Liberty went on the road to play its first-ever ASUN Conference game against the defending regular season champion, Florida Gulf Coast. The Flames got hot on offense in the second half to defeat the Eagles 81-63 for the Flames' first-ever win in the ASUN. Liberty improves to 12-4 while FGCU drops to 5-11.
Liberty couldn't have asked for a better start to the game, going on a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the game. Florida Gulf Coast countered with a 12-2 run to get back into the game in the first half. After going into halftime with a six-point lead (36-30), the Flames picked up their offensive attack, shooting 69 percent (18-26) in the second half, including 67 percent (8-12) from three-point range. Florida Gulf Coast cut Liberty's lead to two points (46-44) with 15:19 left in the game, and Liberty responded with a 17-6 run (63-50) over the course of the following four-and-a-half minutes to extend its lead and come away with the win.
Key Stats & Notes
Liberty is off to its best start since 1991.
Liberty's 18-point win was FGCU's worst home loss since Dec. 19, 2017 (Lost by 19 vs. Oral Roberts).
The Flames never trailed in the game and led for 39:40 of the game's 40 minutes.
Liberty shot 57 percent (31-54) for the game with five players in double figures.
Darius McGhee made a career-high six three-pointers to lead the Flames with 18 points.
Lovell Cabbil Jr. filled the stat sheet with 10 points, four rebounds and a season-high six assists.
Liberty started the game on a 7-0 run.
Scottie James moved to No. 18 on Liberty's all-time rebounding list with 471 career rebounds after posting eight rebounds.
Liberty's bench outscored FGCU's bench 29-9, led by McGhee's 18 points.
Liberty forced FGCU to commit 14 turnovers, which the Flames converted into 21 points. Florida Gulf Coast only scored two points off Liberty turnovers.
Liberty outrebounded FGCU 27-23.
Thoughts from Coach McKay
"Our guys imposed their will midway through the second half. Florida Gulf Coast is a really good team, and it is hard to come in and win at Alico Arena so this is a good start for us in a new league. We had a great crowd for us. Shoutout to the women's swimming & diving team and our women's basketball team. We can't thank their coaches enough and Erin Hagen for staying and supporting us. We had a lot of friends and family in the stands tonight wearing the red and white."
The Flames will end their six-game road trip on Wednesday, January 9th, when they travel to face Stetson. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.
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