Liberty returned home for its first-ever ASUN home game as they welcomed Jacksonville to the Vines Center on Saturday. The Dolphins (8-10, 1-2 ASUN) hung with the Flames all night but a late offensive push for the Flames proved to be the difference maker in their 69-53 win over Jacksonville. The Flames improve to 14-4 overall and 3-0 in the ASUN, winning their fourth straight game.
Liberty tried to pull away all game from Jacksonville, but the Dolphins would keep fighting back to make keep it within reaching distance. Jacksonville cut Liberty's lead to five points (47-42) with seven and a half minutes left. The Flames responded by scoring on eight of their last 11 possessions, starting with a Darius McGhee layup at the 6:57-mark. Scottie James sparked the run for Liberty, scoring on his last five field goal attempts. Liberty's defense was exceptional all night limiting Jacksonville to 40.8 percent (20-49) from the field.
Key Stats & Notes
Liberty has started 3-0 in conference play for just the second time (2011) in school history.
Caleb Homesley recorded his fourth career double-double and second of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Fifty-three points was the second fewest points Jacksonville has scored in a game this season (Scored 50 points vs. Florida A&M).
Liberty outscored Jacksonville 46-24 inside the paint.
Scottie James led all scorers with 18 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Liberty scored on its last 10 possessions.
Liberty outrebounded Jacksonville 35-28.
For the second straight game (Stetson on 1/9), Liberty held its opponent to 53 points.
Liberty forced 14 turnovers and scored 21 points off the turnovers while Jacksonville scored just three points.
Liberty's bench outscored Jacksonville's 18-15 led by Myo Baxter-Bell's eight points, two rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot.
Thoughts from Coach McKay
"Jacksonville is really tough to play against. Tony (Jasick) and his staff do a wonderful job and they made it difficult for us on the offensive end. They weren't going to give us a bunch of three-point looks and we were able to show some maturity and combat that with doing an okay job from two-point land. I thought defensively we were pretty good and that ended up winning us the game."
The Flames will head back on the road for a game against Kennesaw State on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.