The Liberty men's basketball team stepped into The HTC Center on Saturday looking to build off Tuesday's 73-60 win versus Campbell. Unfortunately for the Flames, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers showed no love on Valentine's Day, building on its 11-point halftime lead with an early 15-2 second-half run en route to a 96-56 victory.
Josh Cameron paced the Chanticleers (18-8, 9-5 Big South) with a game-high 17 points, followed by Elijah Wilson (16), Shivaughn Wiggins (12) and Warren Gillis (10).
Theo Johnson and Ryan Kemrite led Liberty (7-20, 1-13 Big South) with nine points, apiece.
The Chanticleers shot 60.0 percent (18-of-30) from the field in the second half to finish with 54.8 percent (34-of-62) for the contest. Coastal Carolina found success from three-point range (13-of-23, 56.5 percent), knocking down nine of its treys in the second half. Liberty concluded the contest shooting 36.5 percent (19-of-52).
With the game tied 6-6 early, Coastal Carolina proceeded to go on an 8-0 run capped by a Cameron three-pointer. The Flames closed the gap with an 8-2 spurt. Ethan Layer accounted for all eight tallies, connecting on two treys and a pair of free throws. The Chanticleers countered with a 10-0 run to take a 12-point lead at the 7:22 mark, 26-14.
Liberty got within seven points at 3:14 mark to a Johnson three-pointer, but the Chanticleers boosted the lead back to 11 to take a 37-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Coastal Carolina shot 50.0 percent (16-of-32) from the floor, compared to 41.7 percent (10-of-24) for Liberty. Three-pointers were even at four apiece, but the Chanticleers capitalized inside the paint, 14-8.
Cameron paced the home team with 10 points, while Layer's eight tallies led the Liberty offense.
Coastal Carolina increased its lead in the second half courtesy of a 15-2 run. Highlighted by two Wilson treys, Cameron closed out the surge with two free throws. Ryan Kemrite then drained a three-pointer for the Flames at 14:23 to make it 53-31 in favor of the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina did not look back, pulling away further down the stretch. The home team led by as much as 41 in the contest after a Colton Ray-St. Cyr trey with 1:19 ultimately help set up the 96-56 final.
Liberty steps back into the Vines Center on Tuesday, playing host to Longwood. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m., with the contest broadcasting live on the American Sports Network.