The Liberty men's basketball team ended its 12-game skid in an emphatic way, Tuesday night, defeating Campbell inside the Vines Center, 73-60. Trailing by eight early in the second half, the Flames used a 23-2 run to turn the tide and pick up their first Big South win this season.
David Andoh paced the Flames with 16 points, followed by Theo Johnson who chipped in 15. Ryan Kemrite was a big contributor to the second half surge, finishing with four treys and a career-high 14 points for the second straight contest.
Kyre' Hamer led the Camels with 16 points, while Reco McCarter had 13 tallies. Campbell's leading scorer D.J. Mason, who came into the contest averaging 12.6 ppg, was held to one point by the Flames' defense.
With the win, Liberty moves to 7-19 overall and 1-12 in the Big South, bringing an end to its longest losing streak since the 1976-77 season. Campbell falls to 9-17 on the year and 3-10 in conference action.
Liberty finished with its second best shooting performance of the season, going 24-of-53 (55.8 percent) from the field. The Camels were held to 35.1 percent shooting (20-of-57), including 22.6 percent (7-of-31) in the second half.
The Flames connected on timely three-pointers, going 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) from downtown. Campbell hit 11 treys on the night, nine of which came in the first half. The Camels followed up with 2-of-18 long-range shooting (11.1 percent) during the second period.
The Camels led 9-8 in the early minutes thanks to a trio of three-point field goals. After Liberty responded with a Kemrite layup and a Theo Johnson three-pointer to take a four-point lead, Campbell trimmed the deficit with another trey.
James Johnson gave the Flames a spark with a thunderous one-handed jam at 12:58, but Troy Harper connected for the Camels' fifth consecutive three-pointer, knotting the contest at 15 with 11:11 remaining in the half.
Campbell continued to find success from long distance, leading by as much as seven in the half. Following the Camels ninth trey of the half, Ethan Layer made it a four-point game at halftime with a pair of free throws, as the Flames trailed 36-32.
Liberty shot 48.0 percent (12-of-25) during the opening stanza, compared to 50 percent (13-of-26) for Campbell. The Flames outscored the Camels in the paint, 14-8, but the visitors held the advantage from three-point range, 27-12. The Camels finished the period 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from downtown, while the Flames went 4-of-6 (66.7 percent).
McCarter led all scorers with 10 points. Andoh and Theo Johnson each had six tallies for the Flames.
Campbell led by as much as eight with 19:04 remaining in the second half. However, the Flames turned up the intensity, displaying some long range shooting of their own while holding the Camels scoreless from the field during the next 11 minutes.
During the 23-2 run, Liberty drained four three-pointers. Kemrite connected on three of the long distance jumpers, sinking the trio of shots in a span of 2:09. Liberty closed out the surge with four straight points from Andoh. The Camels then ended its field goal drought with a basket fromKyre Hamer, making it 55-44 at 8:04.
The Camels managed to cut the deficit to single digits during the remainder of the game on multiple occasions, but none closer than seven points. The Flames converted on 10-of-11 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Liberty returns to action on Saturday, squaring off with defending Big South Champions Coastal Carolina inside The HTC Center. The contest tips off at 3:30, broadcasting on ESPN3 as part of the Big South television package.