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Flames Tip Off 2008 Versus Nyack on Saturday

January 4, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Alex McLean looks to lead Liberty versus Nyack, Saturday afternoon, inside the Vines Center.

Alex McLean looks to lead Liberty versus Nyack, Saturday afternoon, inside the Vines Center.

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Game Preview
Liberty returns home to open the 2008 calendar year with the season's final two non-conference home games, starting with the Nyack Warriors, who invade the Vines Center on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

Saturday's contest will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with Jerry Edwards providing play-by-play. Additionally, an Internet audio broadcast on LibertyFlames.com will be available. The game will be televised on the Flames Television Network with Ray Jones and Tim Scarborough calling the action. There will also be a live video stream of the broadcast via the Big South EDGE, available on
BigSouthSports.com.

Liberty Update
The Flames enter today's contest coming off a 72-64 setback at George Mason on Dec. 30. Anthony Smith tallied a career-high with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting. B.J. Jenkins chipped in 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Alex McLean tallied 16 points in the losing cause.

The last time Liberty stepped on the floor inside the Vines Center the Flames recorded their fifth-straight home victory when Liberty topped Campbell on Dec. 28, 68-61. McLean led the Flames with 22 points and six rebounds.

The win snapped the Flames' two-game losing skid. Liberty had dropped games on the road at Campbell and Virginia Tech prior to its home victory over the Camels. After leading at the half against the Hokies, Virginia Tech opened the second stanza on an 8-0 run, catapulting them to a 58-46 victory. Alex McLean scored 14 points for the Flames in a losing effort.

Liberty versus Nyack
Today's contest marks the first meeting between these teams in on the hardwood.

The Liberty/Nyack Connection
Nyack head coach John D. Jones is a 1989 graduate of Liberty University. Jones did not play basketball while at Liberty, but was a member of the coaching staff from 1996-98 under Jeff Meyer. Jones helped Liberty set a program best for the Division I era with 23 victories in 1997, earning a share of the Big South regular season championship.

Liberty versus the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
The Flames hold a 1-0 all-time record versus current members of the CACC. On Jan. 2, 1988, Liberty defeated Wilmington, 97-53, inside Liberty Gym.

Anthony Smith Reaches 800 Career Points
With a career-high 24 points at George Mason on Sunday, Anthony Smith became the 23rd player in Liberty history and only the eighth in the Division I era to score 800 career points. Smith currently has 804 markers in his career.

TeeJay Bannister Reaches 300 Career Assists
After dishing out eight assists against Campbell on Dec. 28, TeeJay Bannister reached the 300 career assist mark. Bannister dished out another five assists at George Mason on Sunday, giving the senior 311assists during his collegiate career. Bannister registered 238 during his three years at Virginia. The senior currently has 73 helpers for the Flames this season.

Liberty Undefeated at Home
Liberty is currently 5-0 at home this season in non conference contests. With two non-conference home games remaining on the schedule this season, the Flames will be trying to go undefeated in home non-conference games for the first time since the 1995-96 season. That season, Liberty went 4-0 at home during the non-conference portion of its schedule. Since moving to the NCAA Division I level, Liberty has never gone undefeated at home during a non-conference slate when playing more than four non-conference contests.

McLean Passes Scarborough on Liberty's All-Time Scoring List
Alex McLean tallied 14 points at Virginia Tech on Dec. 19, giving the senior 629 markers in his career. That figure pushed him into 34th all-time in the Liberty annals, past FTN Color Analyst and former Flame, Tim Scarborough, who scored 616 points during his four-year career. McLean reached the broadcaster's mark in 41 career games, 46 fewer games than Scarborough. McLean now has 667 career points.

First Game of a New Year
Tonight marks the Flames' firs contest of 2008. Liberty is 12-24 all-time when playing its first game of a calendar year.