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Liberty Opens Season with a Win Over Radford

November 8, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Caleb Homesley scores 18 points over the win against Radford.
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Coach McKay Press Conference 

Homesley-Robinson Press Conference

Rode Press Conference

Behind the largest crowd in the Vines Center in the last 10 years, Liberty opened up the 2019-20 season with a 66-60 win over in-state rival, Radford. It was a battle between two of the best mid-major programs in the country and Liberty's defense showed up, limiting the Highlanders to shoot just 37 percent from the floor.

Turning Point

Liberty was exceptional to start the game forcing Radford to just 27 percent (6-22) shooting in the first half as the Flames held the Highlanders to 19 points. While the Flames' defense was in a groove, Liberty's offense stepped up, shooting 46 percent from three-point range and 52 percent from the field. In a game that produced a lot of hype, Liberty's freshmen were not fazed by the moment as Kyle Rode (12 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Shiloh Robinson (eight points, two assists and one rebounds) combined for 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. The Flames' bench was the difference maker, outscoring Radford's 29-7.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty wins its season opener for the seventh straight season.
  • Attendance was 7,872, which was the largest crowd at the Vines Center since Nov. 17, 2009 (8,143 vs. Clemson).
  • Caleb Homesley led Liberty in scoring with 18 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists.
  • Scottie James grabbed six rebounds, moving him into 9th on Liberty's all-time rebounding list with 647 career rebounds.
  • Liberty led for 38 minutes and 27 seconds of the 40 minutes of tonight's game.
  • Liberty outscored Radford 26-18 inside the paint.
  • Liberty dished out 13 assists while holding Radford to just four.
  • Liberty had six players record two assists apiece.
  • Liberty forced eight turnovers, which led to 12 points for the Flames.
  • Radford's Carlik Jones led all scorers with 31 points.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"It was one of the Radford-Liberty games, it always happens with them. It usually happens in my five seasons that we have some really close games. We knew they were going to come back because it is a team that beat Texas and Notre Dame on the road last year. They have all their backcourt back and lost at Clemson by three. This is a really good team and to go up 20 in the first half, I thought we were marvelous in the initial 14 minutes or whatever it was of the game. I thought defensively we were really connected. Hats off to Radford for a really tough, competitive game but I am really proud of our group because I thought we could've easily watched the scoreboard and it gets away from us."

Up Next

The Flames have a quick turnaround as they will return to the Vines Center on Sunday, when they host Maryland Eastern Shore. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.