NEW ORLEANS, La. — Friday’s contest marks the end of non-conference play for both the Liberty Flames and Alabama State Hornets, and both are looking to cap things off with a win.
Both the Flames and Hornets lost their first games at the New Orleans Shootout on Thursday. Liberty fell to the Fort Wayne Mastodons, 75-74, while Alabama State failed to pick up their first win of the season against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, 74-62. With Friday being the last opportunity for both schools to build some momentum before the grind of conference play begins, you can bet both will look to come out of the gate strong.
Liberty and Alabama State square off at 1:00pm EST, with the Mastodons and Bulldogs set to square off shortly after the completion of the first game. The games are being played at the Xavier Convocation Center, which is home to the Xavier University of Louisiana Gold Rush (men) and Gold Nuggets (women).
Here’s what you need to know about both teams in advance of the opening tip.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Saturday afternoon marks the final non-conference game at home for the Liberty Flames.
Liberty is off to its best start in a season since the 2008-09 campaign, which was head coach Ritchie McKay’s first stint with the Flames. At 7-3, Liberty currently has the most wins out of any team in the Big South Conference, and they have won five of their last six games heading into Saturday.
The Flames will host the Kentucky Christian Knights, who will be playing their second Division I team in a row. Liberty will then head to Louisiana for the New Orleans Shootout before beginning conference play at the end of December to close out the 2017 calendar year.
While the game serves as an exhibition for the Knights, the Flames will look to iron out any kinks that they may have before the grind of conference play begins.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — For the second straight day, the Liberty Flames played the first game of the Paradise Jam, as they hosted the Houston Cougars to kick off day two of the tournament at the Vines Center.
The Flames pushed Houston to its limit all throughout the game exchanging haymakers, but Houston would pull out the 68-66 win in the final seconds.
Throughout the second half, there were 10 lead changes and the score was tied eight different times. After Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz tied the game off a layup plus the foul converting the free-throw, the game was tied 66-66 with 11 seconds left. On Houston’s final possession, Rob Gray missed a jump shot but Corey Davis Jr. followed Gray’s shot with a put back to give the Cougars the win. Continue reading Houston tops Liberty on layup from Corey Davis Jr. in Final Seconds→
LYNCHBURG, Va. — With their big road win in exhibition play still fresh in their minds, the Liberty Flames get their 2017-18 season underway on Friday evening.
For the third year in a row, and second under head coach Ritchie McKay, the Flames welcome the Clarks Summit Defenders to Lynchburg, VA for a non-conference match-up. Liberty hold a perfect 4-0 record all-time against the Defenders, with their most recent victory coming by a final score of 81-33 last season.
For Liberty Flames’ sophomore guard Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, his heart is at home with his family in his home city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The Caribbean was ravaged by hurricanes this summer, with Georgie’s home nation of Puerto Rico being hit extremely hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Most of the island is without power, and that includes Pacheco-Ortiz’s family.
“They are still able to go to work, but they still do not have power,” said Pacheco-Ortiz. “Luckily, I am still able to call them every night, but it has to be at the neighbour’s house because the telephone tower is out where I used to call my parents.”
LYNCHBURG, Va. – In an effort to help raise financial support and awareness for hurricane relief efforts, the Liberty Flames and VCU Rams will come together for an exhibition game on Thursday, Oct. 26, at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.