Tomasz Gielo (photo credit: Bennett Scarborough)
The Liberty men's basketball team halted a seven-game skid in decisive fashion, Saturday afternoon, defeating Campbell inside Gore Arena, 79-59. Despite coming into the contest 1-12 on the road, the Flames broke away early and did not look back in the 20-point victory. With the win, Liberty moves to 10-19 overall and 4-10 in the Big South. Campbell drops to 12-17 on the season and 6-8 in conference action. Liberty now leads the all-time series, 13-10, improving its win streak over the Camels to five. Liberty shared the wealth offensively, as five Flames finished with double scoring figures for the first time, this season. Davon Marshall led Liberty with a game-high 15 points, followed by Antwan Burrus (14), John Caleb Sanders (13), Andrew Smith (12) and Tomasz Gielo (11). Smith also had a game-high nine rebounds. Reco McCarter paced the Camels with 14 points, while Luke Moyer and Leek Leek chipped in 12 and 10 tallies, respectively. The Flames shot 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the field, including 7-of-18 (38.9 percent). Conversely, Campbell shot 36.4 percent (20-of-55) on the afternoon. Liberty controlled the paint, outscoring the Camels inside the lane, 38-22. Entering the contest averaging 13.6 turnovers, Dale Layer's squad finished with eight miscues for the second straight game. Campbell led 8-5 after a three-pointer by Moyer at 13:54. Sanders then countered with a trey of his own on the other end, beginning a 13-5 Flames burst. Gielo highlighted the stretch with a pair of three-pointers. Marshall also tacked on a trey, while Joel Vander Pol chipped in a traditional three-point play. Gielo's second three-pointer at 9:38 put the Flames ahead by double digits, 24-13. Marshall continued to find his mark from three-point range, sinking two more in the ensuing 3:42. The senior's third three-pointer of the afternoon at 5:56 made it 32-22 in favor of the Flames. Liberty began displaying its inside presence in the remaining minutes of the half. Sanders dissected the Campbell defense with a driving layup at 4:01 to bolster the lead to 15. A little over a minute later, Joe Retic found Smith open for an alley-oop to take a 16-point advantage. Campbell was able to cut into the Liberty lead before halftime, giving the Flames a 42-29 lead at intermission. Liberty shot 50.0 percent (15-of-30) in the first half, including 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point land. The Flames defense held Campbell to 33.3 percent shooting (10-of-30) and 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from long distance. Liberty also outscored the Camels in the paint, 18-10. Thanks in part to his trio of treys, Marshall paced the Flames offense with 11 points, followed by Gielo with nine. Moyer led the Camels with eight points. The Flames began the second period with a thunderous Burrus dunk off a Sanders assist. The Camels then went on an 8-0 run, featuring back-to-back three-pointers from Quinton Ray and McCarter and a Darius Leonard layup. Burrus stopped the surge with a tip-in at 17:04, making it 46-37. Liberty went back up by 13 at the 12:39 mark courtesy of a Smith layup. Following five unanswered points by the Camels, Smith connected on another layup to kick start an 8-0 Flames run. A traditional three-point play by Retic capped the burst, giving Liberty a 64-47 lead with 6:08 remaining. The Flames led by as much 21 on the afternoon, en route to the 79-59 final. Liberty returns to action on Tuesday, playing host to Longwood. Tipoff in the Vines Center is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest airing live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.