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Liberty Set to Clash With Longwood

February 21, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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TeeJay Bannister ranks No. 2 in the nation in assists. Bannister and company enter Willett Hall on Friday to battle the Longwood Lancers.

TeeJay Bannister ranks No. 2 in the nation in assists. Bannister and company enter Willett Hall on Friday to battle the Longwood Lancers.

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Game Preview
Liberty concludes the regular season road portion of its schedule and its current three-game road swing, as the Flames travel to take on the Longwood Lancers, Friday evening, inside Willett Hall. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., in Farmville, Va.

Friday's contest will have a radio broadcast that 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.

Liberty Update
The Flames enter tonight's contest on the heels of an 87-82 setback at Charleston Southern on Monday night. Anthony Smith and TeeJay Bannister each tallied 20 points in the losing effort. Bannister added 12 assists to go with his career high in points.

Liberty started off the "Beach Trip" with a 65-51 triumph at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 16. Smith became the 20th player in Liberty program history to reach the 1,000 career point plateau, as the junior scored 17 points in the victory. Prior to the Coastal Carolina win, the Flames suffered a 59-50 setback to Winthrop on Feb. 12, despite Alex McLean's
ninth double-double in his last 12 games. McLean led all scorers with 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, his last carom marking the 500th of his career.

Liberty entered the Winthrop game on the heels of a resounding 83-54 victory over the then league-leading UNC Asheville Bulldogs on Feb. 9. Anthony Smith led all scorers with 18 points, while McLean collected his 11th double-double of the season, tallying 13 points and 10 rebounds. B.J. Jenkins added career highs in rebounds (9), assists (8) and steals (5) to go with his 13 markers.

Liberty versus Longwood
Tonight's contest marks the 25th all-time meeting between the two schools in basketball. Longwood leads the series, 16-8. Liberty looks to sweep the season series for the first time in series history. Liberty has never won in Willett Hall and has managed just one victory in Farmville. The lone win came on Jan. 16, 1979, a year prior to the completion of Willett Hall.

Liberty has won three of the last five games in the series, including the Flames' only winning streak. The Flames won two games in a row in 2006. Liberty won on Feb. 13, 2006 and Dec. 9, 2006, both inside the Vines Center. In the first meeting this season on Nov. 27, Alex McLean paced Liberty with 33 points and 11 rebounds.

All-Time Series Results

Nov. 27, 2007 W (91-67) Lynchburg
Feb. 15, 2007 L (70-76) Farmville, Va.
Dec. 9, 2006 W (89-61) Lynchburg
Feb. 13, 2006 W (75-66) Lynchburg
Nov. 30, 2005 L (75-88) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 8, 1988 L (53-61) Lynchburg
Jan. 26, 1988 L (57-60) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 10, 1987 L (58-60) Lynchburg
Jan. 17, 1987 L (64-67) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 10, 1986 W (85-84) * Lynchburg
Jan. 22, 1986 L (52-54) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 9, 1985 W (42-38) Lynchburg
Jan. 22, 1985 L (54-59) Lynchburg
Feb. 10, 1984 L (51-55) Farmville, Va.
Jan. 23, 1984 L (64-76) Lynchburg
Feb. 8, 1983 W (60-48) Lynchburg
Jan. 25, 1983 L (61-67) Farmville, Va.
Jan. 23, 1982 L (61-87) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 14, 1980 L (79-92) Lynchburg
Dec. 6, 1979 L (59-69) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 17, 1979 L (78-81) Lynchburg
Jan. 16, 1979 W (84-72) Farmville, Va.
Feb. 18, 1978 L (77-78) Farmville, Va.
Jan. 21, 1978 W (89-77) Lynchburg
*-Double Overtime Game

Current Flames With Notable Games Versus Longwood
Alex McLean (33 points and 11 rebounds vs. Longwood, Nov. 27, 2007)
Anthony Smith (23 points on 8-of-10 shooting vs. Longwood, Nov. 27, 2007)
TeeJay Bannister (seven points and 11 assists vs. Longwood, Nov. 27, 2007)
Alex McLean (17 points and seven rebounds at Longwood, Feb. 15, 2007)
Alex McLean (17 points and nine rebounds vs. Longwood, Dec. 9, 2006)
Rell Porter (10 points and eight rebounds vs. Longwood, Dec. 9, 2006)
Anthony Smith (15 points vs. Longwood, Dec. 9, 2006)
B.J. Jenkins (10 points vs. Longwood, Dec. 9, 2006)
Tyler Baker (10 points vs. Longwood, Dec. 9, 2006)
Anthony Smith (16 points vs. Longwood, Feb. 13, 2006)

McKay vs. Longwood
Ritchie McKay has faced Longwood twice before in his career. McKay's New Mexico Lobos topped the Lancers on Dec. 17, 2006, inside The Pit, in Albuquerque, N.M., 79-60. The second time was this season, with Liberty collecting a 91-67 victory on Nov. 27.

