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Liberty Heads to High Point Thursday
Game Day Central
After seeing its undefeated streak in conference play snapped, the Liberty men's basketball team returns to the road to take on High Point. The Flames are looking to return to the win column against the Panthers, who are on a six-game losing skid. Tipoff for Thursday's contest is slated for 7 p.m. and will air live on ESPN3.com.
Liberty is ahead in the all-time series with a 15-10 record, but has struggled inside the Millis Center with a 3-9 posting. Coach Dale Layer's team is hoping for a more positive outcome than last year's visit to the facility on Jan. 21, when the Flames were defeated, 81-53.
High Point enters Thursday's contest with a 5-9 record on the season and a 2-3 record in conference play. The Panthers are looking to bounce back from a six-game losing skid, consisting of defeats to Wofford (79-65), Georgia (85-38), Charleston Southern (77-69), Coastal Carolina (78-60), Wake Forest (79-63) and Radford (64-59).
In High Point's most recent game at Radford this past Saturday, Big South Preseason Player of the Year Nick Barbour led the Panthers with 22 points, while Jeremy Robinson and Johnathan Edwards chipped in 11 points apiece for the Highlanders.
Barbour is pacing the Panthers this season with 14.4 points per game, followed by Shine Shay, who is averaging 12.4 tallies per contest. Corey Law is strong on the boards for High Point, pulling down 7.9 per game.
High Point holds an edge in scoring offense over Liberty, averaging 66.9 points per game, while the Flames are posting 66.4 tallies per contest. Against conference opponents, the Flames are faring slightly better, averaging 67.2 ppg versus Big South foes compared to High Point's 66.0.
Liberty currently sits atop the Big South in scoring defense, holding opponents to 63.7 ppg. High Point is ninth in the same category, allowing 73.0 ppg. When squaring off with conference members, Flames are holding opponents to 62.3 ppg, while High Point is allowing 71.2 ppg.
Liberty and High Point are in the bottom half of the conference when it comes to three-point field goal percentage, shooting 31.7 (7th) and 30.2 (9th) on the season, respectively. However, the two squads are two of the top three teams in three-point field goal percentage defense.
Liberty is holding opponents to 28.7 percent from behind the three-point arc on the season, while High Point trails the Flames slightly with 29.3 percent. In conference matchups, the Panthers are holding opponents to 15.8 percent from three-point range, giving up just nine three-pointers in five games of Big South play.
Historically, each team has garnered abundant success at its respective home court, with Liberty holding a 12-1 record against the Panthers inside the Vines Center and the Panthers owning a 9-3 mark in the Millis Center.
High Point took the first meeting against Liberty last season on Jan. 21. Nick Barbour posted 24 points in the contest, 20 of which came in the first half, followed by Corey Law and David Singleton, who finished with 12 and 10 tallies, respectively. Playing in its first of five games without leading scorer Kyle Ohman, Liberty went 5:58 without scoring from the field in the second half, ultimately falling to the Panthers on the road, 81-53.
With Ohman back in the lineup for the rematch in the Vines Center on Feb. 20, the Mechanicsburg, Pa., native shined on Senior Night. Ohman scored a career-high 39 points in his Vines Center finale, leading the Flames to a 76-67 victory.