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Ohman and Smith Pace Men's Hoops Victory

January 27, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Kyle Ohman matched his career high with 26 points to lead the Flames to a home victory over High Point, 78-63.

Kyle Ohman matched his career high with 26 points to lead the Flames to a home victory over High Point, 78-63.

Game Highlights (Video)

Kyle Ohman tied a career-high 26 points and Anthony Smith reached a milestone, as the Liberty Flames (15-7, 6-4 BSC) topped the visiting High Point Panthers (5-15, 1-9 BSC), Tuesday night, 78-63, inside the Vines Center.

Smith entered the contest needing three rebounds to reach 500 career rebounds mark. The senior from Plano, Texas reached the milestone, becoming the ninth player in Big South Conference history to score at least 1,500 career points and pull down 500 career caroms.

The contest started out with a three-point bonanza and by the time the first media timeout was reached at 12:45, Liberty had tallied five three-point buckets, while High Point had notched two of their own, and Liberty held a narrow three point lead, 19-16. Seth Curry and Anthony Smith each had two treys, while Kyle Ohman tallied the other for the Flames.

Eugene Harris knocked down three treys of his own coming out of the media break, but Liberty matched High Point shot-for-shot. When Harris hit his third three-pointer, it only gave the Panthers a two point lead, 27-25, with 9:52 left in the opening stanza.

Liberty kicked it into overdrive, sprinting on a 12-0 run, capped by a Curry trey at 6:27. Curry's bucket came after Ohman poured in nine straight points during the run.

High Point managed just two more points the rest of the way through the first period, both coming from 1-of-2 makes at the charity stripe. After Nick Barbour sank one free throw at 5:51, cutting Liberty's advantage to nine points, 37-28, the Flames closed the opening period on a 9-1 spurt. Curry finished the streak with a transition layup with 36.7 seconds, giving the Flames a 16 point advantage going into the intermission.

Liberty connected at a 58.6 percent (17-of-29) clip from the floor in the opening half, including 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range.

High Point was successful on 40.7 percent (11-of-27) of their shots, including matching Liberty's percentage from three-point land at 55.6 percent (5-of-9).

Liberty held the Panthers without a field goal until the 15:17 mark of the second half, a span covering 14:35 since Harris' trey at 9:52 in the opening period. Steadman Short snapped the streak with a two point bucket. He missed the ensuing free throw after Smith fouled him on the play. Short's bucket cut Liberty lead to 19 points, 52-33.

The Flames continued to maintain a safe gap between Panthers and them, extending the lead to a game-high 24 points, 74-50, at the 5:28 mark, courtesy of an old-fashioned three-point play by Anthony Smith.

Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay emptied his bench, as Liberty cruised to the 15 point win, 78-63.

Liberty, who leads the Big South in field goal shooting, raised its percentage via a 48.3 percent (28-of-58) night from the floor, including hitting 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from beyond the arc. The Flames, who has been outrebounded in 15-of-21 games coming into the evening, including losing the carom war with the Panthers a week ago, 42-29, returned the favor in the rematch. Liberty nearly matched its deficit, outrebounding the Panthers, 43-29. Liberty also tallied an assist on 22 of their 28 field goals for the game.

Ohman led all scorers with 26 points, tying the career high he set at Virginia on Nov. 25. Ohman pulled down six rebounds and hit 5-of-8 from three-point land. Smith, the reigning Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week, poured in 23 points and pulled down three rebounds. Smith's third carom of the night made him the 11th player in program history to grab 500 career rebounds.

Curry added 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Sanders dished out a career-high nine assists, versus zero turnovers, while adding nine rebounds, four of the offensive variety. Curry's 16 points helped him pass Larry Blair (437) for the most points by a Liberty freshman in the Division I era.

High Point shot 37.9 percent (22-of-58) from the floor, including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from three-point range.

Nick Barbour led the Panthers with a team-high 21 points, hitting 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Harris chipped in 17 points, connecting on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

The Flames return home on Saturday to host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., inside the Vines Center and the contest will be televised on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).