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Burrus Buzzer Beater Puts Liberty Over CSU

February 9, 2012
|  Charleston, S.C.
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Antwan Burrus proved he had an outside game, Thursday night, hitting a buzzer beating three-pointer to give the Liberty men's basketball team a 75-74 win over Charleston Southern. With just 1.9 seconds left on the clock and Liberty down by two, David Minaya airmailed an inbound pass to Burrus, who swished a game-winning three-pointer from just over midcourt.

Burrus' trey was the first of his career, with the forward attepmting just one previous three-point shot, dating back to his freshman season (Dec. 29, 2009, versus UCF).

The win inside Buccaneer Field House moves Liberty to 10-16 on year and 5-9 in the Big South. Liberty moves to 32-21 all-time against the Buccaneers.

David Minaya led Liberty with 20 points, followed by Jesse Sanders (19) and Burrus (13). Saah Nimley and Kelvin Martin each had 17 points for the Buccaneers.

Both teams got off to a slow start in the early moments of the contest. With the game tied, 4-4, the Buccaneers posted four points thanks to Arlon Harper free throws and a two-handed jam by Martin.

Following a layup by John Caleb Sanders, Charleston Southern tacked on six more points, including a one-handed dunk by Dexter Strickland to go up by six. Burrus prevented the Buccaneers from increasing their advantage, connecting on layup underneath the basket to make it 12-8 at 12:23.

The Flames bounced back from the slow start, going on 13-3 run over the next 6:07.  During the span, Liberty continued to find room inside, receiving layups from Burrus and Jesse Sanders, who gave the Flames the lead with 9:22 remaining in the half. Liberty created a six-point bulge from the run, taking a 21-15 lead at 6:16.

Charleston Southern erased its deficit with a 6-0 run to knot the contest, 21-21, with 4:57 left in the period. The Buccaneers led by as much as five in the remaining minutes. After a Strickland layup gave the home team a five-point advantage, John Caleb Sanders cut it to a pair with a three-pointer, making it 34-32 at halftime.

Liberty shot 51.9 percent from the field in the opening half, hitting 14-of-27 shots. The Buccaneers concluded the period shooting 40.6 percent (13-of-32). Despite the Flames success underneath the basket, the Buccaneers managed to outscore Liberty in the paint, 22-14. Charleston Southern also took advantage of Liberty's six turnovers, outpointing the Flames off turnovers, 11-0.

Martin paced the Buccaneers at halftime with nine points, followed by Strickland with eight. Jesse Sanders and Burrus led Liberty with eight points, apiece.

The Buccaneers opened the second half with a 5-0 run off a Martin dunk and a Saah Nimley three-pointer. Liberty countered with an 8-0 burst of its own off a Jesse Sanders layup and back-to-back treys from Tomasz Gielo and John Caleb Sanders. The second three-pointer by John Caleb Sanders gave Liberty a 40-39 edge at 16:40.

Minaya posted eight of Liberty's next 10 tallies. Burrus gave the Flames a six-point advantage with a layup at 12:57. Charleston Southern outscored Liberty, 8-2, over the ensuing 1:15. Paul Gombwer tied the contest at 11:42, hitting a jumper to knot it 52-52.

Liberty continued the exchange of the advantage on the scoreboard, taking a five-point lead thanks to a Jesse Sanders three-pointer with 9:27 left. The Buccaneers cut it to three with 8:06 left, but Liberty outscored the home team, 7-1, over the next 2:30 to hold a nine-point advantage, 68-59, with 5:36 on the clock.

The Buccaneers chipped away at the bulge, cutting it to one with 3:26 left. Liberty managed to hold on to the lead until a Sheldon Strickland layup gave the home team a one-point edge at the two-minute mark.

With just over one minute remaining, a pair of Jesse Sanders free throws put the Flames up by one. Thirty six ticks later, Gombwer was sent to the line for Charleston Southern, hitting both shots to take back the lead. Liberty was later forced to foul with over two seconds left, allowing Martin to tack on another point from the charity stripe.

Martin missed the second free throw, allowing Jesse Sanders to pick up the rebound and call time out. On the next play, Minaya rocketed a pass to Burrus who nailed the game-winner for the 75-74 final.

Liberty heads to Clinton, S.C. to take on Presbyterian on Saturday at 7 p.m. Charleston Southern remains inside Buccaneer Field House, Saturday, hosting High Point at 5:30 p.m.