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Liberty Basketball: Flames comeback falls short at North Florida

liberty basketballLiberty rallied from 10 down in the final three minutes to tie the game late, but a Garrett Sams free throw with a second to go lifted North Florida to a 71-70 win on Thursday.

The Flames drop to 19-2 overall, and are now tied for first place with North Florida (12-9) at 5-1 in conference.

For the first time in conference play, Liberty trailed at halftime (32-31) as North Florida was led by Ivan Gandia-Rosa’s 14 points. Darius McGhee led the charge on offense for the Flames in the first half, with 13 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the field. Liberty was efficient in the pain on offense, outscoring the Ospreys 22-12 inside the paint in the first half.

Liberty and North Florida went back-and-forth in the second half with 11 lead changes in the first nine minutes of the second half. North Florida would take the lead and jump out to a 67-58 lead with four and a half minutes left in the game, holding Liberty scoreless for over five and a half minutes midway through the half.

“I felt like North Florida deserved to win,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “I feel like they played harder and when you live on top of the standings, you’re going to get team’s best shot and we certainly did tonight. I think there was some good things we did to finish the game and I thought our guys were resilient.”

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press