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    Liberty Picks Up Win No. 20, Defeats Central Arkansas

    Feb 21, 2022 | Conway Ark | Men's Basketball

    Liberty’s last road game of the regular season was a success, as the Flames defeated Central Arkansas, 85-66, for its 20th win of the season. Liberty was led by Darius McGhee scoring a game-high 34 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists.

    First Half

    It was a fast-paced game from the start, as there were three lead changes and one tie within the first 10 minutes of the game. After trailing 15-9, Liberty used a 14-2 run over five minutes to regain the lead midway through the half. The Flames hit a scoring drought to close out the half, allowing Central Arkansas to cut it to a one-possession game. The Flames went into the break with a 34-32 lead. Liberty shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, led by Darius McGhee’s 10 points.

    Second Half

    Central Arkansas took the lead less than three minutes into the half, but Liberty would respond with a 10-1 run, sparked by Keegan McDowell hitting a pair of three-pointers to allow the Flames would regain the lead (62-52) with 12:26 left in the game. The Flames defense stepped up, holding Central Arkansas scoreless for four and a half minutes. The Flames had their first double-digit lead of the game (72-60) with 4:30 left in the contest. Liberty never relinquished its lead, shooting 61 percent in the second half and 46 percent from three to come away with the 19-point victory.

    Key Stats & Notes

    • Darius McGhee moved up to No. 7 on Liberty’s all-time scoring list with 1,742 career points, passing Peter Aluma.
    • Kyle Rode recorded his second straight double-digit scoring game with 13 points to go along with six rebounds and eight assists.
    • Liberty scored 48 points inside the paint.
    • Liberty’s bench outscored Central Arkansas’ bench 18-9.
    • Liberty shot 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range.
    • Liberty secured its sixth straight 20-win season.
    • Keegan McDowell scored 14 points, shooting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

    Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay

    “I felt like we started taking care of the basketball better in the second half. When they came out early in the second half, they (Central Arkansas) put 19 points in four minutes, and that was a rubber meets the road timeout for us. Had we not responded the way we did, I would’ve had some concerns. I am proud of our effort. It is hard to win on the road in this league, and we will see if we can rest up and get back to it on Wednesday.”

    Up Next

    Liberty will play its final two games of the regular season at Liberty Arena starting with FGCU on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.