Liberty erases early deficit, defeats Jacksonville, 88-49
The win extends Liberty’s home winning streak to 44 games.
The Flames improve to 13-6 ad 4-0 in conference, while Jacksonville drops to 11-5 overall and 3-1 in the ASUN.
Jacksonville came into the game with the No. 1 scoring defense in the country, and the Flames were the first team to score 70 points on Jacksonville this season, shooting 61 percent for the game, led by Darius McGhee’s 27 points.
From the tip, Liberty struggled on offense, missing its first seven field goal attempts, as Jacksonville jumped out to an 8-1 lead by the first media timeout. At the 11:22-mark Jacksonville would extend its lead to double-digits (16-5) as the Dolphins received scoring contributions from five different players during that span.
Liberty responded with a 19-6 run over the next four and a half minutes to take its first lead of the game (24-22). Liberty would end the half shooting 54 percent from the field and would take the 40-30 lead going into halftime.
Liberty’s 40 points was the most points Jacksonville has allowed in a half this season.
Liberty started the second half on an 8-0 run to keep its lead to double-digits. Liberty would control the second half from start-to-finish, outscoring Jacksonville 48-19, led by Keegan McDowell scoring 12 points in the half.
Liberty shot 72 percent (13-18) in the latter half to come away with the 39-point victory.
“I love the way our guys shared the ball tonight,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “I thought we were very detailed on both ends of the floor and when you shoot it like that, it makes the game a lot easier. We have a ton of respect for Jacksonville because we know how stout their defense has been and I think our guys after a slow start just tried to take what they were giving us and when we saw a couple go in it gave us a little bit of confidence. They score is not indicative of an opponent they are, and they are going to be a factor in this league.”