Home Liberty hands Sam Houston its first C-USA loss, racing past the Bearkats, 82-66

Liberty hands Sam Houston its first C-USA loss, racing past the Bearkats, 82-66

Chris Graham
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Liberty handed Sam Houston its first C-USA loss of the season, defeating the visiting Bearkats 82-66 on Saturday evening at Liberty Arena.

The Flames (13-7, 2-3 C-USA) completed a 2-0 weekend and improve to 8-2 at home.

Kyle Rode led the way for Liberty with a team-high 19 points. Point guard Colin Porter flirted with a triple-double, totaling 12 points, a career-high nine boards and eight assists.

Kaden Metheny added four three-pointers and 17 points for the home side.

Liberty never trailed in the game, but it was a stretch of play in the second half that allowed the Flames to pull away from the Bearkats (10-9, 3-1 C-USA). Liberty hit seven straight shots during that span in the second half. The hot shooting turned an 11-point (59-48) edge into a 22-point lead (78-56) with just under five minutes remaining.

Metheny started the run with a driving layup, followed by a three-pointer on the next trip down to give the Flames a 64-48 lead with 8:53 left.

At the 6:45 mark, Metheny buried his fourth and final triple of the night to extend the lead to 71-52. Kyle Rode capped off the outburst with his fifth and final three of the night to push the Liberty lead to 78-56 with 4:48 on the clock.

“Sam Houston does a really good job in their schemes,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “There’s a reason they’re 3-0. Chris (Mudge) has done a terrific job with his group. Their staff has got them playing really well. You can tell the talent in this league is evident.

“I thought we battled. We had a stretch in the first half where we let them get away a little bit. We answered most of their counterpunches. Our group is fairly unselfish and connected, I thought you saw that this evening,” McKay said.


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].