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MBB Game Day Central: Western Carolina
Looking to bounce back from a tough road loss at William & Mary, this past Tuesday, the Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center, Saturday, playing host to Western Carolina. The Flames lead the all-time series, 2-1, after edging the Catamounts, 63-62, in Cullowhee, N.C., last season (Dec. 31, 2012). The contest marks the first time Liberty has welcomed Western Carolina into the Vines Center since the inaugural meeting between the two squads, which resulted in a 66-63 Liberty win (Dec. 7, 2002). Tipoff for the series' fourth installment is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Firing on all Cylinders – Antwan Burrus is picking up where he left off during the 2011-12 season. After missing all 36 games, last year, the red shirt senior forward proved he is back at 100 percent, Tuesday, posting 18 points at William & Mary, two points shy of his career high (20). While there still might be a slight adjustment period, look for Burrus to continue acclimating quickly to in-game action with the Flames again. The big man needs eight more points to reach 800 for his career.
No Need to Fear, John Caleb is Here – After coming off the bench, last Saturday, John Caleb Sanders received the starting nod, finishing with 12 points and eight assists in 36 minutes of action.
Three is Key – After averaging seven three-pointers, last season, the Flames showed the three-ball is still a part of their arsenal, knocking down eight treys on Tuesday. Marshall, the program's single-season record holder (2012-13, 107 3FG) led the pack with four trifectas.
Supporting Cast – Liberty's starters accounted for 54-of-72 points, Tuesday, which included a combined 42 points from the trio of Antwan Burrus (18), John Caleb Sanders (12) and Davon Marshall (12). The Flames will look for a larger production from their reserves on Saturday. Liberty outscored Western Carolina, 22-12, off the bench, last season.
Rested or Weary? – In the time between Liberty's games against William & Mary and Western Carolina, the Catamounts will have played a pair of road contests against No. 18 Oregon and Virginia Tech.