Five Flames Reach Doubles Figures in 79-59 Win Over Maryland Eastern Shore
Head Coach Ritchie McKay Press Conference
Darius McGhee and Shiloh Robinson Press Conference
Five Flames reached double figures in Liberty’s 79-59 home win over the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, Friday evening at Liberty Arena.
The Flames used a 21-2 run in the first half to take a commanding 25-point lead (47-22) at the break. Liberty redshirt senior guard Darius McGhee (game-high 22 points) reached another milestone this evening, as he knocked down his 400th career three-pointer in the game. McGhee is one of only two active Division I players to reach 400 triples for his career.
Liberty bolsters its overall record to 5-3 on the season. Maryland Eastern Shore falls to 3-5 and remains winless on the road (0-5).
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Darius McGhee 22 points, 8-16 FG, 6-11 3FG, 6 assists; Kyle Rode 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 rebounds; Brody Peebles 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4-6 FG; Shiloh Robinson 12 points, 6-7 FG; Blake Preston 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4-6 FG
Maryland Eastern Shore Individuals: Ahamadou Fofana 13 points, 6-10 FG; Da’Shawn Phillip 12 points, 4 rebounds
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the floor, its fourth time this season shooting 50 percent or better. The Flames are 4-0 in those games. Liberty held UMES to 22 points in the opening half on 9-of-23 shooting, and the Hawks committed eight turnovers in the half. Liberty finished the night with 19 assists on 28 made field goals. The Flames knocked down a season-best 14 three-pointers on the night, converting at a 48.3 percent rate (14-of-29).
Thoughts From Head Coach Ritchie McKay
“I thought our guys had a really mature approach to tonight’s game. I think any time you’re coming up on finals, you won a couple in a row, you’re supposed to beat a team that plays really hard, I think there’s a propensity to maybe think it’s going to be easy. Our guys were hard to play against, especially in the first half, defensively. I thought that set a really good tone for us to be able to get the victory tonight.”
After starting 2-of-10 from the floor over the first five minutes, Liberty hit 13 of its next 14 shots. The Flames led 18-14 with 10:35 to go in the opening half before going on a 21-2 run over the next 6:17 to break the game open and take a 39-16 advantage. McGhee and Robinson both reached double figures in the opening stanza, with McGhee scoring 11 before intermission and Robinson tallying 10 points. Six Flames scored four or more points in the opening stanza, also including Kyle Rode (9 points), Brody Peebles (6 points), Blake Preston (4 points) and Joseph Venzant (4 points).
The Flames led 47-22 at the break. Liberty’s 25-point halftime lead was its biggest against a Division I opponent so far this year.
Key Stats & Notes
• McGhee’s milestone 400th career three-pointer came at the 14:14 mark of the second half, his fifth triple of the game at the time.
• McGhee, who hit a game-high six three-pointers tonight to get to 401 for his career, is one of two active Division I players to reach 400 career three-pointers. He joins Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis, who has 459 career triples. McGhee is one of only 22 players in Division I men’s basketball history to knock down 400-plus career threes. He is now tied for Doug Day (Radford, 1990-93) for 20th place on the career three-pointers list.
• McGhee, the reigning ASUN Player of the Week, has scored 20 or more points in six straight contests. The guard finished the game with six assists as well and had no turnovers.
• Kyle Rode had season highs in points (12) and assists (7) in the victory and added four rebounds.
• Shiloh Robinson notched a season-high 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting. The senior from Kearney, Neb. grabbed three rebounds, moving him into a tie for 50th place all-time in program history with 331 career boards.
• This is Liberty’s first three-game winning streak of the 2022-23 campaign and first since winning four games in a row last season (Jan. 31-Feb. 8) in ASUN play.
• This is the second time this year the Flames have featured five players in doubles figures and first time doing so against a Division I foe. Liberty had five in double figures in the season-opening 104-38 triumph over Regent, Nov. 7.
• Liberty moves to 6-0 all-time versus UMES and 4-0 against the Hawks in head coach Ritchie McKay’s time with the Flames.
• The Flames improve to 4-1 at home this season and 30-4 all-time at Liberty Arena.
• Three of Liberty’s five wins this year have been by 20 or more points.
Liberty will be back in action on Tuesday evening at home against the Clarks Summit Defenders (1-8). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Liberty Arena, and the game can also be seen on ESPN+.
The Flames are 5-0 all-time versus the Defenders.