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MBB Game Day Central: UNCW

December 15, 2014
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Andrew Smith

Game Day Central
Complete Game Notes

What to Watch for
- Theo Johnson is performing admirably in his new starting role. After averaging 3.9 ppg in the first seven contests, Johnson is averaging 12.5 ppg since receiving the starting nod the last two games. Johnson knows the Seahawks after matching up against them twice as a member of College of Charleston, last season. Look for Johnson's prior experiences and newfound confidence to play a factor, Wednesday.

- With his fellow European brethren Tomasz Gielo sidelined, Denmark native Peter Moller impressed on Saturday, posting a career-high 22 points en route to being named Big South Freshman of the Week. Entering the game averaging 5.3 ppg, the freshman guard had a sensational second half, scoring 20 points to help spark a 16-0 run. Moller becomes the second Flame to post 20 or more points this season, joining Gielo, who previously recorded 23 points against Delaware on Nov. 17.

- Joe Retic continues to do work on both ends of the court. In the last three contests, Retic is averaging 9.0 assists and over 3.5 steals per game. The junior point guard tied his career high in helpers (10) on Saturday, a feat he first achieved in Liberty's victory over Furman on Dec. 1.

- Andrew Smith had his second double-double of the season, Saturday, finishing with a season-high 14 points along with 12 rebounds. Smith is nearly averaging a double-double in the last four games (11.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg), pacing the Flames in both categories during the span. Smith needs two points to reach 500 for his Liberty career.

More About Moller
Moller's 20-point performance marks the first time a Liberty freshman has posted 20 points or more points since Feb. 27, 2010, when Evan Gordon posted 24 points in a 74-61 win over Charleston Southern. Moller is also the first Flame to score at least 20 points in a half since Davon Marshall recorded 29 second half points in a 102-101 defeat at Longwood (Feb. 19, 2013).

Notes and Anecdotes
- UNCW first year head coach Kevin Keatts spent a total of 12 seasons coaching at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. Keatts coached former Liberty player Evan Gordon, who spent two seasons with the Flames under Dale Layer (2009-10, 2010-11). Prior to his time at Liberty, Gordon helped the Tigers to a 27-2 record and a runner-up finish in the National Prep Showcase Finals (2008-09). During that year, he averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 assists per game.

- In his two seasons at Liberty, Gordon recorded 820 career points and led the Flames with 14.4 ppg during the 2010-11 season. Coincidentally, Gordon played in Liberty's first meeting with the Seahawks at Trask Coliseum, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Gordon's father, Eric Gordon Sr., (1982-84) is a member of Liberty's 1,000-point club, accumulating 1,154 tallies.

- In last season's meeting between the Flames and the Seahawks, Addison Spruill paced UNCW with 24 points. Liberty's three active players from last year's squad (Joe Retic, Andre Smith and Ethan Layer) combined for just 16 points.

- As a member of the College of Charleston, Theo Johnson matched up with UNCW on two occasions, last season. The Cougars defeated the Seahawks in Charleston, S.C., 75-70, on Jan. 22, 2014. The Seahawks returned the favor in the rematch at Trask Coliseum, defeating College of Charleston, 57-55 (Feb. 22, 2014).

News and Notes vs. Bluefield College - 12/13/14
- Freshman guard Peter Moller put on a show, Saturday afternoon inside the Vines Center, netting a career-high 22 points to lead the Liberty men's basketball team to a 79-61 victory over Bluefield College (5-5). Coming into the game averaging 5.3 ppg, Moller went 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point land.

- Along with Moller's point total, Andrew Smith and Theo Johnson finished with a season-high 14 points apiece. Smith also added 12 rebounds, garnering his second double-double of the season.

- Junior forward David Andoh rounded out Liberty's double-digit scorers, finishing with 10 points. Junior point guard Joe Retic tied a career high with 10 assists, while grabbing four steals. In the last three contests, Retic is averaging 9.0 assists per game.

- With the win, Liberty moved to 4-5 on the year. The Flames are now 10-6 all-time against the Rams.

- The Flames shot a season-high 49.2 percent (31-of-63) from the field, while holding the Rams to 34.4 percent (21-of-61). Liberty has now held its opponents under 35.0 percent shooting in four straight games.

- Head coach Dale Layer's squad outscored Bluefield in the paint, 44-20, and 25-9 off second chance points. The Flames pulled down a season-best 54 rebounds, the team's most since finishing with 54 boards versus Milligan on Dec. 21, 2012. Liberty's 20 offensive rebounds versus the Rams also mark a season-high.