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Flames Snap 21-Game Road Losing Streak With 66-63 Win Over Charleston Southern
Prior to tonight's win, the last road victory for the Flames came on February 24, 2005, when Liberty won at UNC Asheville, 92-80. The win also snapped a mini-three game slide for Liberty.
The Buccaneers started out quickly, staking themselves to a 7-2 lead on a three-point basket by Donnell Covington with 17:24 left in the first half.
The Flames quickly countered with a 11-2 run of their own to take a 13-9 lead courtesy of a Larry Blair pull up jumper with 11:33 remaining in the opening period.
Liberty continued with a 13-6 run to stretch its lead to 26-15 when Dwight Brewington pulled up for a three-point basket with 6:19 remaining in the half.
The Buccaneers fought back at the end of the half as they closed out the first period on a 13-8 run capped off by a three-point basket by Terrence Greir as time expired to cut the Flames' lead to 34-28 at the break.
The Flames were solid from the field in the first half, hitting 66.7 percent on 14-of-21 shooting. Charleston Southern shot only 36.7 percent from the floor on 11-of-30 shooting, but did manage 15 second chance points in the opening period.
The Buccaneers started off the second half extremely hot, going on a 16-4 run capped by a three-point basket by Covington with 13:53 to give Charleston Southern a 44-38 lead.
The Flames came back strong going on a 13-7 surge to tie the game up at 51-51 a Brewington lay-up with 8:08 remaining in the game.
Liberty continued to control the pace of play as the Flames scored nine of the game's next 13 points as Russell Monroe hit a streaking Tyler Baker who laid it up, giving the Flames the 60-55 advantage with 2:29 remaining in the game.
Charleston Southern didn't give up as the rode the efforts of Covington who hit five second half three-point baskets, including one while falling out of bounds with 18 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 64-63.
The Flames got the ball into the hands of Blair who was able to kill enough time before being fouled by Greir with 10 seconds left. Liberty was in the double bonus and Blair, who leads the Big South in free throw shooting, sank both to extend the team's lead to 66-63.
The Buccaneers, who flew high in the second half behind Covington as he scored 17 second half points, could not find the senior for the final shot. Instead Greir took a fall away three-point attempt with Justin Holland and Anthony Smith in his face but the attempt fell short of the rim, sealing the victory for the Flames.
The Flames were lead by Blair who scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including the two free throws that cinched the victory. Alex McLean was strong down the stretch scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds and Brewington scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Baker added eight points and three rebounds in a solid display off the bench.
Charleston Southern was led by Covington's game-high 22 points. Dwayne Jackson added 11 points while Greir chipped in 10 points in the loss.
For the second-straight game the Flames shot over 50 percent as they hit on 54.2 percent of their shots behind a 26-of-48 performance. The Flames limited the Buccaneers to 42.9 percent on 24-of-56 shooting.
The Flames return home on Saturday when VMI comes to the Vines Center. Tip is set for 8:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the Lady Flames' game against Radford.