Resurgent Lancers stun Flames, 58-51

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Longwood University redshirt junior guard Isaiah Walton emerged from first-half foul trouble Friday to score 20 of his game-high 22 points after halftime, igniting a comeback performance in which the Lancers overcame a 12-point deficit and stunned Big South Conference contender Liberty University 58-51 on the road.

Walton finished 6-of-13 from the floor, hit two three-pointers and knocked down all eight of his free throws en route to his team-leading fifth 20-point game of the season. His biggest shot came with 1:01 left in the game when he took a pass from redshirt senior guard Charles Glover in the corner and knocked down a go-ahead three that put the Lancers ahead 53-51.

“It felt great. It was electric,” Walton said of his game-winner. “I have to give credit to Chuck for finding me because if he didn’t see me, there wouldn’t have been a three. It was a great feeling. That’s all I can really say.”

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That trey was part of a game-ending 14-0 run from the Lancers, who held Liberty scoreless over the game’s final three minutes. Glover, who initiated that game-winning sequence by ripping the ball away from Liberty big man Scottie James under Longwood’s basket, followed with a highlight of his own 48 seconds later when he knocked down a dagger of a three-pointer to extend Longwood’s lead to 56-51 and lock up the win.

“Before the game tonight, we said our key to winning was ball movement,” Walton said. “We knew they were a pack line defensive team, and we had to move the ball to get their defense shifting so we could attack the basket. …”

The victory was Longwood’s second in the past three games and came against a Liberty team that entered the night holding opponents to the sixth-lowest scoring average in the nation.

The Flames (12-6, 3-2 Big South) had won three straight and were coming off a 73-70 win over Big South powerhouse Winthrop, but the Lancers matched their defensive intensity and held them to 39 percent (19-of-49) shooting from the floor and 22 percent (4-of-18) from three-point range.

Longwood also won the rebounding battle, 34-25, outrebounding by nine a team that leads the Big South with a plus-7.1 rebounding margin. Redshirt senior forward Damarion Geter had eight of those boards, including seven in the second half.

“I just think our team is really becoming whole,” said Longwood Head Coach Jayson Gee, whose win Friday was the 200th of his 12 years as a head coach.

The Lancers (5-13, 2-3 Big South) hosted Campbell University on Monday, and they visit Radford University on Thursday at 7 p.m.