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MBB Game Day Central: Winthrop

February 16, 2017
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty vs Winthrop notes


TV Coverage:
American Sports Network
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Mike Hogewood
Color Commentator: Jeff Jackson

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WPLY 98.5/105.9 FM (Lynchburg)
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Alan York
Color Commentator: Paul Nazigian

The Game

Liberty will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for matchup between two of the top teams in the Big South Conference. The Flames will face Winthrop as they look to remain in first place along with UNC Asheville.


Matchup Notes

• This will be the 43rd all-time meeting between Liberty and Winthrop

• Winthrop defeated Liberty 61-48 earlier this season at the Vines Center

• Liberty remains tied for first place with UNC Asheville with a 13-2 conference record

• Head coach Ritchie McKay is 2-5 all-time against Winthrop and 0-3 at the Winthrop Coliseum

• Liberty is 1-9 in the last 10 meetings against Winthrop


Quick Notes

•Liberty received two votes in the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25 Poll. UNC Asheville ranks no. 22 in the poll along with Winthrop at no. 24.

Ryan Kemrite moved to 34th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 780 career points.

• For the first time since the 1992-93 season, Liberty has the chance to win eight games in a row. During the 92-93 season Liberty won nine games in a row, the most since Liberty has been a member of Division I.

• Out of 347 teams, the Flames rank no. 21 in the country in scoring defense (63.2 ppg).

• In the last seven games, the Flames have forced 105 turnovers (15.0 per game).

• In conference play, Liberty has had eight games decided by seven points or less with four in the last two weeks.

• In the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll, Liberty was picked to finish second in the conference, while Winthrop was picked first in the conference.


Series History

Liberty vs. Winthrop History (43rd All-Time Meeting, Winthrop leads 38-15)


Coaching Matchup

Liberty Head Coach: Ritchie McKay

Overall Record:  235-215 (15th season)

Record at Liberty: 70-57 (Fourth season)

Big South Record: 42-23

Record vs. Winthrop: 2-5


Winthrop Head Coach: Pat Kelsey

Overall Record: 96-58 (Fifth Season)

Record at Winthrop: Same

Big South Record: 53-39

Record vs. Liberty: 7-1


Notes and Anecdotes – Winthrop

• In Coach McKay losses to Winthrop, Liberty has lost by an average of 9.4 points

• In the last four games, Keon Johnson is averaging 28.5 points per game while Xavier Cooks is adding 19.8 points per game.

• Winthrop has the highest rated scoring offense in the Big South, averaging 78.5 points per game.

• Liberty has not won at the Winthrop Coliseum since Jan. 29, 2004 (66-50), losing its last 12 contests

• Under Coach McKay the past two seasons, Liberty is 19-3 when they hold its opponents to 62 points or fewer.


Team Talking Points:

• Liberty ranks no. 21 in scoring defense (63.2 ppg) and first in the Big South

• During conference games, Liberty has allowed opponents to a league-best 61.0 points per game

• On road games during conference play, the Flames have averaged 78.3 points per game compared to just 61.2 at home

• In Liberty's five losses at home (VCU, Furman, Princeton, UNC Asheville and Winthrop) each team has sat in first place or has been tied for first place in their conference this season

• Ryan Kemrite moved into sole possession of 34th place on Liberty's all-time career scoring list with 780 points

• Liberty currently is first in the Big South and ranks no. 33 in the country, averaging 9.3 three-point field goals per game (259-of-715/36.2 percent)

• Liberty has made 259 three pointers this, which ranks no. 14 in Division I

• Liberty currently ranks no. 135 in the country and fifth in the Big South in three-point field goal percentage (36.2 percent)

• Liberty has taken its offense on the road, shooting 48.9 percent from the field in conference play but has struggled at home shooting 41.4 percent

• Ritchie McKay picked up his 70th career win at Liberty on Feb. 14 with a win over High Point

• When Liberty has played on the road in Big South games, they have won by an average of 15.1 points

• For the first time this season and the first time since Dec. 3, 2015 at Radford, the Liberty bench was held scoreless after not contributing points against UNC Asheville

• On the season, the Flames currently rank sixth in the Big South and no. 200 in the country (out of 347 teams) in field goal shooting percentage (44.1 percent/629-1426)

• On the season, the Flames are shooting 6.2 percent better during the second half (first half shooting percentage 40.6/256-of-630; second half shooting percentage 46.4/282-of-608)

• The Flames have shot better than 40 percent from three-point range in 13 of their 17 wins

• In its 18 wins this season, Liberty has shot a combined 45.9 percent from the field (401-of-873)

• In its 10 setbacks this year, Liberty has shot a combined 39.9 percent from the floor (198-of-496)

• Liberty is 7-5 on the road this season and has not won a non-conference road game since defeating Western Carolina, 63-62, on Dec. 31, 2012

• Liberty has shot 70 percent or better from the free-throw line 18 times this year and currently ranks second in the Big South in free throw shooting percentage (73.5 percent/382-of-520)

• Liberty has forced 10 or more turnovers in 19 of 28 games this season and ranks fourth in the Big South in turnovers forced (14.2 per game)