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MBB Game Day Central: High Point
The Liberty men's basketball team looks to end its eight-game skid in Big South play, Thursday, inside the Vines Center. Standing in the Flames' way is conference leader High Point, who is currently 7-2 in league play, this season. Liberty leads the all-time series, 19-15, including 13-4 in the Vines Center, but the Panthers have taken the last two meetings from the Flames. High Point's leading scorer John Brown has played a key role in those victories, entering Thursday's contest fourth in the conference in scoring at 18.6 ppg. Tipoff for the 35th installment in the series 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
- Junior forward Theo Johnson is coming off an impressive performance at Radford, where he finished with a career-high 19 points. In Liberty's 14 games without Tomasz Gielo, Johnson is second on the team in points (9.6 ppg) and rebounds (5.8 rpg).
- Liberty has shot over 42 percent from the field or better in the last four contests. The Flames are shooting 46 percent (86-of-187) during the span. Liberty's opponents are shooting 42.1 percent (75-of-180), but have connected on 16 more buckets. The Flames have also committed over 20 turnovers each game, averaging 21 miscues in the four contests. Meanwhile, Liberty's opponents have committed an average of 9.8 turnovers per game.
- In 10 home games, Liberty is averaging 66.9 ppg, while holding opponents to 60.3 ppg. The Flames are shooting 45.3 percent compared to 36.3 percent for the opposition. Liberty is also averaging 40.5 rebounds per game and holding opponents to 34.1 boards. The Flames are also committing an average of 15.3 turnovers per game, while forcing 12 per contest.
- In its first eight conference games, Liberty is averaging 59.1 ppg and allowing 71.9 ppg. The Flames are shooting 39.6 percent compared to 40.7 percent for their opponents. Rebounding averages are close, as Liberty is grabbing 36.2 boards per game and allowing 35.8. The Flames are committing 17.0 turnovers in conference play and forcing 11.1 per game.
Notes and Anecdotes
- Liberty is 13-4 all-time when playing the Panthers inside the Vines Center. The Flames' most notable victory over High Point occurred on March 6, 2004, as they captured their second Big South Championship with an 89-44 victory in the finals of the Big South Championship. On the flip side, the Panthers' most significant win in the Vines Center occurred when No. 7 High Point upset No. 2 Liberty in the 2011 Big South Championship quarterfinals, 66-60 (March 1, 2011).
- Liberty has not been 0-8 in Big South since the 1998-99 season. That year, the Flames finished the conference slate with a 0-10 record.
- In Liberty's second meeting all-time versus High Point (Feb. 13, 1999) the Flames were also 0-8 in Big South play. However, the clash with the Panthers was not a conference game, as High Point did not become a full fledge conference member until the following season. Liberty defeated High Point that day in the Vines Center, 72-55.
- The Flames have committed 84 turnovers in the last four contests. Liberty's opponents have converted the miscues into 112 points during the span.
- Liberty heads into Thursday's meeting versus High Point having dropped its last three conference home games. The last time the Flames lost three straight Big South contests in the Vines Center was the 2001-2002, when they dropped six consecutive conference games in the facility.
News and Notes vs. Radford – 1/24/15
- The Liberty men's basketball team led for much of the first half against Radford, but two big surges by the Highlanders allowed them to pull away inside the Dedmon Center, Saturday afternoon. Liberty chipped away at the deficit in the closing minutes, but Radford hung on for the 84-76 win.
- With the defeat, Liberty falls to 6-15 on the year and 0-8 in Big South action. Radford moves to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in conference play, earning its fifth straight win. The Highlanders are now 35-30 all-time against the Flames, taking the last three contests.
- Javonte Green led Radford with a game-high 24 points. YaYa Anderson and R.J. Price combined for nine of the Highlanders' 13 three-pointers, finishing with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
- Liberty outscored Radford in the paint, 34-20, but the Highlanders capitalized on points off turnovers, 33-9.
- The Flames shot over 50 percent for the third time this season, shooting 51.1 percent (24-of-47). Radford concluded the night with 43.5 percent shooting (27-of-62).
Last Time vs. High Point – 2/19/14
- Despite Liberty leading for much of the contest, High Point used a 15-0 run with under eight minutes to play to garner the 67-60 decision.
- Antwan Burrus paced the Flames offense with 15 points, followed by Davon Marshall and Tomasz Gielo, who had 11 and 10 apiece.
- John Brown, who entered the contest second in scoring in the Big South with 20.0 ppg, finished with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers. Devante Wallace and Anthony Lindauer chipped in 12 and 11 points, each.
- The Panthers shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51), while the Flames concluded the night with a 43.6 percent shooting (24-of-55). Liberty outscored High Point in the paint, 36-22, and committed just eight turnovers. The Panthers won the rebounding battle, 34-29.