Alex McLean and His Three-Point Shot
Alex McLean has three career three-point field goals. All three buckets have come at Longwood's expense. McLean has gone 1-of-1 from behind the arc in each of his three appearances against the Lancers.

McKay Versus the Big South Conference
Head coach Ritchie McKay is 7-6 all-time against the Big South Conference. Two of the seven victories have come against Charleston Southern. The first came last season when McKay's Lobo team at New Mexico defeated Charleston Southern, 76-69. The second was on Jan. 19.

When Holding Opponents Under 70
The Flames are 12-5 when their opponents score less than 70 points and 2-8 when their opposition tallies more than 70 points. Liberty's wins over Niagara (86-81) and VMI (87-81) are the two occasions when Liberty won a game while allowing over 70 points.

Road Woes
The Flames have lost 35 of their last 41 road games, dating back to the start of the 2005-06 season. Three of the wins during that span came last season. A 66-63 victory at Charleston Southern on Jan. 22, a 118-108 victory at VMI on Feb. 21 and a 64-48 win at Radford on Feb. 24. The victory in Lexington was the Flames first since Dec. 7, 1991, and the win at Radford was Liberty's first since Feb. 22, 1997. The fourth road win was a 55-53 triumph at East Carolina on Nov. 17, the fifth road win was on Jan. 28 at VMI, 87-81 and the sixth was a 65-51 triumph at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 16.

Alex McLean Grabs 500th Career Rebound
Senior Alex McLean pulled down his 500th career rebound against Winthrop on Feb. 12. The milestone makes McLean the only two-year letterwinner in program history to accomplish such a feat in two years. All other members of Liberty's 500 rebound club played at least three seasons on Liberty Mountain. McLean joined Jason Dixon (467) and Dan Kennard (471) as the only two-year letterwinners to reach the 400 rebound milestone. Dixon and McLean are the only ones to accomplish the feat since Liberty's move to NCAA Division I.

Alex McLean 500th Rebound Take Two
Senior Alex McLean became the 48th player in Big South history to reach the 500 rebound plateau and only the second player in league history to play only two seasons in the conference and reach the milestone.

Anthony Smith Reaches 1,000 Career Points
Junior Anthony Smith scored 17 points while eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau on Feb. 16 at Coastal Carolina. With 15 points scored on Jan. 21 versus Coastal Carolina, Smith became the 20th player in program history, and the ninth since Liberty moved to Division I, to score 900 career points. Every player in program history who has scored at least 900 career points has reached the 1,000-point plateau.

Next on the Scoring List for Anthony Smith
With 1,024 career points, Anthony Smith sits 18th all-time in Liberty annals for scoring, having passed Mike Goad (1,013) with his 20-point performance Monday at Charleston Southern. Next on the list is Mike Coleman (1,065), who owns the 17th spot on Liberty's career scoring list. Coleman was a four-year letterwinner from 1989-92.

Freshman First
Jeremy Anderson became the first Flame freshman to score 20 or more points in a game since David Dees scored 22 points against St. Joesph's in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Anderson hit the mark exactly (20) on Jan. 28 at VMI.

Bannister Breaks Assist Record
Senior TeeJay Bannister dished out 12 assists on Monday at Charleston Southern, helping him pass Marcus White's (181) Liberty Division I season record for assists. White set the record in 1997, the last year Liberty reached the 20-win plateau.

Bannister now has 191 assists this season. If Bannister holds his season average, he will finish the year with the second-best assist number during a season in program history. Ed Gomes dished out 256 assists in 1976. With his 7.4 assist average, Bannister could have 216 assists through the quarterfinals of the Big South Championship.

Tee Hitting the Jay
In his last seven games, TeeJay Bannister is connecting on 57.1 percent (8-of-14) of his attempts from three-point land. In his previous 19 games he was only hitting 28.5 percent (8-of-28) of his attempts.

Jeremy Anderson Attempts a Two-Point Field Goal
Freshman Jeremy Anderson attempted his first two-point field goal on Jan. 28 at VMI. Anderson, who missed Liberty's first nine games with an injury, tallied a two-point field goal on his 50th field goal attempt of the season. The previous 49 attempts all came from behind the three-point line. After connecting on both his two-point field goals on Feb. 9 against UNC Asheville, Anderson was a perfect 4-of-4 inside the arc, before missing his first attempt against Winthrop on Feb. 12.