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Liberty Claims DC Holiday Hoops Fest Title

December 21, 2019  Washington, D.C.  RSS
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Liberty receiving the DC Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament trophy.

Liberty receiving the DC Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament trophy.

Liberty improved to 14-0 with an emphatic 80-67 win over Akron to claim the DC Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament title. According to the NET Rankings, this was Liberty's toughest opponent yet this season, as the Zips came into the game ranked No. 51 and the Flames shot 66 percent from the field to come away with the victory. Scottie James was named Most Valuable Player for the tournament. With the victory, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz has 86 career victories, making him Liberty's all-time winningest player in school history, surpassing Lovell Cabbil Jr., who set the record last season with 85 wins.

Turning Point

In the first half, the Flames and the Zips went back-and-forth as there were six lead changes in the first 20 minutes of action. Akron was on a roll midway through the first half as they held a 28-21 lead with 4:35 left in the half, but Liberty responded with an 11-0 run to end the half to take a 32-28 lead at the break.

Early in the second half, Liberty would continue its run as their extended their run to 18-2, making it 39-30 with 16:39 left in the game. Liberty made eight of its first 10 shots in the second half and extended its lead to as much as 20 points (68-48), with five minutes left in the game. Akron would get back into the game, going on a 6-0 run, but Liberty kept its lead to double-digits to come away with the victory.  Liberty was lights out on offense in the second half, shooting 77 percent (20-26) from the floor.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty is 14-0 for the first time in school history and is the longest winning streak in school history.
  • Scottie James was named the DC Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament MVP.
  • James led Liberty with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and an assist.
  • Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz became Liberty's all-time winningest player with 86 career victories.
  • The Flames shot a season-best 66.7 percent from the field.
  • Liberty outscored Akron 54-20 inside the paint.
  • Caleb Homesley led Liberty with 16 points to go along with five assists and three rebounds.
  • Myo Baxter-Bell dished out a career-high six assists along with nine points and four rebounds.
  • Liberty had four players score double-figures.
  • Liberty outrebounded Akron 28-20.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"I am really proud of our guys, that was hard-fought again, and what they have done in the first part of the season is spectacular. The credit goes to those young men and the sacrifices they have made and how well they have represented Liberty University. All of Flames Nation that follows our guys are proud of them."

Up Next

Liberty will head home for Christmas break, before returning to action on Dec. 29, when they travel to face LSU.