Home Liberty gets 22 from Cleveland, 21 from Rode in 83-58 win over New Mexico State

Liberty gets 22 from Cleveland, 21 from Rode in 83-58 win over New Mexico State

Chris Graham
liberty university
(© Rosemarie
– stock.adobe.com)

Liberty led by six at the half, and pulled away in the second half to a convincing 83-58 win over New Mexico State on Thursday night.

Zach Cleveland led the Flames (17-11, 6-7 C-USA) with a game-high 22 points on 11-of-15 shooting along with eight rebounds and a game-best seven assists. Kyle Rode matched a career high with seven three-pointers and scored 21 points.

Kaden Metheny (nine points) eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career.

Liberty led 38-32 at the break and extended the lead to 57-41 at the 11:17 mark following a pair of Shiloh Robinson free throws.

A 7-2 run by New Mexico State (11-18, 5-9 C-USA) trimmed the Flames’ lead to 59-48 with 8:17 to go, but New Mexico State could not get it to a single-digit deficit the rest of the way.

The Flames held the Aggies to 10 points over the final 8:17 while totaling 24 points down the stretch. Leading 71-56 with 3:25 remaining, Liberty closed the game on a 12-2 run to secure the 25-point victory.

Rode buried three three-pointers in the closing eight-plus minutes to help put the game away.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].