Liberty lets lead slip away in L at North Florida

liberty basketballLiberty let a second-half lead slip away in the final 10 minutes of the ball game, dropping the 75-70 contest on the road at North Florida.

The Flames fall to 23-6 overall and 12-2 in the ASUN while North Florida improves to 14-16 and 8-7 in the conference.

Liberty had things rolling throughout the game as they jumped out to a 12 point lead (52-42) with 10 and a half minutes left in the ball game. North Florida countered with a 33-18 run to end the ball game led by Garrett Sams’ game-high 20 points.

After playing exceptional defense throughout the game, Liberty struggled at the end allowing the Ospreys to shoot 60.7 percent from the field in the second half and 60 percent from three-point range. North Florida would take the lead within with 3:37 left in the game off an Ivan Gandia-Rosa layup and the Ospreys would never relinquish the lead.

“They completely outplayed us, and I thought they (North Florida) deserved to win, and we deserved what we got,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “It is a 40-minute game, and I thought we battled back even though we got in foul trouble. I thought they were highly motivated to play us, and that is what happens when you are on top of the league.”

The Flames will head back to Lynchburg for its final home game of the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 26, as they host Kennesaw State. It will be Senior Night for Liberty’s Lovell Cabbil Jr., Keenan Gumbs and Zach Farquhar. The game is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.

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