Flames Cruise To Victory Over Cedarville
Larry Blair led the way scoring a game high 31 points as Liberty University defeated Cedarville 76-62 at the Vines Center on Saturday evening in the Flames final exhibition match before the start of their season.
The Flames opened the game on a 9-2 run capped by an Alex McLean jump hook in the paint with 14:12 left in the first half. The Flames pushed it to an 18-6 lead after Blair hit two free-throws with 11:18 left in the first half.
The Flames continued strong pressure on the Yellow Jackets increasing the lead to as many as 20 when McLean scored in the paint on a Blair pass with 1:18 left in the half giving Liberty the 38-18 advantage.
Cedarville was able to cut the lead to 17 at the half as Grant Walker hit a three pointer with three seconds left to cut the Flames advantage to 41-24 at the break.
The Yellow Jackets went on an 8-2 run to open the second half capped by a Ryan Short lay up on a fast break cutting the Flames lead to 43-31 with 18:40 remaining in the game. Cedarville got as close as nine points on a Short jumper making it 45-36 with 15:08 left in the game.
Both teams traded baskets back and forth until the Flames went on an 8-1 run finished off by a pair of free throws by Blair with 9:33 left in the game giving Liberty the 57-41 advantage.
The Flames jumped back out to a 20 point lead after Blair rebounded a missed three-point attempt by Chris Walker and than fed Anthony Smith for the dunk on the fast break with 4:19 left in the game giving Liberty a 71-51 lead. Smith was fouled on the slam dunk by Daniel Rose but was unable to complete the three-point play.
Liberty Head Coach Randy Dunton started to empty his bench and the Yellow Jackets were able to narrow the scoring gap to the final 76-62 score after Rose hit a couple of free throws with under a minute remaining.
Blair grabbed five rebounds and dished out a game high seven assists to go with his 31 points. McLean chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds while Smith scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in the winning cause for he Flames.
Short was a strong force for Cedarville scoring a team high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Rose chipped in 14 points and five rebounds while Walker scored 12 points in the losing cause.
The free throw line might have been Cedarville’s down fall as they shot 13-of-29 from the charity strip while the Flames were near perfect going 20-of-24 behind a perfect 14-of-14 from Blair.
This was the final tune-up for the Flames prior to their season opener on Thursday at Big XII power Oklahoma. Tip is set for 8 p.m. est.