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Liberty Advances to ASUN Semifinals, Defeats Jacksonville

March 4, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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In its first ASUN Championship game, Liberty controlled the game from start to finish, advancing to the semifinals with a 72-58 win over Jacksonville. The Flames improve to 26-6 this season and will now face the No. 3 seed, North Florida, in the semifinals on Thursday evening at the Vines Center.

Turning Point

It was a game of runs in the first half as Liberty started the game on a 9-0 run and held the Dolphins to just six points in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Jacksonville got back into the game by holding Liberty to 1-of-11 shooting from the field midway through the half to tie the game (13-13) at the 6:55 mark. Jacksonville's David Bell was ejected with 5:39 left in the first half after being issued a flagrant two. Over the final five-and-a-half minutes of the opening half, Liberty capitalized with a 17-6 run to close the half and take a 34-19 lead into the locker room.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty held Jacksonville to six points in the first 10 minutes of the ball game.
  • Scottie James scored a layup 1:44 into the game, and the Flames led for the remaining 38:52 of the contest.
  • Liberty's 26 wins is a Division I school record for most wins in a single season.
  • Liberty shot 52 percent from the field while holding Jacksonville to 43 percent for the game.
  • The Flames had three players in score double-figures in Lovell Cabbil Jr. (11), James (15) and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz with a game-high 16 points.
  • Liberty's bench was outscored (17-15) for just the seventh time this season.
  • Liberty ties its school record with 15 home wins this season.
  • Caleb Homesley led all players with five assists to go along with nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal.  
  • Nineteen points in the first half were the fewest points Jacksonville scored in a half against an ASUN opponent this season.
  • Neither team made a three-pointer until the 5:32 mark in the first half, when Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz made the first triple of the night.
  • Liberty did not allow Jacksonville to make a three-pointer in the first half.

Thoughts from Coach McKay

"Obviously I am happy to get this one under our belt. Our group is mature, and we have played in some games that count. I felt like we did a good job when they made runs of weathering the storm and getting back in our lane. Our goal every game is to get better, and I thought offensively we were really unselfish and made some good reads. I was nervous about this one because all of the pressure is on us. To be the home team and the higher seed in the first round, everyone expects you to win. Jacksonville is good, and don't get seduced by their seed because they are a good team that lost a lot of close games." 

Up Next

The Flames will now advance to the ASUN Championship semifinals where they will face the No. 3 seed, North Florida. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Vines Center and can be seen on ESPN+. To purchase tickets, click here.