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MBB Game Day Central: Norfolk State

March 12, 2017
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty vs Norfolk State notes


TV Coverage:
Facebook Live – Liberty Flames
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Matt Warner
Color Commentator: Paul Nazigian

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

The Game

The Liberty men's basketball team looks to claim its first postseason win since March 17, 2009 when they host Norfolk State in the second annual Coach John McLendon Classic, a first round game in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).


Matchup Notes

• This will be the fourth meeting all-time between Liberty and Norfolk State

• Two of the three previous meetings between Liberty and Norfolk State have been decided by two points.

• A third place in the Big South ties for the highest finish under coach McKay. Liberty finished third in 2008-09.

• Head coach Ritchie McKay is 1-1 all-time at Liberty in postseason tournaments.

• Liberty returns to the postseason for the first time since making the NCAA Tournament during the 2010-11 season.

• Norfolk State finished second in the MEAC Conference with an appearance in the MEAC Championship.


Quick Notes

• Liberty looks for its first 20-win season since 2008-09 when the Flames went 23-12.

Ryan Kemrite joined the 800-point club against Longwood as he now sits in 30th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 812 career points.

• For the first time in school history, Liberty has won 14 games in the Big South.

• Out of 347 teams, the Flames rank no. 19 in the country in scoring defense (63.1 ppg).

• In conference play, Liberty has had eight games decided by seven points or less. In those games, two of them were against Radford.

• For the third time in school history Liberty avoided back-to-back losses in the Big South.


Series History

Liberty vs. Norfolk State (Fourth All-Time Meeting, Norfolk State leads 2-1)


Coaching Matchup

Liberty Head Coach: Ritchie McKay

Overall Record:  236-218 (15th season)

Record at Liberty: 71-60 (Fourth season)

Big South Record: 43-25

Record vs. Norfolk State: 0-0


Norfolk State Head Coach: Robert Jones

Overall Record: 73-62 (Fourth Season)

Record at Norfolk State: Same

MEAC Record: 47-17

Record vs. Liberty: 0-0


Notes and Anecdotes – Norfolk State

• In the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll, Liberty was picked to finish second in the conference, while Norfolk State was picked fifth in the MEAC Conference.

• Under coach Roberty Jones, Norfolk State has won at least 11 games in the MEAC in four years including three straight 12-4 records.  

• Liberty last played in the CIT in 2008-09 when they defeated Rider in the first round and lost to James Madison in the quarterfinals.

• Under Coach McKay the past two seasons, Liberty is 20-4 when they hold its opponents to 62 points or fewer.


Team Talking Points:

• Liberty ranks no. 19 in scoring defense (63.1 ppg) and first in the Big South

• During conference games, Liberty has allowed opponents to a league-best 61.5 points per game

• On road games during conference play, the Flames have averaged 73.3 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 a tie for 30th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 812 career points

• Liberty currently is second in the Big South and ranks no. 44 in the country, averaging 9.1 three-point field goals per game (290-of-812/35.7 percent)

• Liberty has made 290 three pointers this, which ranks no. 35 in Division I

• Liberty currently ranks no. 144 in the country and seventh in the Big South in three-point field goal percentage (35.7 percent)

• Liberty took its offense on the road, shooting 45.8 percent from the field in conference play but has struggled at home shooting 43.6 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 7.9 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 eighth in the Big South and no. 231 in the country (out of 347 teams) in field goal shooting percentage (43.3 percent/708-1636)

• On the season, the Flames are shooting 4.7 percent better during the second half (first half shooting percentage 40.1/297-of-740; second half shooting percentage 45.2/320-of-708)

• The Flames have shot 40 percent or better from three-point range in 14 of their 19 wins

• In its 19 wins this season, Liberty has shot a combined 45.9 percent from the field (423-of-922)

• In its 13 setbacks this year, Liberty has shot a combined 38.7 percent from the floor (254-of-657)

• Liberty is 7-7 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 22 times this year and currently ranks third in the Big South in free throw shooting percentage (73.9 percent/418-of-566)

• Liberty has forced 10 or more turnovers in 23 of 32 games this season and ranks third in the Big South in turnovers forced (14.2 per game)