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Liberty Defeats GCU in Jerry Colangelo Classic

December 8, 2019  Phoenix, Ariz.  RSS
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Caleb Homesley scored 17 points against GCU.

Caleb Homesley scored 17 points against GCU.

Liberty's historic start to its season continued Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena as the Flames defeated Grand Canyon 71-60 in the Naismith Hall of Fame Jerry Colangelo Classic. Myo Baxter-Bell was named the Most Valuable Player for the game. With the victory, Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay earned his 300th career win and became Liberty's winningest Division I coach with 135 victories.

Turning Point

Liberty and GCU went back-and-forth all throughout the first half and early in the second same, exchanging the lead. At the 9:55-mark of the second half, Liberty's defense was exceptional not allowing the Lopes to scores for six minutes, as the Flames went on a 15-0 run. Liberty's run midway through the second half would give the Flames a 63-51 lead and from then on, Liberty was able to convert enough free throws to come away with the victory.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty is 11-0 for the first time in school history.
  • Myo Baxter-Bell was named MVP after recording 15 points, five rebounds and a steal.
  • 135 wins at Liberty for coach McKay passes Jeff Meyer.
  • Liberty forced 11 turnovers, which led to 16 points for the Flames.
  • Liberty held GCU to just five made three-pointers for the game.
  • Liberty had four players score double figures led by Caleb Homesley's 17 points.
  • Elijah Cuffee scored 11 points to go along with three rebounds and a team-high four assists.
  • After tonight's game, Liberty has only trailed 20 minutes and 21 seconds of the 440 minutes played.
  • Liberty and GCU had seven lead changes and the game was tied 10 times.
  • Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz moved to No. 27 on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 1,019 career points, passing Mike Goad.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"We are really privileged to be a part of any event that has Mr. Colangelo's name on it. I really feel like this is a first-class event; the Hall of Fame group is absolutely phenomenal and GCU is a terrific program, so it was a privilege for us to be able to compete and come out with a victory. I am sure it will help us down the road." 

Up Next

Liberty will continue its roadtrip next week when they travel to face Vanderbilt. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on the ESPN SEC Network+.