Radford looked like they were going to come away with the victory in regulation with a 52-49 lead with 12 seconds left in the game after a pair of free throws by Carlik Jones. After Liberty gained possession, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz hit a three-pointer with four seconds left to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Radford had four players score and the Highlanders held a 59-57 lead after a made free throw by Donald Hicks, Liberty once again had a chance to tie the game or take the lead. With one second left on the clock, Pacheco-Ortiz attempted a three-pointer but missed short, giving Radford the win. The Highlanders now lead the conference with a 5-1 record.
Radford’s Ed Polite Jr. led all scorers with 18 points, shooting a perfect 7-7 from the field along with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Lovell Cabbil came close to a double-double with a team-high 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds along with two assists. Liberty out-rebounded Radford 37-32 but the Highlanders outscored the Flames 18-10 inside the paint. After shooting 31 percent in the first half, the Highlanders turned things around in the second half, shooting 54 percent and 50 percent from three-point range.
Pacheco-Ortiz kick started Liberty’s offense having a hand in the Flames’ first six points with four points and an assist. The Highlanders jumped out to an early 13-6 lead with 12:28 left in the opening half but Liberty’s defense locked down for the rest of the half. The Flames would outscore Radford 19-2 in the final 12 minutes to go into half with a 25-18 lead.
Cabbil would get Liberty’s offense into a rhythm filling the stat sheet in the first half scoring a game-high six points and six rebounds. Caleb Homesley came off the bench to score five points to go along with three rebounds and a steal. The Flames were able to control the glass, out-rebounding Radford 18-10 in the first half and as a result, Liberty did not allow any second chance points.
Liberty’s offense got off to a sluggish start scoring three points in the first five minutes of the second half as Radford tied the game (28-28) in the 15th minute. Radford would take the lead until 1:52 left in the game when Cabbil hit a three-pointer to take a one point lead (47-46). In the final two minutes of regulation Radford went 3-4 from the free throw line and converted on one three-pointer.
The Flames will continue their road trip this week on Thursday, Jan. 18, when they travel to face High Point. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Millis Athletic and Convocation Center.
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