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Liberty’s Darius McGhee reaches 1,200 career points in loss to Stephen F. Austin

liberty basketballLiberty saw its four-game winning streak snapped Saturday night in the Naismith Hall of Fame Classic, falling to Stephen F. Austin 63-51.

Liberty is now 5-4 while Stephen F. Austin improves to 8-2.

Darius McGhee kickstarted Liberty’s offense, scoring the Flames’ first seven points of the game. Liberty and Stephen F. Austin went back-and-forth in the first half, as no team held a lead larger than five points. As both teams struggled from the field, shooting a combined 34.1 percent, the defense was exceptional as the Flames forced eight turnovers.

Liberty would not score in the final four and a half minutes, as SFA went into the break with a 29-26 lead. McGhee led all scorers in the first half with 13 points.

Stephen F. Austin would continue to hold onto its lead and go on an 8-0 run midway through the half, for its biggest lead of the game (40-39) with 12 minutes left in the game. Liberty’s offense was never able to get on track, as the Flames shot 33.3 percent in the second half.

McGhee, who had 22 points, became the 23rd player in program history to score 1,200 career points.

“I thought they were tougher than us tonight, and I didn’t like that,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “That hasn’t been indicative of how we go about it and I think we got punched a little bit tonight so we will need to fix that in practice and the next time we step onto the court.”

Liberty will return home to Liberty Arena to face Carver College on Monday, Dec. 13. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.

augusta free press
augusta free press