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Flames Drop Heartbreaker To Seton Hall, 85-81

December 29, 2006  Provo, Utah  RSS
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Brewington scored 20 points in loss.

Brewington scored 20 points in loss.

Despite a better shooting percentage and outrebounding their opponent, it was turnovers that proved too costly for the Flames (6-6) as Liberty committed 14 first half turnovers that led to an 85-81 loss at the hands of the Seton Hall Pirates (8-3) on Friday night at the Marriott Center. The game served as both team's second contest of the BYU Holiday Classic.

The Flames controlled the game at the start, taking a 10-7 advantage on a basket by Alex McLean with 16:22 left in the first half. But, that would end up being Liberty's biggest lead of the night as the Pirates responded with a 20-8 run capped by a Eugene Harvey basket with 6:13 left in the half making it 27-18.

The remainder of the first half was a back and forth battle with Seton Hall outscoring the Flames by just two points, 15-13, over the final six minutes of the period, allowing the Pirates to take a 42-31 lead into the break. Larry Blair uncharacteristically had five first half turnovers as part of the Flames 14 turnovers of the half.

The second half didn't start much better for the Flames as they got down by as many as 17 when Brian Laing hit a jumper to make it 50-33 in the Pirates' favor with 17:59 left in the game.

The Flames came battling back, scoring 13-straight points capped by a McLean lay up down low, trimming Seton Hall's lead to 50-46 with 14:36 left in the game. The game remained close over the next few minutes until Blair broke lose for a jumper to tie the game at 65-65 with 6:58 left in the game.

The Flames never led but continued to tie the game four more times with the final time coming with 49 seconds remaining when Dwight Brewington put back his own missed shot to tie the game at 79-79.

Laing then made a shot and was fouled by Damien Hubbard with 33 seconds left. Laing made the ensuing free throw to give his team a three-point lead, 82-79. Brewington then turned the ball over and had to foul Paul Gause who made one-of-two free throws to take an 83-79 lead with 27 seconds left.

A missed shot by McLean led to a lay up in transition by Eugene Harvey to make it 85-79 and seal the win for the Pirates. 

The Flames drop their fifth-straight game despite shooting 51.7 percent from the field on 30-of-58 shooting. The Pirates shot 45.3 percent on 29-of-64 shooting. The difference in the game was the 20 turnovers the Flames had against the Pirates' 10.  The Pirates scored 21 points off turnovers.

Blair led the way for the Flames scoring double figures for the 32nd-consecutive game as he had a team-high 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Brewington had a season and Liberty career-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Anthony Smith chipped in 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and McLean collected his third-straight double-double and sixth of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Laing led the way for the Pirates with a game-high 23 points and Harvey chipped in 18 in the win. 

The Flames are back in action tomorrow night when they take on Oral Roberts in their third and final game of the BYU Holiday Classic. Tip is set for 7 p.m. (EST) at the Marriott Center.