Liberty faced its second Power 5 opponent this season, as the Flames went up against Alabama in the Rocket City Classic in Huntsville, Ala. The Flames hung tight with the Crimson Tide all night, but late in the game, Alabama pulled away for an 84-75 win over the Flames. Liberty falls to 9-3, while Alabama improves to 7-3.
Alabama picked up its offensive attack in the second half, as they shot 57.7 percent from the floor, led by John Petty (14 points) and Donta Hall (13 points). The duo combined for 27 of Alabama's 50 second half points. The Crimson Tide also took advantage of the three-point shot in the second half, making 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Key Stats & Notes
Scottie James posted his 14th career double-double and third of the season with a season-high 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Caleb Homesley scored a career-high 23 points, including a career-high five three-pointers.
Homesley led Liberty with a game-high five assists.
Liberty's bench outscored Alabama's bench 21-17.
The Flames shot 43.9 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from three.
Alabama shot 52.0 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.
Alabama outscored Liberty 34-28 inside the paint.
The Crimson Tide had 12 fast-break points while preventing Liberty from scoring any fast break points
Alabama had three players score in double figures, led by Hall's 21 points.
Liberty's first four made field goals were from three-point range.
Thoughts from Coach McKay
"Alabama is a really good basketball team, especially when they have the advantage at the free throw line. They did a really good job of attacking inside; when they shoot 39 free throws, it is going to be tough for any team to overcome that. That is our responsibility to do a better job defensively. I really like their team, but I like our team. We just let it go in a different direction. Credit goes to Alabama. They have some really good players."
The Flames will now continue their six-game road trip, as they travel to Florida to participate in the St. Petersburg Shootout. Liberty will face Alabama State to open the tournament on Friday at noon and will face either Austin Peay or Campbell in the final game of the tournament on Saturday.