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MBB Game Day Central: Central Penn

December 18, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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James Johnson

Game Day Central
Liberty Game Notes

The Game
Liberty returns to action on Saturday, playing host to Central Penn on Friday. The contest marks the first-ever meeting between the two squads. The Flames look to bounce back from a 73-70 overtime loss at UNCW, its first extra period in a span of 48 games. Meanwhile, the Knights are coming off a 118-115 defeat after winning four straight. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest broadcasting live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.

What to Watch for
- Joe Retic had the best performance of his Liberty tenure, Wednesday, finishing with a career-high 18 points. The point guard is also continuing to pile on the assists, averaging over eight per game in the last four contests. In addition to his scoring and distributing, Retic leads the Big South in steals (2.1 per game).

- While Andrew Smith is known for his highlight reel dunks, the senior has been a rebounding machine as of late. Smith is averaging 13.0 rebounds per game in the last two contests, grabbing 12 against Bluefield and a career-high 14 versus UNCW.

- Big South Freshman of the Week Peter Moller finished with nine points on Wednesday, but it was his heroics at the end of regulation that got the most attention. With time winding down, Moller drove to the basket and connected on a layup at the two-second mark to send the game into overtime. Look for Moller to continue to step up big for the Flames moving forward.

- Theo Johnson is averaging 11.3 ppg as a starter. The only other Flame averaging more points during the three-game span is Peter Moller (13.7 ppg).
- A.C. Reid played a season-high 31 minutes at UNCW, hitting two key three-pointers during the contest. Expect Reid to follow the footsteps of his freshman teammate Peter Moller and grow up fast while operating in the Flames offense.

Notes and Anecdotes
- Wednesday's game marked the first time the Flames have forced their opponent to commit more turnovers this season.

- Liberty tied a season high in steals (9) against the Seahawks. The Flames also had nine steals versus Randolph College and Furman. Coincidentally Joe Retic, the Big South's leader in steals (2.1 per game), had zero thefts against the Seahawks.

- Liberty outrebounded the Seahawks, 42-37. The Flames have now outrebounded their opponent in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Prior to Wednesday's game, Liberty posted a season-high 54 rebounds and a rebound margin of +29.

- After having a season-high 18 assists against Bluefield, Liberty tied a season low with seven versus UNCW. Retic accounted for six of the Flames assists against the Seahawks.

- Despite coming into the game with the Seahawks shooting 60 fewer field goal attempts, the Flames took 20 more attempts than UNCW (66-46). Liberty's 66 attempts are the most it has taken, this season.

- Evan Maxwell's hometown of Clarks Summit, Pa., is located 130 miles from Central Penn's campus.

- Andrew Smith posted his 500th career point on Wednesday at UNCW. Smith now has 506 tallies for his career.

- Liberty is averaging 65.8 ppg at home compared to 58.4 ppg away from the Vines Center. In terms of rebounding, the Flames are grabbing 42.2 boards per game at home and 34.6 in away and neutral site contests. Liberty is also averaging four fewer turnovers at home (15.2), while allowing 19 miscues outside the Hill City.