Liberty's defense was on display, Tuesday night at the Vines Center, as the Flames defeated South Carolina State 79-55. For the first time since 1991, Liberty is now 8-2 to start the season and 6-0 at home for the first time since 2008, during head coach Ritchie McKay's first stint at Liberty.
Liberty's defense answered the bell to start the game, holding South Carolina State scoreless for over four minutes within the first 10 minutes of the game. During that draught, the Flames went on a 10-0 run. The Flames shot 72.7 percent in the first half from beyond the arc with a season-high eight made three-pointers in the first half. While Liberty was efficient from three-point range, the defense did not allow SCSU to make a three-pointer in the first half. The Bulldogs were limited to just 26.1 percent from the floor in the first half.
Key Stats & Notes
Liberty is 8-2 for the first time since 1991.
Liberty recorded a season-high 28 assists off 25 made field goals.
Liberty's eight three-pointers in the first half was the most in a first half this season.
Eight three-pointers ties the most in a half for Liberty since Jan. 27, 2018 at Presbyterian
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz made a season-high six three-pointers.
Pacheco-Ortiz led Liberty with a season-high 18 points.
Liberty shot a season-high 56.0 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from three.
The Flames forced 14 turnovers, which led to 24 points for Liberty.
Darius McGhee led Liberty with a career-high five assists.
Scottie James was a perfect 5-5 from the field and Lovell Cabbil Jr. went 6-6 from the field.
Thoughts from Coach McKay
"I was proud of our performance, considering the circumstances leading up to the game. To lose a tough game at Georgetown and we only practiced twice in the last eight days because of finals and so I think this is always a hard game for players but give credit to our guys. I thought defensively we were sound and I thought we made it tough on them. Offensively I thought we shared the ball and typically when we do that we are going to get good looks because we have good shooters."
The Flames will now play its final home game for the non-conference season on Saturday, as they host Kentucky Christian. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at the Vines Center on Dec. 15.