For the first time in school history, Liberty defeated a Pac-12 opponent, as they went into historic Pauley Pavilion to defeat UCLA, 73-58. The Flames now tie their school record for most wins during non-conference play, as they are now 11-4 on the season.
Liberty was exceptional on defense in the first half, forcing the Bruins to commit 12 turnovers in the half, as Liberty scored 15 points off the turnovers. While limiting UCLA on offense to just 26 points, which tied for the fewest points UCLA has scored in a half this season, the Flames ended the first half on a 7-0 run to go into the break with an eight point lead, 34-26. Turnovers proved to be the difference maker all night, as Liberty caused UCLA to commit 24 turnovers, which led to 32 points for the Flames.
Key Stats & Notes
For the first time in school history, Liberty has defeated a Power 5 school in back-to-back seasons.
Liberty's win over UCLA was the first win for the Flames over a Pac-12 opponent in school history.
Liberty's defense forced UCLA to commit a season-high 24 turnovers.
Fifty-eight points was the fewest points UCLA has scored in a game this season.
Caleb Homesley led the game with 21 points, tying his career-high in field goals made (9).
Homesley and UCLA's Cody Riley led all scorers in the first half with 11 points.
Liberty scored 32 points off UCLA's turnovers, while UCLA scored just seven points off turnovers.
Liberty outscored UCLA 34-28 inside the paint.
Liberty took the lead at the 6:25 mark in the first half and held onto the lead the rest of the game.
Head coach Ritchie McKay picked up his second career win over UCLA (Defeated UCLA at Colorado State in 1999).
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz led all players with a game-high four assists.
With seven rebounds, Scottie James moved into 21st place on Liberty's all-time rebounding list with 463 career rebounds.
Thoughts from Coach McKay
"We finally got one of these Power 5 wins, and I thought we executed well tonight and were selfless. We have our pillars that describe our team, and tonight I thought they were on display. Our guys earned a victory this afternoon. From the moment we came back from break, our attitude was great. I am really proud of our guys."
The Flames will continue their six-game road trip as they begin conference play with the defending ASUN regular season champion, Florida Gulf Coast. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, in Fort Myers, Fla.