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MBB Game Day Central: St. Francis Brooklyn
The Liberty men's basketball team looks to go 4-0 in the Vines Center on Saturday, when the Flames play host to St. Francis Brooklyn. The meeting marks the first between the two squads in nearly 24 years, with the Terriers leading the all-time series, 2-0. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., with the contest broadcasting live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN HD, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.
What to Watch for
- Liberty is off to a 3-0 start inside the Vines Center for the first time since the 2010-11 season. That year, the Flames won their first four games at home before falling to George Mason inside the facility, 84-54 (Dec. 11, 2010).
- Joe Retic bounced back in a major way against Furman, finishing the contest with a career-high 10 assists. On the defensive end, Retic tied a career high with five steals. The junior points guard is averaging nearly four steals a game in the last three contests (11 total steals). On Saturday, Retic will look to make it four straight games with three or more thefts.
- If he were playing a game of NBA Jam, David Andoh would be "heating up." After posting zero points and four rebounds against Miami (Ohio), the junior transfer is averaging a team-leading 11.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg in the last three contests. Andoh is coming off a season-high performance against Furman, pacing the Flames off the bench with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
- Through the first seven contests, Liberty's rebounding (36.3 rpg) is up slightly from last season (35.9 rpg). However, most of Liberty's boards are coming from the defensive end, as the Flames are averaging 9.0 rpg (60) on the offensive glass. Last season, Liberty averaged 13.0 offensive rebounds per game (91) in the first seven contests.
- Although he averaged just 3.7 ppg in the first three games of the season, Andrew Smith has turned things around. The senior is averaging 10.3 ppg in the last four contests, leading the team offensively during the span.
Notes and Anecdotes
- At home, Liberty is averaging 65.3 ppg, compared to 55.5 away from the Vines Center. In terms of rebounding, the Flames are grabbing 41.0 rebounds per game in the Vines Center, while averaging 32.8 rpg away from the facility. Liberty is also committing four fewer turnovers per game at home (15.7) than outside the Hill City (19.8).
- Liberty and St. Francis Brooklyn first met inside the Pope Physical Education Center in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., on Dec. 17, 1990. The Terriers took the contest, 63-50. Mike Coleman paced the Flames with 11 points, while Julius Nwosu had nine points and 13 rebounds.
- The two teams met two months later that season inside the Vines Center (first season inside the facility). The Terriers edged the Flames, 71-67. Coleman concluded the night with 22 points for the Flames.
News and Notes vs. Furman (12/1/14)
- The Liberty men's basketball team shook off a four-game skid, Monday night, defeating Furman, 66-52, inside the Vines Center. Guided by a Liberty career-high 14 points and 12 rebounds from David Andoh, the Flames used a 15-2 run in the second half to put the game out of reach.
- Along with Andoh's double-double, Tomasz Gielo posted one of his own, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Andrew Smith added 12 points and seven boards, while Joe Retic dished out a career-high 10 assists tied a career high with five steals.
- The Flames defense held Furman's leading scorer Stephen Croone at bay with 13 points. Last season, Croone posted a career-high 40 points against Liberty in an 86-83 Furman victory in Greenville, S.C. (Dec. 20, 2013).
- With the win, Liberty moves to 3-4 on the season, picking up its first-ever win over the Paladins, who lead the series, 3-1. Furman drops to 1-4 on the year.
- Liberty shot 47.2 percent (25-of-43) from the field, marking the second straight game the Flames have shot over 45.0 percent. Head coach Dale Layer's squad held Furman to 33.3 percent shooting (19-of-57). The Flames have now held their opponents to under 35.0 percent in back-to-back games.
- Furman posted 24 points from beyond the three-point arc, compared to 12 for the Flames. Liberty capitalized inside, outscoring the Paladins, 32-16.
- In his Liberty debut against Randolph College, A.C.Reid knocked down a trio of three-pointers to finish with 12 points. Reid's point total marked the first time a Liberty freshman has posted double-digit scoring figures in a season opener in exactly six years. In Liberty's season opener on Nov. 14, 2008 against Montreat, Seth Curry finished with 23 points in the 97-77 victory.
- In Liberty's 61-55 victory over Delaware, Tomasz Gielo posted a career-high 23 points. Liberty's win that night was also the program's 600th victory.
- After redshirting last season, Ryan Kemrite made his presence known at Virginia Tech, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, which included a trio of three-pointers.
- During Liberty's game against Miami (Ohio), Joe Retic posted a career-high seven assists, accounting for all of the Flames' dimes during the contest.
- Andrew Smith posted 10 points while tying a career high with 13 rebounds versus Morgan State, earning himself a spot on the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament team.