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MBB Game Day Central: Charleston Southern
The Liberty men's basketball team will look to halt its four-game skid when it takes on Charleston Southern inside the Buc Dome on Wednesday. The Flames lead the all-time series, 33-24, but the Buccaneers hold the most recent victory in the series, defeating Liberty last season, 80-66. Liberty hopes to garner its first Big South win this season, while Charleston Southern enters the contest 2-2 in conference action.
What to Watch for
- In the 10 games the Flames have been without the presence of Tomasz Gielo, freshman Peter Moller is leading the Flames in scoring, averaging 9.4 ppg. Theo Johnson follows close behind with 8.8 ppg. Andrew Smith is shouldering much of the rebounding during the span, grabbing 7.6 boards per game.
- Liberty is 0-4 in conference play for the first time since the 2011-12 season. That year, the Flames started the Big South slate 0-6 before snapping the skid in a 69-64 victory over Radford (Jan. 12, 2012). Liberty went on to finish fifth in the conference standings with a 9-9 conference record, winning nine of its final 12 Big South matchups.
- Saturday's loss to Coastal Carolina marked the first time the Flames have not had a player finish in double-digit scoring figures since the Flames lost to Winthrop, 67-43, on Feb. 4, 2010. Evan Gordon led Liberty that day with eight points.
- The Flames are seeking their first win outside the Vines Center, this season. Liberty is 0-6 in true road games and 0-2 when playing at a neutral site. Liberty's last road win dates back to last season, when the Flames defeated Campbell on Feb. 22, 2014, 79-59.
- In games played away from the Vines Center, Liberty is averaging 54.9 ppg compared to 65.8 ppg for its opponents. The Flames are shooting 38.8 percent, while opponents are shooting 41.1 percent. Liberty is also committing 18.5 turnovers, and allowing just below 14 per game.
- In its first four conference games, Liberty is averaging 53.0 ppg and allowing 63.8 ppg. The Flames are shooting 34.1 percent compared to 39.2 percent for their opponents. On average, Liberty has been outrebounded 40-38 and is committing 14.3 turnovers per game.
Notes and Anecdotes
- Prior to coaching at Charleston Southern, Barclay Radebaugh spent one season at Queens University in Charlotte, leading the Royals to a 21-8 record (2003-04). Queens is also where Liberty head coach Dale Layer began his coaching career in 1989. Layer spent nine seasons at Queens, amassing a 167-87 record and reaching the NCAA Division II Tournament on two occasions, including the Sweet 16 in 1996.
- When the series began during the 1988-89 season, Charleston Southern was known as Baptist College, S.C. The school changed its name before the start of the 1990-91 season.
- Liberty's last win in the Buc Dome occurred on Feb. 9, 2012. In the game, Antwan Burrus knocked down a 30-foot buzzer beating three-pointer to defeat the Buccaneers, 75-74. The clutch shot landed at No. 2 on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 plays.
- During non-conference play, Charleston Southern squared off with Colorado State on Dec. 22, falling to the Rams on the road, 75-54. Prior to coming to Liberty, head Liberty coach Dale Layer spent seven years as head coach at Colorado State. While with the Rams, Layer had a 103-106 record, including a 17-13 mark in 2007. In 2003, Layer led Colorado State to the Mountain West Conference Championship and its first NCAA Tournament bid in 13 years, falling to Duke in the first round.
News and Notes vs. Coastal Carolina – 1/10/15
- Looking to get back into the win column, the Liberty men's basketball team hosted defending Big South champion Coastal Carolina, Saturday night. Guided by leading scorer Warren Gillis' 20-point effort, the Chanticleers used a 13-0 run to pull away in the first half and did not look back en route to the 69-54 victory.
- Along with Gillis, Josh Cameron finished with 12 points for Coastal Carolina, followed by Elijah Wilson, who had 11 points.
- Theo Johnson and Andrew Smith each had nine points for the Flames. Johnson also had a game-high eight rebounds.
- The Flames shot 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, compared to 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) for the Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina edged Liberty in the paint, 22-20, but outscored Liberty from three-point land, 27-12.
- Liberty fell to 6-11 on the season, beginning the conference slate 0-4 for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Coastal Carolina improved to 13-3 and remains undefeated in Big South action at 4-0.
Last Time Out vs. Charleston Southern – 2/1/14
- Led by a 35-point point effort from Sheldon Strickland, Charleston Southern jumped out to an early lead and did not look back en route to an 80-66 decision.
- Liberty shot 33.8 percent (22-of-65) from the field, while the Buccaneers finished with a 50.0 percent shooting (29-of-58), including 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from three-point range.
- Davon Marshall and Andrew Smith paced Liberty with 15 points, apiece, followed by John Caleb Sanders, who had 11 points. Smith also added a career-high 13 rebounds.
- Along with Strickland's 35 tallies, Will Saunders and Arlon Harper added 14 and 11 points, respectively for the Buccaneers.