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MBB Game Day Central: Presbyterian
The Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center, Saturday, playing host to Presbyterian at 7 p.m. The matchup is part of a double-header, which features the Lady Flames versus High Point at 4 p.m. Dale Layer's squad is looking to bounce back from a tough 53-46 loss at Campbell in its Big South Conference opener. Meanwhile, Gregg Nibert's Blue Hose are also hoping to enter the win column after falling to Gardner-Webb at home, Wednesday, 81-64. Liberty leads the all-time series versus Presbyterian, 7-6, after defeating the Blue Hose in the Vines Center, 65-53, last season (Jan. 25, 2014). Saturday's contest will broadcast live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN HD, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.
What to Watch for
- In Liberty's seven games at home, the Flames have averaged 71.6 ppg, while holding opponents to 57.3 ppg (+14.3 scoring margin). Dale Layer's squad is shooting 48.7 percent from the field (185-of-380) and limiting opponents to 34.4 percent shooting. The Flames are also grabbing 41.7 rebounds per game compared to 32.7 for their opposition (+ 9.0 rebounding margin).
- Among Liberty's active players, Peter Moller is leading the Flames in scoring inside the Vines Center, averaging 9.7 ppg. Moller is shooting 54.0 percent (27-of-50) from the field, including 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from downtown.
- Following closely behind Moller is Johnson, who has averaged 9.4 ppg inside the Vines Center, this season. Johnson is shooting nearly 61.0 percent in the facility, hitting 28-of-46 shots.
- Joe Retic, who is first in the Big South in steals (2.0 spg) and second in assists (5.6 apg) is averaging 7.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game in the Vines Center. Overall, Retic is accounting for nearly 33.0 percent of the team's steals, this season (28-of-86).
- The Flames will look to bounce back after shooting 30.4 percent (17-of-56) from the field at Campbell. The mark is the lowest since Liberty shot 26.0 percent (13-of-50) in an 84-42 loss at Richmond on Nov. 9, 2012.
Notes and Anecdotes
- The Flames and the Blue Hose share one common non-conference opponent this season in Virginia Tech. The Hokies defeated the Flames 73-63 (Nov. 19) and bested Presbyterian, 87-65 (Dec. 27).
- Prior to being sidelined, Tomasz Gielo averaged 15.7 ppg in the three contests he played inside the Vines Center, this season. Gielo also pulled down 9.7 rebounds per game inside the facility.
- In home games, Liberty is averaging nearly six three-pointers per game compared to four in the seven games away from the Vines Center. The Flames are shooting 38.0 percent from long distance at home, while shooting 28.9 percent in road and neutral site games.
- In Liberty's three home games against Division I opponents, the Flames are averaging 60.3 ppg and shooting 41.2 percent (63-of-153) from the field. Liberty is holding opponents to 57.3 ppg and 32.8 percent shooting (61-of-186). Liberty has been outrebounded in those three games combined, 122-113.
- The quartet of David Andoh (8.2 ppg), Andrew Smith (8.2 ppg), Peter Moller (8.1 ppg) and James Johnson are all jockeying for position on the Flames' scoring chart. Andoh and Smith each have 115 tallies on the season, while Moller and Johnson follow close behind with 113 and 112 points, respectively.
News and Notes vs. Campbell – 12/31/14
- The Liberty men's basketball team closed out 2014 on the road, kicking off the Big South slate at Campbell, Wednesday afternoon. In a contest that turned into a defensive affair, the Flames made it a three-point game after being down by 11 in the second half, but were unable to climb over the hump en route to the Fighting Camels' 53-46 win.
- With the defeat, Liberty fell to 6-8 on the year and 0-1 in the Big South. Campbell moves to 7-7, snapping a five-game skid versus the Flames. Liberty leads the all-time series, 13-11.
- Joe Retic paced the Flames with 12 points, followed by Peter Moller, who had 10 tallies. Andrew Smith closed out the contest with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Campbell's Reco McCarter led the Camels with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds.
- Liberty shot 30.4 percent (17-of-56) for the contest, compared to 28.6 percent (14-of-49) for the Camels. The Flames outscored Campbell in the paint, 22-14, but the Camels held the advantage beyond the three-point arc, 21-6.
Last Time vs. Presbyterian – 1/25/14
- Needing just three points to become the 24th member of Liberty's 1,000-point club, Antwan Burrus did just that and more, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the 65-53 victory.
- The redshirt senior joined teammate John Caleb Sanders in the exclusive club, becoming the sixth pair of Liberty players to share the honor simultaneously.
- Sanders and Tomasz Gielo each led the Flames offense with 13 points. Jordan Downing led PC with a game-high 24 points, followed by Austin Anderson who had 11.
- Liberty shot 43.6 percent (24-of-55) from the field, while the Blue Hose shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48). The Flames held a slight edge inside the paint (28-22) and along the perimeter (27-24). Liberty took advantage of second chance points (16-2), courtesy of 17 offensive rebounds. Dale Layer's squad ended the night outrebounding the Blue Hose by a margin of 23 (41-18).