Photo Courtesy: Campbell Athletics
Liberty made history against Longwood, Thursday night, winning its first five road games in the Big South and against Campbell on Saturday the Flames added to that record. Liberty put on a defensive clinic allowing the fewest points in a game by an opponent this season, defeating the Camels 72-40. Liberty improves to 13-10 and 8-2 in conference. Liberty has now tied the school record by winning six straight games on the road, tying the 1993 Flames.
With five points against Camels, Ryan Kemrite surpassed Seth Curry on Liberty's all-time scoring list, moving into 40th place on the list with 710 career points. The Flames had the task of having to deal with Campbell's Chris Clemons, the nation's sixth leading scorer by averaging 23.4 points per game. Liberty held Clemons to 12 points in the contest, on 4-of-16 shooting from the field, his second lowest output of the year. In addition, Liberty held Campbell to a season-low 12 made field goals throughout the game and a 26.1 shooting percentage.
"We had to be good as a team defensively when you are dealing with a guys like Chris (Clemons) because he has the rare ability to score at all three levels," head coach Ritchie McKay said. "I was really proud of Lovell Cabbil and our whole team. We have a team defense philosophy and I thought our guys showed that tonight."
Cabbil was the first Flame to reach double-digits in the contest, leading the team with 16 points, while adding six rebounds and two assists. For just the second time during his freshman campaign, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz scored double-digits in back-to-back games, dropping in 12 points. John Dawson filled up the stat sheet with a game-high six assists to go along with nine points and three rebounds.
After Myo Baxter-Bell gave Liberty the lead 36 seconds into the game with the first points of the contest, Cabbil went on a 6-0 run by himself and as the Flames went on an 8-0 run to jump out to a 10-2 lead. Liberty's defense was on display early in the game as they forced Campbell to shoot 1-10 along with five turnovers during the first 10 minutes.
Clemons did not make a bucket until the 10:33 mark in the first half and that led to the Camels cutting Liberty's lead to four points (13-9) midway through the half. The Flames quickly ended the idea of the Camels making a run with a 5-0 burst of their own and holding Campbell scoreless for the next 3:30.
Liberty was able to move the ball around in the half with six assists, while limiting the Camels to just two. Taking advantage of the paint in the first half with post play and layups from the guards, Liberty outscored Campbell 12-4 in the paint in the first half.
"We did a good job of staying gaps and contesting shots tonight," Cabbil said. "I thought we emphasized crashing the boards and you saw it tonight as all five guys crashed the boards."
Liberty held Campbell to 16 points in the first half, the fewest points they have scored in a first half this season as the Flames went into halftime with a 23-16 lead. Cabbil led Liberty with nine points and four rebounds in the first half while he limited Clemons to seven points, shooting 2-of-10 from the floor.
Coming out in the second half, Baxter-Bell hit back-to-back buckets as Liberty held a 29-20 lead five minutes into the second half.
After not scoring any points in the first half, Ryan Kemrite made five straight points for the Flames to jump out to a 38-23 lead. The Flames went on a 15-4 run midway through the second half to make it 47-28, with six minutes left in the game. For the second straight game, all of Liberty's 12 players saw playing time as they end the weekend tied for first place in the Big South with UNC Asheville and Winthrop.
Liberty will return home as they are set for two games at the Vines Center next week beginning with Presbyterian on Tuesday.