, 40-39, after a Tim Layer steal from Ryan Bogan led to an old-fashioned three-point play by Alex McLean, capping an 8-2 spurt with 16:11 left in the game.
The Lancers struck back quickly and hard, sprinting on 17-4 run, extending its lead to 13 points, 57-44. Giles ended the spurt with a trey from the wing with 11:23 left in the second stanza.
The Liberty deficit ran to 17 points, 67-50, after a Bogan three-point bucket, his third-of-five in the second half, hit the bottom of the net at the 7:45 mark.
Liberty never got closer than 12 point until a Russell Monroe bucket cut the deficit to the game's final mark of 11 points, 79-68, with seven seconds left.
Liberty finished the contest connecting on 46.8 percent (22-of-47) of its shots, including only hitting 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Longwood continued its hot hand from the floor, finishing at 50.8 percent (31-of-61), including 40.6 percent (13-of-32) from three-point land.
Smith led the Flames with 24 points, equaling his career high he set at George Mason on Dec. 30. Smith also pulled down eight rebounds in the process. McLean poured in 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the losing cause.
Five Lancers reached double figures, led by Bogan's 23 points, 15 of which he tallied in the second half. Kirk Williams added 14 points, while Giles and Kevin Swecker each chipped in 12 points.
Liberty returns to conference action on Tuesday, when the VMI Keydets enter the Vines Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., as each team enters the final week of Big South Conference play.