augusta free press news

Liberty gets back in the win column, defeats Bethune-Cookman, 59-51

liberty basketballLiberty got back to its winning ways Tuesday night at the Ocean Center Arena in Daytona Beach, defeating Bethune-Cookman, 59-51.

Liberty improves to 2-3 this season while Bethune-Cookman falls to 1-5.

Bethune-Cookman jumped out to an early 19-12 lead just 10 minutes into the game, forcing eight turnovers during that span. Liberty was able to get back into the game as Keegan McDowell got hot, scoring 11 points in the first 12 minutes of the game.

Liberty would go on a 14-8 run to close out the half and go into the break with a 34-29 lead. McDowell ended the first half with a game-high 17 points.

Darius McGhee caught fire to start the second half, scoring 11 points in the first eight minutes of the half, as the Flames jumped out to its largest lead (50-36) at the time with 12 minutes left in the game.

Bethune-Cookman was able to cut into Liberty’s lead to single digits (57-48) with two minutes left in the game but Liberty was able to keep the Wildcats at arms distance for the win.

McGhee scored a game-high and season-high 27 points. McDowell finished with 17 points.

“I think this was one of those games where you can let the previous games affect the way you play, and I think our older guys got us out a funk when we were down 19-12, and we started being a little tougher defensively and taking care of the ball. I don’t think we finished as well as we could have, but happy with the outcome,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said.