SAN JOSE, Calif. — Down by 10 factors with lower than seven minutes to play towards a extra achieved opponent, Liberty did not give in a bit. As an alternative, the Flames simply saved getting the ball to Caleb Homesley.
Homesley scored 22 of his 30 factors within the second half, and Lovell Cabbil hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:16 to play to ship 12th-seeded Liberty to its first NCAA Match win, 80-76 over fifth-seeded Mississippi State on Friday evening.
“Everyone on the crew believed we have been going to return again,” Homesley stated. “It was only a matter of time that we have been going to make a run.”
The Flames (29-6) have been making their fourth match journey in class historical past, however misplaced twice as a No. 16 seed and as soon as in a play-in sport. This 12 months’s crew had extra respect, the next seeding and capitalized on the chance. Liberty superior to the second spherical of the East Area to play Virginia Tech — a West Coast assembly between two southwest Virginia faculties 85 miles aside.
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Homesley helped rally Liberty from a 10-point deficit within the second half by scoring 14 factors in a span of lower than 5 minutes.
“He took over. He is performed that from time to time for us. He is had spurts,” coach Ritchie McKay stated. “When he begins to be ok with his shot, he is such a harmful offensive participant.”
Cabbil then hit from lengthy vary to make it 72-70 and celebrated with an enthusiastic fan part that made the cross-country journey for the sport.
Liberty did the remaining on the foul line to spoil the primary match journey for Mississippi State (23-11) in a decade.
Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 27 factors to guide the Bulldogs and Reggie Perry added 21.
“It is only a robust, robust tablet, robust one to swallow, particularly the best way we had that lead late within the sport,” coach Ben Howland stated.
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Mississippi State appeared poised to take management when Peters began a 10-Zero run with a 3-pointer and ended it with a layup that made it 63-53 halfway by means of the second half.
The Bulldogs had used their superior dimension to manage the paint on each ends and had damaged open a decent sport earlier than the Flames responded. Homesley was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three foul photographs. He then hit two from lengthy vary to chop it to 67-64.
Homesley additionally had a backdoor dunk on a feed from Cabbil to make it a one-point sport earlier than hitting a protracted 3-pointer late within the shot clock to place Liberty again on high 69-67 with 2:34 to play.
After three free throws from the Bulldogs, Cabbil’s Three supplied the ultimate lead change of the evening.
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“We simply have an unbelievable perception all through this complete crew,” Cabbil stated. “Even after we obtained down by 10, everybody was nonetheless yelling, ‘We are able to get again into this.’ Down the tip we have been in a position to get some crucial stops, a few expenses, some big-time 3s.”
Cabbil completed with 18 factors and Myo Baxter-Bell added 13.
Friday’s different NCAA males’s match outcomes:
Iowa 79, Cincinnati 72
Oklahoma 95, Mississippi 72
Texas Tech 72, Northern Kentucky 57
UC Irvine 70, Kansas State 64
Tennessee 77, Colgate 70
Virginia 71, Gardner-Webb 56
Buffalo 91, Arizona State 74
Oregon 72, Wisconsin 54
Washington 78, Utah State 61
Duke 85, North Dakota State 62M
Houston 84, Georgia State 55
Liberty 80, Mississippi State 76
North Carolina 88, Iona 73
UCF 73, VCU 58
Ohio State 62, Iowa State 59
Virginia Tech 66, Saint Louis 52