McGhee Sets Liberty Arena Scoring Record on Senior Day
Postgame Press Conference vs. Kennesaw State
Liberty honored its seniors, Keegan McDowell and Darius McGhee, with an overtime victory defeating Kennesaw State, 100-93, Saturday afternoon at Liberty Arena. McGhee highlighted the day by scoring 47 points, setting a Liberty Arena record for most points in a game by an individual.
Kennesaw State could not have asked for a better start, opening the game on a 9-0 run less than four minutes into the game. Liberty was able to steer the ship, going on an 8-0 run to get back into the game. Kennesaw State extended its lead to double digits at the 6:42-mark as the Owls led 33-22 but the Flames were able to hold Kennesaw State without a made field goal for the last 3:46 of the half, cutting the Owls’ lead to 42-37 at the break. Liberty’s Darius McGhee and Kennesaw State’s Chris Youngblood led all scorers in the first half with 10 points each.
Liberty got hot to start the half going on a 10-5 run to quickly tie the game (47-47) and would take its first lead of the game (51-50) with 14:23 left in the game. Kyle Rode sparked Liberty’s hot start in the second half, scoring seven points in the first two and a half minutes of the 2nd half. It was a tight ball game all throughout the second half, as Liberty’s biggest lead of the half was five points and with 3:33 left in the game Spencer Rodgers would tie the game at 68-68. Kennesaw State had a three-point lead (77-74) with 51 seconds left in the game and the Flames were able to climb its way back and tie the game to send it into overtime after McGhee hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left in regulation.
McGhee took over in overtime, scoring 16 of Liberty’s 23 points in overtime shooting 4-5 from the field and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. McGhee would score the first points of overtime and the Flames would never relinquish the lead, outscoring Kennesaw State 23-16 in the final five minutes.
Key Stats & Notes
- Darius McGhee moved to No. 5 on Liberty’s all-time scoring list with 1,817 career points passing Steve Isaacs.
- McGhee recorded his eighth straight 20-point game with a game-high 47 points.
- McGhee led all players with nine rebounds.
- Kyle Rode recorded his second 20-point game this season with 20 points to go along with five assists.
- Liberty outscored Kennesaw State 42-18 inside the paint.
- Keegan McDowell scored 10 points along with four rebounds and an assist.
- Liberty shot 84 percent from the free throw line, making a season-high 37 free throws.
- Liberty shot 50 percent from the field (28-56).
- This was Liberty’s sixth win this season after being down by double-digits.
- This was Liberty’s third win this season after trailing at halftime.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ritchie McKay
“Another great game to witness, not so much to coach because there were a lot of stressful moments, but I am glad number two (Darius McGhee) plays for us. What a fabulous job our guys did in finding a way. That is the fourth game in eight days for us and I know this has been a really hard stretch for us in the month of February and the way they battled and finished the season, I am really proud of them.”
Liberty now turns its attention towards the ASUN Tournament, as the Flames have a first round bye and will host a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, March 3. The game can be seen on ESPN+ with an opponent and time yet to be determined.