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BYU's Second Half Run Leads To Flames 73-59 Defeat
Alex McLean collected his fifth double-double of the season but it wasn't enough as the Liberty Flames (6-5) dropped their 18th-straight road game as the BYU Cougars (8-4) won 73-59 at the Marriott Center on Thursday night.
The loss is the Flames' fourth straight after Liberty opened the year with a 6-1 mark.
The game started off neck-and-neck as both teams traded baskets back and forth. The game stood at 6-6 with 14:27 left in the first half when Dwight Brewington scored in the paint.
The Cougars then went on a 5-0 run capped by a basket by Fernando Malman with 13:31 left in the half, giving BYU an 11-6 advantage. The Flames cut the lead back to 11-10 when McLean pounded a basket in from the paint with 10:53 left in the half.
The Cougars responded by scoring 12 of the game's next 16 points ending with a Keena Young jumper with 6:06 left in the first half, pushing BYU's lead up to nine points, 23-14. The Flames closed out the half on an 11-6 run capped by a pair of free throws from Brewington to trim the lead to four points, 29-25, at the break.
The Cougars came out of the locker room and jumped on the Flames early, starting with a 13-2 run that was capped off by Trent Plaisted going one-of-two from the free throw line, making it 42-27 with 14:02 left in the game.
And the run was all BYU needed as the Flames held a slight 32-31 advantage over the remaining minutes of the game, but never managed to get any closer than seven points at 8:29 after a Brewington three-pointer.
McLean collected his fifth double-double of the season and second in a row with his 14 points and 10 rebounds. Larry Blair moved into fourth place on the Liberty all-time scoring list as he scored 12 points. Brewington chipped in 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the loss.
Young led the way for BYU with a game-high 17 points and Sam Burgess scored 12 points in the win.
The Flames are back in action tomorrow night when they take on Seton Hall in each team's second game in the BYU Holiday Classic. Tip is set for 7 p.m. EST at the Marriott Center.