LYNCHBURG, VA - Liberty held CSU to 31 percent shooting and rode the hot hand of sophomore point guard Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz to pull away from the Bucs for a 70-53 win Tuesday at the Vines Center.
Pacheco-Ortiz scored a game-high 27 points on just nine shots, burying 7-of-8 tries from three-point range, to power Liberty (10-5, 1-0 Big South). The Flames, who led the Big South and ranked top-25 nationally in scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense entering play, frustrated CSU (6-7, 1-1 Big South) for much of the night. Liberty also controlled the glass, 38-24, in a matchup of the league's top-two rebounding teams. Scottie James led that cause for the Flames with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Despite its struggles, CSU trailed by just a point near the 12-minute mark of the second half courtesy of an 8-0 spurt. The Bucs had two chances to move in front but came up empty on both possessions and the Flames rattled off a 11-0 run to create distance.
Freshman Jamaal David paced CSU with a career-high 11 points and Christian Keeling and Travis McConico added 10 apiece. Although Liberty shot 50 percent overall and 13-of-21 from downtown, the Bucs were able to force 22 turnovers and register ten steals.