LYNCHBURG, VA – Liberty jumped out to an early lead and held off several Charleston Southern comeback attempts as the Buccaneers fell to the Flames at the Vines Center on Saturday, 63-53.
CSU falls to 6-7, 1-1 following the defeat, while Liberty improves to 7-7, 2-0 with the win. Weknyne Dumorne's first career double-double led the Bucs with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Ke'Asia Jackson added 10 points.
"I'm very proud of the way the team played today," head coach Fred Applin said. "We came out in the second half and we executed. We challenged each other and they answered to the call. Liberty is a very good team and one of the top teams in the conference. Going into the fourth quarter, we were tied and they hit some big buckets. The way we played is going to help us throughout conference play."
Charleston Southern stormed out to a 10-4 lead after a Dumorne layup with 2:06 left in the first quarter. Liberty bounced back as Lela Sellers knocked down a three-pointer to cut the Bucs' lead to 10-9 at the end of the first frame.
A Keyen Green traditional three-point play put the Flames ahead 21-16 with 5:15 to go in the second quarter. Lexii Cassell's layup trimmed the lead to 21-20, but Liberty closed the period on a 13-2 run to take a 34-22 lead at halftime.
The Bucs came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Flames 18-6 in the period. Liberty led 39-31 until CSU went on a 9-1 run that was capped off by Ke'Asia Jackson's jumper from the top of the key to tie the game 40-40 at the end of the third stanza.
"Each kid contributed something to keep us in the game," Applin said. "It was a very close game until the end. I hope Ke'Asia continues to play the way she played today where she will always continue to do the little things that we need. She shot the ball well."
A back-and-forth start to the fourth quarter saw the Flames take a 46-43 lead on KK Barbour's two free throws with 6:05 remaining in the game. A Jackson traditional three-point play trimmed the margin to 50-49, but Liberty went on a 9-2 run to go ahead 59-51 on a Green layup with 2:27 to go. The Bucs cut the margin to six, but couldn't get any closer as the Flames closed the game on solid free throw shooting.
Inside the Numbers
- Weknyne Dumorne had 15 points to lead CSU in scoring for the third straight game. Dumorne shot 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-9 from the free throw line.
- The Bucs connected on only 2-of-14 (16.7%) three-point attempts, while the Flames made 7-of-15 (46.7%) from behind the arc.
- Njeri Nelms scored eight points, while adding a career-high seven rebounds.
- CSU shot a solid 15-of-24 (62.5%) from the free throw line compared to Liberty's 10-of-19 (52.6%) from the charity stripe.
- The Bucs held a 42-36 rebounding advantage.
News and Notes
- Charleston Southern falls in the Big South road opener for the fourth straight season.
- CSU holds a 1-5 record away from the Buc Dome this season.
- The Bucs trail Liberty 58-7 all-time and 29-3 on the Flames' home court.
CSU has a short turnaround as the Bucs return to action when they travel to play at Campbell on Tuesday at 7 p.m.