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Liberty's Defense Stifles South Carolina State

December 15, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Coach McKay Press Conference vs. SCSU

Jonathan Jackson Press Conference vs. SCSU

Chris Parker Press Conference vs. SCSU

Blake Preston Press Conference vs. SCSU

Liberty's defense led the way in the Flames' 82-52 win over South Carolina State, Tuesday night at Liberty Arena. The Flames extend their home winning streak to 27 games, which is tied for the second longest in the country.

First Half

South Carolina State got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 14-5 lead, sparked by Rahsaan Edwards' nine points. Liberty was able to get back into the game, led by Chris Parker (six points) and Blake Preston (five points) scoring 11 of Liberty's first 13 points. Liberty regained the lead at the 9:55 mark, as the Flames went on a 31-0 run. Darius McGhee was a major part of the run, pouring in 14 points during a four-minute span. Liberty did surrender a South Carolina State field goal in the final 10:50 of the half and ended the first half on a 31-1 run, going into the break with a 44-17 lead.

Second Half

The Flames continued to be efficient on offense to start the half, shooting 50 percent in the first 12 minutes of the half. Elijah Cuffee found his groove on offense, shooting 5-of-6 from the field, including four three-pointers. As Liberty's starters set the tone, Liberty's bench came in and provided offense as well, outscoring South Carolina State's bench 23-12 throughout the game. 

Key Stats & Notes

  • Blake Preston earned his first career start and posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Liberty became the first team in the nation to record 100 made three-pointers this season.
  • Liberty shot 50 percent for the game, while holding South Carolina State to 39 percent.
  • Chris Parker recorded a game-high eight assists to go along with 11 points and a career-best five steals.
  • Liberty had 10 players score, led by Elijah Cuffee and Darius McGhee with 16 points each.
  • McGhee passed Seth Curry on Liberty's all-time scoring list, moving up to No. 46 with 722 career points.
  • Liberty had four players score in double-figures.

Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"I felt like we had to get back to center after South Carolina State's early run, and I thought we did a good job; that was a good effort. We try and value each possession, so what I was most excited about was a good defensive stop and sound execution on the offensive end."

Up Next

Liberty will return to Liberty Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 16, as the Flames host Carver College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.