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MBB Game Day Central: Radford
Still looking for its first conference victory and first road win of the season, the Liberty men's basketball team will step into Radford's Dedmon Center, Saturday afternoon, for a clash with the Highlanders. Radford leads the series, 34-30, and has won the last two meetings. The Flames are 9-21 all-time in the Dedmon Center, with four of those wins occurring during head coach Dale Layer's tenure. After dropping their first three conference games, the Highlanders have now reeled off four straight wins, with victories over Presbyterian (95-82), Campbell (72-55), Winthrop (85-77) and High Point (73-66). Tipoff for Saturday's game is slated for 4:30 p.m., with the contest broadcasting exclusively on ESPN3.
What to Watch for
- After his 11-point performance on Thursday, Andrew Smith is now tied for 49th on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 582 tallies. The senior forward also concluded the night with 10 rebounds, making him 20th on the program's all-time rebounding list with 464 boards.
- Liberty has shot over 40 percent from the field in the last three contests. The Flames are shooting 44.3 percent (62-of-140) from the field, compared to 41.7 percent (75-of-180) for their opponents. However, the Flames have also committed over 20 turnovers each game, averaging 20.7 miscues in the three contests. Meanwhile, Liberty's opponents committed an average of 9.3 turnovers per game.
- In games played away from the Vines Center, Liberty is averaging 56.8 ppg compared to 69.1 ppg for its opponents. The Flames are shooting 40.0 percent, while opponents are shooting 41.5 percent. Liberty is also committing 19.0 turnovers, and forcing just below 13.0 per game.
- In its first seven conference games, Liberty is averaging 56.7 ppg and allowing 70.1 ppg. The Flames are shooting 38.1 percent compared to 40.3 percent for their opponents. Rebounding averages are the same, as Liberty and its opponents are averaging 36.6 boards per game. The Flames are committing 17.0 turnovers in conference play and forcing 11.1 per game.
Notes and Anecdotes
- Prior to serving alongside Mike Jones on Shaka Smart's staff at VCU, current Radford assistant coach Kyle Getter was an assistant coach at Liberty during the 2008-09 season. Getter joined the staff, replacing Dale Layer, who left the Hill City for one year before returning as Liberty's head coach the following season.
- Since the series began on Jan. 28, 1975, Liberty and Radford have squared off 64 times, making the Highlanders the Flames' most common opponent in program history. Sitting in second is Charleston Southern, with 58 total games against the Flames.
- Liberty's first half point total (15) against Winthrop on Thursday narrowly missed the Vines Center record for fewest points in a half (14), which occurred versus College of Charleston on Jan. 26, 1991.
- Following its loss to Winthrop, the Flames have now dropped three straight home games in conference play for the first time since the 2001-02. That season, Liberty lost six straight Big South matchups in the Vines Center.
- The last time Liberty started the Big South season at 0-7 was the 1998-99 season. That year, the Flames finished winless in conference play at 0-10, holding a 4-23 record overall.
- The Flames will look to bounce back from three-point land after going 0-for-10 against the Eagles on Thursday. The last time Liberty was scoreless from downtown occurred on Feb. 1, 2005b against High Point. Liberty went 0-for-8 form beyond the three-point arc, but won the contest, 84-81.
Last Time vs. Radford – 3/1/14
- Despite the Flames holding a 12-point lead with 7:25 remaining, a 13-2 Highlanders run turned the tide, leading to an 87-83 decision in favor of Radford.
- Liberty concluded the afternoon shooting 50.9 percent (29-of-57), compared to 47.7 percent (31-of-65) for the Highlanders. Each team knocked down eight three-pointers on the night, but Radford held a 40-30 advantage inside the paint. Although Liberty averaged eight turnovers in each of the previous three games, the Flames committed 16 turnovers, translating into 19 Radford points.
- Antwan Burrus led the Flames with 19 points and eight rebounds in his final game at the Vines Center. Three other Liberty players finished in double-digit scoring figures – Tomasz Gielo (16), John Caleb Sanders (14) and Davon Marshall (13).
- Radford's Javonte Green finished with a game-high 25 points. Ya Ya Anderson followed up with 19 points, all coming in the second half, while Rashun Davis chipped in 18 tallies.
News and Notes vs. Winthrop
- The Liberty men's basketball team stepped onto the Vines Center court, Thursday night, looking to avoid starting 0-7 in Big South action for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Unfortunately for the Flames, the Eagles jumped out to a 16-2 lead early. Despite Liberty cutting the deficit to six in the second half, Winthrop held off the Flames to take the contest, 71-56.
- Liberty (6-14, 0-7 Big South) shot 42.9 percent (21-of-49), while Winthrop (9-9, 4-3 Big South) shot 38.6 percent (22-of-57). Liberty went scoreless from three-point land (0-for-10) for the first time since going 0-for-8 in an 84-81 win against High Point (Feb. 1, 2005).
- Winthrop's Keon Moore finished with a game-high 22 points, followed by Keon Johnson with 16 tallies.