LYNCHBURG, Va. — On the final day of the 2017 Paradise Jam, the host Liberty Flames ended the tournament with an 84-72 victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the 7th-Place game.
Three players scored double-figures for the Flames including a career-high 21 points from Scottie James, who also recorded a game-high eight rebounds.
With the win, Liberty improves to 3-2 on the season while Quinnipiac falls to 1-3. Liberty was efficient on the boards, out-rebounding the Bobcats, 32-21, which led to 14 second-chance points for the Flames. Quinnipiac was unable to score any second chance points throughout the game.Dating back to last season, Lovell Cabbil has scored in double-digits for the seventh game in a row, as he scored 19 points to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
For the first 27 minutes of the game, both teams went back-and-forth, exchanging leads on numerous occasions. With 13:33 left in the game, Ryan Kemrite hit a three-pointer to put Liberty up 47-46 and the Flames would never relinquish the lead. The Flames would score 40 points in the final 13 and half minutes of the game.
The Flames got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 14-8 lead sparked by James with eight points in the first four and a half minutes. Quinnipiac responded with a 6-0 run of their own to tie the game. After going back-and-forth with nine different lead changes and the game being tied six times, Quinnipiac made a late run to go into halftime with the lead. The Bobcats made five of their last six field goal attempts to close the first half with a 39-35 lead.
Liberty’s front court rotation developed a good rhythm on offense, as Myo Baxter-Bell, Isaiah Williams and James combined for 19 of Liberty’s 35 first half points. Liberty was able to score 20 points in the paint, but the Bobcats countered by shooting 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range. James ended his impressive first half performance with a team-high 15 points and four rebounds.
Cameron Young led the way for Quinnipiac with 16 points, shooting 4-6 from beyond the arc.
After lights out shooting from three in the first half by the Bobcats, Liberty’s defense locked down, limiting Quinnipiac to just 37.5 percent in the second half. Midway through the second half, Liberty went on a 6-0 run to take a 59-52 lead, their largest lead of the game at that time.
As Liberty continued to control the game in the second half, the Bobcats continued to try and cut into Liberty’s lead, but the Flames would convert from the free-throw line. In the second half, Liberty went 20-for-21 from the charity stripe.
For the tournament, Cabbil led Liberty averaging 15 points and three assists per game. James led Liberty with seven rebounds per contest to go along with 12.3 points per game.
The Flames will have five days before their next contest. After Thanksgiving, the Flames will host Toccoa Falls on Monday, November 27, at 2 p.m. at the Vines Center.
– T. Bennett