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Liberty Looks to Complete Regular Season Sweep of First-Place Winthrop

Cooks, Xavier
The play of Xavier Cooks is a big reason for Winthrop’s current six game winning streak. (Source: The Herald) (Header: Liberty Athletics)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Big South looks like a big mess through the first 10 games of conference play.

Coming into Thursday night’s action, three teams are tied atop the league standings at 7-3, while another two teams are just a game behind at 6-4. Overall, six of the teams in the 10-team league are at .500 or better in conference play, which means the second half of league play will be an exciting one.

Thursday night also marks the second meeting of the regular season between the Winthrop Eagles and Liberty Flames. A win for the Flames would help them take another step towards the top, while a win for the Eagles could leave them alone in first place when the night is all said and done.

As the contenders start to separate themselves from the pretenders down the stretch, each and every game is an important one. Thursday night’s tilt inside the Vines Center will tell us a lot about both the Flames and Eagles as Big South play continues to move towards the conference tournament.

Here’s what you need to know about Thursday’s Big South battle between Winthrop and Liberty. Continue reading Liberty Looks to Complete Regular Season Sweep of First-Place Winthrop

Late Free Throws Send Liberty Past Winthrop, 73-70

Flames Roster
Lovell Cabbil (3) scored a team-high 19 points on Tuesday night, leading Liberty to the 73-70 win over Winthrop. (Source: Liberty Athletics)

ROCK HILL, SC. — Lovell Cabbil scored a team-high 19 points to go along with five assists, and Isaiah Williams hit a pair of free throws in the closing minute to seal the deal on a 73-70 win for the Liberty Flames over the Winthrop Eagles on Tuesday night.

Tuesday marked the first of two meetings between the Flames and the defending champions in the Big South Conference. Liberty was looking to keep pace atop the conference standings with the Radford Highlanders, while the Eagles were simply looking to get back to .500 in conference play.

Winthrop had Liberty’s number last season, sweeping the regular season series against the Flames with a pair of double-digit victories. The Flames had their sights set on some retribution on Tuesday on the Eagles’ home floor, and they didn’t disappoint.

While the Eagles would open up a 14-2 lead just over five minutes into the game, the Flames would claw their way back and neither team would lead by more than eight points the rest of the way. The game came down to the wire, and it was ultimately won at the free throw line.

With nine seconds left in the game, Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws, giving Liberty the 71-70 lead. Ryan Kemrite would pad the lead with a pair of free throws with two ticks on the clock, and Liberty picked up the 73-70 victory on the road. Continue reading Late Free Throws Send Liberty Past Winthrop, 73-70