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MBB Game Day Central: Winthrop
The Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center on Thursday to host Winthrop. The Flames are looking for their first win in conference play, while the Eagles hope to move above .500 in Big South action. Winthrop has a winning record (12-11) over the Flames in the Vines Center and is currently on a six-game win streak overall against Liberty. Tipoff is slated for 7 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
- At Longwood on Saturday, David Andoh finished with a career-high 24 points, becoming the fourth Flame to score 20 points or more in a game this season, joining Tomasz Gielo (23), Peter Moller (22) and James Johnson (20). Andoh's 24 tallies are the most by a Flame this season.
- Speaking of Andoh, the junior has connected on his last 18 free throws, dating back to Liberty's game at UNC Asheville. The last Flame to make over 20 consecutive free throws was Davon Marshall, who hit 31 in a row. Seth Curry holds the school record for consecutive free throws made with 41 (11 game span).
- Liberty is looking to avoid losing three straight conference games at home for the first time since the 2001-02 season. That year, the Flames dropped six consecutive home Big South contests.
- Despite being as high as 12th in the country in three-point field goal percentage, last week, Liberty's opponents have shot 50.8 percent (33-of-65) from long range in the last two contests combined.
- In nine home games, Liberty is averaging 68.1 ppg, while holding opponents to 59.1 ppg. The Flames are shooting 45.6 percent compared to 36.1 percent for the opposition. Liberty is also averaging 41.4 rebounds per game and holding opponents to 34.1 boards.
- In its first six conference games, Liberty is averaging 56.8 ppg and allowing 70.0 ppg. The Flames are shooting 37.3 percent compared to 40.6 percent for their opponents. Liberty is averaging 37.3 rebounds, while opponents are grabbing 37.0 per game. The Flames are committing 16.5 turnovers in conference play and allowing 11.3 per game.
Notes and Anecdotes
- During Layer's tenure at Queens, the Royals matched up with Winthrop on four occasions, going 2-2 against the Eagles. The first meeting took place on Nov. 24, 1990, as the visiting Royals shocked the Eagles in their season opener in Rock Hill, S.C., 72-64. Winthrop also opened its season at home against Queens during the 1992-93 campaign on Dec. 2, 1992. The Eagles avenged the loss from the previous meeting, besting the Royals, 92-84. The following season, the Royals upset the Eagles once again, earning an 85-77 decision (Dec. 15, 1993). Layer's last meeting with Winthrop while at Queens occurred on Dec. 11, 1994. The Eagles managed to even the series with Queens, edging out the Royals, 73-70.
- Liberty is 0-6 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.
- Among Liberty's active players, David Andoh leads the Flames in scoring in conference play, averaging 11.0 points per game.
- Andrew Smith needs 11 more points to crack Liberty's Top 50 scorers list.
News and Notes vs. Longwood – 1/17/15
- A pair of transfer players for Longwood lived up to their billing, Saturday night, as Shaquille Johnson and Quincy Taylor posted 31 and 21 points, respectively, to lead the Lancers past the Liberty men's basketball team, 85-71.
- With the defeat, Liberty (6-13, 0-6 Big South) is now 0-14 all-time inside Willett Hall. Longwood (6-13, 2-4 Big South) leads the all-time series, 20-10.
- The Lancers led by 23 (73-50) with 10:25 remaining, but the Flames began chipping away at the deficit. Liberty climbed within eight points in the final minute, but were unable to pull any closer.
- David Andoh paced Liberty with a career-high 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 10-of-10 at the foul line. Andoh's free throws mark the first time a Flame has garnered at least 10 points from the charity stripe since John Caleb Sanders hit 11 foul shots to help Liberty defeat Charleston Southern in the 2013 Big South Championship, 87-76 (March 10, 2013).
- Along with Johnson and Taylor, Ryan Badowski finished with 15 points, hitting five three-pointers. Leron Fisher finished with 10 tallies.
- For the second straight contest, three-point baskets plagued the Flames, as Longwood shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from long distance. Liberty shot 46.7 percent (21-of-45) from the field, while Longwood finished with 45.9 percent (28-of-61). The Lancers used Liberty's 20 turnovers to out the Flames off miscues, 28-9.
Last time vs. Winthrop – 3/5/14
- Entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the North Division, the Liberty men's basketball team got off to a hot start inside The HTC Center against No. 4 South seed Winthrop at the 2014 Big South Championship. Unfortunately for the Flames, the Eagles were able to climb back to take the lead at halftime en route to a 77-65 Winthrop victory.
- Andrew Smith tied a career high with 17 points, followed by Joe Retic, who had 15 points.
- Antwan Burrus chipped in 11 points, closing out his career 18th on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 1,170 points. The redshirt senior also had five rebounds, finishing at No. 10 on the program's rebounding list with 616 career boards.
- John Caleb Sanders finished with eight tallies. The Sugar Land, Texas native ended his Liberty career at No. 14 on the program' scoring list with 1,384 points. The game was his program-record 132nd career game played, as Sanders appeared in every contest during his four years in a Flames uniform.
- Davon Marshall tallied six points, finishing with 803 for his Liberty career and surpassing former Flames guard Tavares Speaks (801) for 30th on the program's listing.
- Keon Johnson paced Winthrop with 15 tallies, followed by Joab Jerome, Keon Moore and Andre Smith, who all added 14 points apiece.
- Liberty shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) for the contest, compared to 46.2 percent (24-of-52) for the Eagles. Liberty outscored Winthrop in the paint, 30-20, but the Eagles held the advantage beyond the perimeter, 24-15. Both teams performed well at the charity stripe. Liberty made 12-of-13 (92.3 percent), while Winthrop shot a perfect 21-of-21 to set a tournament single-game record.