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Liberty Defeats Vanderbilt to Stay Undefeated

December 14, 2019  Nashville, Tenn.  RSS
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Liberty Defeats Vanderbilt to Stay Undefeated

For the second straight season, Liberty has defeated an SEC opponent. The first win came last season against Mississippi State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and the second win came Saturday night on the road, at Vanderbilt, as the Flames improve to 12-0 with the 61-56 win over the Commodores. Liberty is the first team in the country this season to reach 12 wins.

Turning Point

It was a game of runs in the first half as Vanderbilt created a lead early in the game as they went on a 14-2 run at the beginning of the first half to take a 17-8 lead. The Flames responded with a 19-4 run themselves to take a 27-21 lead over the Commodores. To end the half, Vanderbilt would go on an 11-0 run in the final 2:56 to take a 32-27 lead at the break.

As the second half went on, the Flames and Commodores went back-and-forth but with 6:21 left in the game the Flames locked down on defense as Vanderbilt did not convert a field goal for six minutes and 14 seconds. Vanderbilt went 2-9 from the field in the final six and a half minutes of the game to hold Vanderbilt to a season-low 56 points. On offense, Myo Baxter-Bell (18 points), Elijah Cuffee (13 points) and Caleb Homesley (14 points) led the charge scoring 45 of Liberty's 61 points.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty is 12-0 for the first time in school history.
  • This is Liberty's first win at an SEC venue.
  • Liberty has now defeated a Power 5 school in the last three seasons.
  • For the first time this season Liberty trailed at half.
  • Myo Baxter-Bell scored a season-high 18 points.
  • Caleb Homesley scored 14 points along with two rebounds.
  • Darius McGhee grabbed a career-high nine rebounds along with six points and an assist.
  • Scottie James recorded a game-high 11 rebounds.
  • Fifty-six points was the fewest points Vanderbilt has scored this season.
  • Liberty held Vanderbilt to just 35.3 percent (18-51) from the field.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"Being undefeated is great because you get a little bit of attention from it but that wasn't one of our goals before we started the season. We are in the process of getting better and in an environment like this, against some of the talent and the offensive talent that Vandy has, that is a really good win for our program."

Up Next

Liberty will continue its roadtrip next week when they travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the D.C. Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament. The Flames will begin the tournament facing Towson on Friday, Dec. 20, as tip-off is set for 5 p.m. and can be seen on FloHoops TV.