Liberty almost doubled its first half total with 39 in the second to pull away late from the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team and take the 60-48 win in Big South action Saturday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va. Reggie Dillard led the Blue Hose offense with 18 points, while Armel TeTe paced the squad in rebounds with six.
Stat of the Game
Both teams shot in the low 30s in the first half, with Liberty shooting 50.0% in the second, compared to 33.3% for PC. The Blue Hose finished with 32.1% from the field, while the Flames connected on 42.1%. PC hit 10 three-pointers, while holding Liberty to four. The Flames did hold a 30-12 advantage in the paint, with PC committing just two more turnovers, 10-8. Liberty pulled down 10 more boards, 42-32, with PC posting one more assists, 10-9.
Blue Hose Player of the Game
Two Blue Hose scored in double-figures with Reggie Dillard leading the way with 18, followed by Francois Lewis with 15, 12 of those coming in the second half. Armel TeTe led the team with nine rebounds. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz led Liberty with 14 points, while Scottie James pulled down 12 rebounds.
How It Happened
Strong defensive play by both sides in the first half, the Flames and Blue Hose shot in the low 30s the opening 20 minutes, resulting in a combined halftime score of 43 points. Neither team could get a foothold, but it was the visiting team that used a small 5-0 run, helped by a Ruben Arroyo three-pointers and back to back jumpers from Reggie Dillard, to break open a 15-15 tie and take a 22-17 lead with 2:03 to go. The Flames responded with two unanswered layups to go into the locker room trailing by just one, 21-22.
Offense sparked for the flames as an 11-4 run by the home team to open the second half gave Liberty its largest lead of the game to that point, at six, 32-26, 15:38 on the clock. Francois Lewis connected on back to back three-pointers in a span of 30 seconds to erase the six-point deficit and tie the game at 32-32, 14:38 left. Liberty retook the lead, but Lewis came back again with his fourth three-pointer of the game to put PC up by one, 35-34, 12:17 ticks to go. Liberty came back with a 13-1 run, including an 11-0 stretch, over the next five minutes, to build a double-digit lead, 49-36.
Dillard hit back to back three-pointers to suddenly cut the margin t seven, 5:59 on the clock, but the Flames scored the next nine of the game’s 11 points, capped by a Caleb Homesley three-pointer, to make it a double-digit lead again, 58-44, 2:02 on the clock. PC would get a three-ponter from Ethan Kay at the 58 second mark but that would be it as the team was unable to mount a comeback, falling by the final, 60-48 score.
The team’s 31 three-point field goals attempted ranks fifth in the PC Division I record book.
For the Record
PC drops to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the league, while Liberty improves to 11-5, 2-1.
PC returns home for a Jan. 9, contest against Campbell. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
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