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Liberty falls to BYU, 80-75: McGhee named Diamond Head Classic MVP in defeat

liberty basketballOver the course of four days in Hawaii, Liberty’s Darius McGhee went on a historical run, as he was named the Diamond Head Classic MVP even as the Flames dropped the third-place game to BYU, 80-75.

McGhee scored 29 points on Christmas Day, concluding the three-game tournament with a tournament-record 92, and a tourney-record 15 threes.

McGhee averaged ­30.7 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game in the Diamond Head Classic.

The difference on Saturday came at the free-throw line. BYU went 21-for-26 at the stripe in the second half, breaking open a close game with a 7-0 run that made it 66-58 Cougars with six minutes to go.

“That is what we signed up for; when you are trying to brand your program and be nationally competitive, the only way you do that is beat good teams,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “Scheduling has been a little bit difficult for us over the course of time, but BYU is a fantastic team and really put a lot of pressure on us with their interior, and as long as I’ve been in it, you can’t give up 29 made free throws and win the game.

“That is what they (BYU) do, but our guys battled, and if you watched our team play these three days, and you’re not proud of us or proud of them, then I’m not sure what to tell you. They are giving everything they have, we just have to keep improving,” McKay said.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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