Dec 2, 2008
While you were gone
by Jake Petersen
The biggest story while you were gone comes from the football field. Head Coach Danny Rocco’s Flames, who concluded the 2008 season with a convincing win over No.12 Elon two Saturday’s ago and wrapped up their second straight Big South Conference title, were, for the second straight year, left out of the FCS playoffs. A Nov. 1 loss to Presbyterian seemed to be the nail in the Flames coffin and had they pulled out a victory that day, the Flames would certainly have gotten into the playoffs. Still, Rocco called the snub, “an embarrassment” and leaves the Flames shaking their heads following a stellar season in which they were hoping to settle “Unfinished Business.”
The Flames, led by freshman Seth Curry and junior Kyle Ohman’s 26 points apiece and Anthony Smith’s 21 points, won just their second game over an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent in program history last Tuesday, beating Virginia 86-82 at John Paul Jones Arena.
Ohman got the Flames off to a blistering start, nailing 5-of-6 three-point attempts and scoring 17 points in the first half. Curry, who leads all NCAA Division-I freshman with 22.0 points per game, scored 12 first half points in the first half and helped the Flames shoot 56.6 percent from the field.
The Flames also claimed two more wins in the week, beating Coker College in the first round of the Liberty Thanksgiving Classic on Friday and William and Mary in the championship game on Saturday.
Smith led the Flames with 22 points, but it was Curry who came through when the Flames needed him most. The freshman nailed game-tying three-point bucket with 18 seconds left in the first overtime, and scored six of Liberty’s nine points in the second overtime period to cap off the win. For his efforts, Curry was named tournament MVP as well as Big South Player of the Week.
Sophomore Sam Chelanga nearly gave Liberty its second straight NCAA Cross Country Champion on Nov. 24, but deplorable running conditions held the Nairobi native up as he finished five seconds behind Oregon’s Galen Rupp. It was the first race Chelanga has not won since transferring to Liberty from Farleigh Dickinson. It is safe to say that Chelanga, who has two years of eligibility remaining, will go down right alongside of former Flame phenom Josh McDougal as the greatest runner in Liberty history when his career comes to a close.
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