Home Liberty gets win on back end of long road trip, defeating UTEP, 67-65

Liberty gets win on back end of long road trip, defeating UTEP, 67-65

Chris Graham
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Man, life is tough in the C-USA. Liberty was able to get a win on the back end of its two-game road trip out to the Southwest, defeating UTEP in El Paso on Saturday night, 67-65.

This one came after the tough 79-73 OT loss on Thursday night at New Mexico State.

Remember when conferences made some sort of regional sense?

Kaden Metheny scored a game-high 21 points in the win, his highest scoring output in a Flames uniform. Zach Cleveland added 18 points and seven assists for Liberty (14-9, 3-5 C-USA).

Liberty trailed 54-50 with 6:52 left before surging ahead to take the lead with a 9-0 run. The Flames regained the lead, 55-54, on a Zach Cleveland layup with 5:59 to go. Brody Peebles and Cleveland added layups to cap off the run, with Cleveland’s basket at the 3:27 mark putting the visitors ahead 59-54.

UTEP (12-11, 3-5 C-USA) got within three at 63-60 with 1:48 left, but the Flames’ Colin Porter knocked down a pair of foul shots at the 1:01 mark to stretch the lead back to five, 65-60. Single free throws from Kyle Rode and Peebles down the stretch proved to be enough for Liberty to hold on.

With 0.8 seconds left on the clock and trailing 67-64, UTEP’s Tae Hardy knocked down his first free throw and intentionally missed the second. The ball was batted in the air as time ran out, giving Liberty the victory.

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].