Liberty Falls to Bellarmine in ASUN Semifinals
Liberty’s quest for a fourth straight ASUN Tournament title came to a close, Saturday night at Liberty Arena, as the Flames fell to Bellarmine 53-50. Liberty drops to 22-11 on the season.
Bellarmine could not have asked for a better start, jumping out a 12-point lead (14-2) less than seven minutes into the game as the Knights started the game 5-10 from the field while Liberty shot 3-10. Liberty quickly responded going on a 12-0 run just over two minutes to tie the ball game at 14-14. Liberty used an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game (19-18) with 6:07 left in the half. Brody Peebles caught fire off the bench, scoring nine straight points adding to Liberty’s lead. Liberty would hold Bellarmine scoreless for the last eight minutes and 23 seconds of the half, to take a 26-18 lead at the break.
Bellarmine would come out of the break on a 13-5 run less than five minutes into the half to tie the game. From that point on Liberty and Bellarmine would go back-and-forth with seven lead changes as well as five times the game was tied throughout the second half. With one minute left, Liberty had a one-point lead and Bellarmine would retake the lead off a Dylan Penn layup with 42 seconds left and the Knights would never relinquish the lead.
Key Stats & Notes
· Darius McGhee scored 26 points, recording his 10th straight 20-point game with a game-high 21 points.
· Liberty shot 42 percent while Bellarmine shot 39 percent.
· Liberty shot 25 percent from three-point range while Bellarmine shot 29 percent.
· Liberty’s bench outscored Bellarmine’s bench 14-0.
· Bellarmine scored 15 points off Liberty’s 13 turnovers.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay
“That was a tough one, really felt like Bellarmine played a heck of a game and deserved to win. I love this group, and our guys are unbelievable individuals.”