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Liberty's Frontcourt Shines in Win Over NJIT

February 15, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Myo Baxter-Bell scored 14 points in the win over NJIT.
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Coach McKay Press Conference

Myo Baxter-Bell Press Conference

Scottie James Press Conference

Top Plays vs. NJIT

Liberty had to pull out a gutsy win at home to remain in the hunt first place in the ASUN Conference, defeating NJIT 62-49, Saturday night at the Vines Center. The Flames improve to 24-3 overall and 10-2 in the ASUN while NJIT drops to 7-18 overall and 4-8 in conference.

First Half

Offensive struggles plagued the Flames early in the game making just one of its first 10 shots. Liberty was unable to make a field goal for seven a half minutes as NJIT jumped out to an 8-3 lead early in the half. Liberty was able to stay in the game, holding the Highlanders scoreless for nearly six minutes. Liberty would take the lead late in the half to go into the break with the 23-21 advantage as Myo Baxter-Bell provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points.

Second Half

After shooting 25 percent in the second half, Liberty's offense fixed its issues, which led to the Flames shooting 51 percent in the second half. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz was exceptional throughout the second half scoring 10 of his 14 points in the latter half. As the game winded down, Caleb Homesley stepped up scoring nine points in the final five and a half minutes of the game. Baxter-Bell continued to be effective in the paint, scoring seven points in the final half to come away with the victory.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty extends its school-record home winning streak to 18 games.
  • This is the 13th game this season where Liberty has held an opponent to under 50 points.
  • Liberty's frontcourt of Myo Baxter-Bell (14 points, four rebounds) and Scottie James (13 points and seven rebounds) combined for 27 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Myo Baxter-Bell a pair of three-pointers, which is a career-high.
  • NJIT has been held under 50 points three times this season, two of which have been against Liberty.
  • Liberty shot 81.3 percent (13-16) from the free throw line.
  • Liberty had four players score double figures in Baxter-Bell (14 points), Caleb Homesley (14 points), Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz (14 points) and Scottie James (13 points).
  • Liberty scored 17 points off NJIT's 10 turnovers, while NJIT scored just four points.
  • Liberty dished out 13 assists off 21 made field goals.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"I thought our group found a way to win. Typically, when we play as one or when our offense mirrors our defense, we are a tough out. We were struggling offensively in the first half, but our defense was consistent enough to get us a lead. I thought we made a couple of plays in the second half that were really important to our cause." 

Up Next

Liberty will play its final two games at home for the regular season starting on Thursday, Feb. 20, against North Florida. It will be a battle for first place in the ASUN Conference as Liberty has a 10-2 record in conference while North Florida leads the way with an 11-2 record.