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Liberty's 2019 Team Honored as Liberty MBB's Best

September 30, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.   RSS
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Liberty's 2019 Team Honored as Liberty MBB's Best

In conjunction with each institution's sports information office, the ASUN Conference has announced each member school's top team in men's basketball program history. The 2018-19 squad was recognized as Liberty's top men's basketball team, with the 2019-20, 1993-94 and 1979-80 teams each earning honorable mention.

Top Men's Basketball Season – 2018-19

      Liberty's first season in the ASUN Conference was a memorable one as the Flames picked up the program's first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Round of 32. Liberty ended the season with a 29-7 record and clinched a share of the ASUN Regular Season title with a 14-2 record in conference. Liberty were led by two All-ASUN First Team selections in Caleb Homesley and Scottie James.

      After defeating Jacksonville and North Florida in the ASUN Quarterfinals and Semifinals, Liberty travelled to Lipscomb for the ASUN Championship and defeated the Bisons 74-68 in a thriller to win the title. James was named MVP of the ASUN Tournament while Lovell Cabbil and Caleb Homesley were named to the ASUN All-Tournament Team.

      Head coach Ritchie McKay and the Flames earned a No. 12 seed, the program's highest seeding ever in the NCAA Tournament and would face the No. 5 seed, Mississippi State in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. Homesley would score a career-high 30 points to upset Mississippi State 80-76. The Flames would fall in the Round of 32 to Virginia Tech (57-68). McKay was named the 2019 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year, which recognizes the top Division I coach in the country.

Honorable Mention – 2019-20, 1993-94 and 1979-80

      During the 2019-20 season Liberty won a school-record 30 games, capped off with a win in the ASUN Championship in the final game ever played in the Vines Center. Liberty racked up the postseason awards as Caleb Homesley was named ASUN Player of the Year, Scottie James and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz were All-ASUN selections and head coach Ritchie McKay was named the NABC District 3 Coach of the Year. Liberty started the season 14-0 and received a school-record 40 votes in the AP Top 25 Poll on Dec. 21, 2019.

      Liberty started the ASUN Tournament defeating NJIT and Stetson at home before hosting Lipscomb in the ASUN Championship. In front of a crowd of 7,728 fans, Liberty hoisted the ASUN title for the second straight season, defeating Lipscomb 73-57. Homesley was named the ASUN Tournament MVP. The Flames were unable to compete in the NCAA Tournament as the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19.

      Liberty's 1993-94 team became the program's first team to ever make the NCAA Tournament, ending the season with an 18-12 record. Liberty defeated Campbell 76-62 in the Big South Championship as Peter Aluma was named MVP of the Big South Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, the Flames were a tough match for the Tar Heels, leading as much as four points and trailing by a difference of six at half, 32-26. Liberty also claimed the lead with under 10 minutes left, 47-46. The Tar Heels ended with the win, 71-51, but the Flames proved to be a strong competitor in Liberty's first game in the NCAA Tournament.

      During the 1979-80 season, Liberty joined the NCAA at the Division II level as an associate member. The Flames won the NCCAA National Championship and posted a 28-11 record. Karl Hess and Ed Vickers were named NCCAA All-Americans. Hess was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

      During the coming weeks, the ASUN Conference will continue revealing each member's top seasons in each sport the conference sponsors.