Liberty's Historic Season Ends in Second Round Against Virginia Tech

Liberty's Historic Season Ends in Second Round Against Virginia Tech

2019 NCAA Tournament Bracket

SAN JOSE, Calif. - No. 12 seed Liberty fell against No. 4 Virginia Tech in the NCAA Tournament Second Round, 67-58, as Darius McGhee led the team in scoring with 15 points. The Flames' historic season comes to an end with 29 victories, which is a new program record. The Hokies advance to their second Sweet 16 in program history.

At halftime, Liberty held a 32-29 advantage on the Hokies behind seven three pointers on 18 attempts led by freshman guard Darius McGhee (4-of-7) and Keenan Gumbs (2-of-2). McGhee's 12 points were most in the opening half for either side, while Kerry Blackshear topped VT in scoring with nine as he added seven rebounds. The Flames held Virginia Tech to 35.7 percent shooting from the floor on 10-of-28, while Liberty connected on 12-of-25 attempts from the floor. First Team All-Conference member, Caleb Homesley added five points and five boards. In total, six players scored for the Flames in the opening half with 18 of their 32 points coming from players off the bench.

Virginia Tech controlled the contest in the second half as the Hokies held the scoring advantage, 38-26, with Blackshear adding 10 points after halftime to finish with a game-high 19. McGhee ended the game with five triples, the most for the freshman since Jan. 5th when he hit six against FGCU in the league opener. He was the only Flame in double-figure scoring as Lovell Cabbil & Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz both tallied nine to finish ahead of Homesley (8) and Gumbs (6).

For the game, Liberty finished 18-of-47 from the floor as the Flames struggled to connect on field goals in the second half going 6-of-22 and 3-of-13 from deep. VT upped its shooting percentage after halftime as the Hokies made 14-of-29 field goals to finish at 42.1 percent for the game. Liberty committed 12 turnovers and dished out 11 assists in the loss compared to seven VT turnovers with 11 assists. Homesley added a team-high nine rebounds, while Baxter-Bell & Pacheco-Ortiz both dished out three assists.

Virginia Tech advances to face top-seeded Duke in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 29th at the Capital One Arena as the Blue Devils narrowly reached the Sweet 16 with a 77-76 victory against former ASUN member, UCF.

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech NCAA Tournament Additional Notes
- ASUN programs have posted five combined victories in the past seven NCAA tournaments and eight in the conference's history.
- Scottie James finished with four points and five rebounds. He capped the year with 311 rebounds on the season, which is tied for 17th-highest total in league history.
- Liberty's No. 12 seed is the best for the ASUN Conference since the 2001 season when Georgia State advanced to the Second Round as an 11-seed.
- ASUN teams are now 4-1 in postseason play as Liberty joined Lipscomb (NIT; Two Wins) and NJIT (CIT) with wins in postseason action.
- Lovell Cabbil became the 13th player in program history to surpass the 1,400 career point plateau.