Liberty wins opener over Alabama State at St. Pete Shootout

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Keenan Gumbs scored 14 points and had a game-high seven rebounds and Liberty rode a big first-half lead to a 73-55 victory over Alabama State in the opener of the St. Pete Shootout on Friday.

Saturday, Liberty plays Austin Peay for the tournament title and Alabama State takes on Campbell for third place.

Darius McGhee made three 3-pointers and he and Scottie James scored 11 points each for the Flames, who are 10-3 for the first time since 1991.

Reginald Gee scored 12 points and Jacoby Ross, with three 3-pointers, and Leon Daniels added 10 points each for the Hornets (2-8), who have lost six straight.

Alabama State led 5-2 before an 11-0 Flames run. Liberty outscored Alabama State 35-18 in the first half behind 63 percent shooting, including 64 percent from the arc (7 of 11). Liberty shot 53 percent in the second half when the Hornets didn’t get closer than 11 and trailed by as many as 23.