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Flames Cruise To 101-65 Victory Over Cincinnati Christian
Cincinnati Christian jumped out quick to a 9-2 lead behind three-straight three-point baskets by Joe Mendenhall with his third coming with 17:30 left in the first half. The Flames then went on a 9-2 run of their own capped by a Blair jump shot at 14:12 remaining in the half tying the game at 11-11.
For the next six minutes the Flames and Golden Eagles were neck-and-neck as both teams were dead locked at 26 a piece as Blair hit a runner with 8:15 remaining in the first half.
The Flames took the lead at 4:22 in the first half after Blair was fouled by Mendenhall, making the basket and the ensuing free throw to give Liberty the 36-34 lead.
The Flames closed out the half on an 8-4 run, giving Liberty a 44-38 lead going into the break. B.J. Jenkins was fouled by Tommy McGuire with six-tenths of a second left in the half on a three-point attempt. Jenkins hit his first two free-throw attempts while the third hit off the front of the rim bringing the half to a close.
Mendenhall was lights out from three-point range for Cincinnati Christian going 5-of-6 for 15 points to lead the Golden Eagles in the first half. Anthony Smith led the Flames in the opening 20 minutes with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 2-of-3 from three-point range.
The Flames opened the second half on a 9-3 run that was capped by Kyle Ohman's three-point shot from the corner giving Liberty the 53-41 advantage with 16:41 left in the game.
Liberty continued to open the game up with 13-3 run, capped by an Alex McLean lay-up on a fast break giving the Flames the 66-44 advantage with 12:16 remaining in the game.
The Golden Eagles stopped a 9-0 Flames run scoring when Justin Bilyeu hit a jumper at 7:21, their first points since 14:26 in the game, to make it a 75-46 game.
Liberty closed out the game on a 26-19 run as the Flames scored 100 points for the first time since December 12, 1992, when Liberty defeated Averett 111-53.
The Flames shot 51.5 percent from the field on 34-of-66 shooting behind Blair's 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 shooting from the three-point range. Blair also dished out a game-high eight assists and grabbed six rebounds. Smith scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 shooting from three-point range. The Flames got a double-double from McLean as he grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and scored 15 points.
The Golden Eagles hot shooting in the first half cooled down as they finished the game shooting 31.7 percent on 20-of-63 shooting from the field and 9-of-29 shooting from three-point range. The Golden Eagles shot 7-of-18 from three-point range in the first half only to go cold on 2-of-11 in the second half. Mendenhall tied for a team-high scoring honors with 15 points, scoring all of his points in the first half. Justin Bilyeu also scored 15 points while Donnie Fishburn scored 11 points and Jake Santel scored 10 points rounding out the Golden Eagles top scorers.
The Flames return to action on Saturday night when Houghton College comes to the Vines Center. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.