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MBB Game Day Central: Winthrop

January 25, 2012
|  Rock Hill, S.C.
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Flames guard Tavares Speaks

Game Day Central Page

Note: Includes all important Game Day links (live video, live audio, live stats, etc.)

Complete Game Notes

TV Coverage:

Liberty Channel - Local Coverage
(WTLU regionally in Lynchburg market)
Game will be Carried Live

Video Streaming Coverage:
Big South Network

Radio Coverage:
Provided by the Flames Sports Network

Broadcast - Tip-Off:
7 p.m.  vs. Winthrop

Flagship Station:
Victory FM (88.3 FM WRVL)

Network Affiliates:
Full List of Victory FM Network Affiliates

The Game
Coming off a hard fought victory against High Point on Saturday, the Liberty men's basketball team remains on the road Thursday, taking on Winthrop. The Flames look to avenge a 64-61 home overtime loss to the Eagles (Jan. 14) when they invade the Winthrop Coliseum, a place where they have tasted victory just five times since the series began nearly 20 years ago. A win in Rock Hill would give Liberty its first "W" inside the facility since the Flames bested the Eagles on Feb. 18, 2004, 74-62. Tipoff for the series' 47th meeting is slated for 7 p.m.

Recent Results
Jesse Sanders became the first player in Division I history to have a triple double in each of his four seasons, posting 14 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds en route to an 84-78 win for Liberty over High Point, Saturday night.

The victory inside the Millis Center marks Liberty's first conference road win of the season, and the fifth against High Point since the series began during the 1998-99 season.

Prior to Sanders' history making triple-double, only three other players had posted at least one triple double in three collegiate seasons – Shaquille O'Neal (LSU, 1989-92), Adonal Foyle (Colgate, 1994-97) and Shawn James (Northeastern/Duquesne, 2004-08).

A trio of Flames led Liberty with 15 points apiece – John Caleb Sanders, Antwan Burrus and David Minaya. Tavares Speaks chipped in 11 tallies to round out Liberty's double digit scorers.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
Liberty's clash with the Eagles will be broadcast live on the Liberty Channel with Alan York providing the play-by-play.

There will be a Flames Sports Network radio broadcast (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) for Saturday's contest. In addition to the radio broadcast, an Internet audio broadcast on LibertyFlames.com will be available. The game will also be video streamed live on the Big South Network.

Series History
Series Record:
Winthrop leads, 31-15
Current Streak: Winthrop is on a two-game win streak
Liberty Series Record at Winthrop Coliseum: 5-17
Last Meeting: Winthrop 64, Liberty 61 (OT) (Jan. 14, 2012)
Last Meeting at Winthrop Coliseum: Winthrop 61, Liberty 56 (Feb. 24, 2011)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Dale Layer
Overall Record (Season): 312-237 (19th)
Record at Liberty (Season): 41-43 (Third)
Record vs. Winthrop: 3-7

Winthrop Head Coach: Randy Peele
Overall Record (Season): 119-144 (Ninth)
Record at Winthrop (Season): 73-75 (Fifth)
Record vs. Liberty: 11-4

Notes and Anecdotes
- Prior to coaching at Winthrop, head coach Randy Peele served at the helm of former Big South member UNC Greensboro (1995-99). The Spartans were a member of the Big South in Peele's first two seasons at UNC Greensboro.

During that time, Peele garnered a 3-2 record against the Flames. In his inaugural season, Peele led the Spartans to a 20-10 record, defeating the Flames in the Big South Championship finals, 79-53. UNC Greensboro went on to be a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament, falling to No. 2 Cincinnati in the first round, 66-61.

- During Layer's tenure at Queens, the Royals matched up with Winthrop on four occasions, going 2-2 against the Eagles. The first meeting took place on Nov. 24, 1990, as the visiting Royals shocked the Eagles in their season opener in Rock Hill, S.C., 72-64.Winthrop also opened its season at home against Queens during the 1992-93 campaign on Dec. 2, 1992.

The Eagles avenged the loss from the previous meeting, besting the Royals, 92-84. The following season, the Royals upset the Eagles once again, earning an 85-77 decision (Dec. 15, 1993). Layer's last meeting with Winthrop while at Queens occurred on Dec. 11, 1994. The Eagles managed to even the series with Queens, edging out the Royals, 73-70.

- The Flames overtime period against the Eagles on Jan. 14 marked its first in almost a year since defeating UNC Asheville in the Vines Center, 83-81, on Jan. 27, 2011.

- Liberty is looking for its first win in the Winthrop Coliseum since the 2003-04 season, when the Flames bested the Eagles, 74-62, on Feb. 18, 2004. Liberty went on to win the Big South Championship that year, receiving the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

- Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Liberty's last six meetings versus the Eagles inside the Winthrop Coliseum have been decided by three possessions or less.

News and Notes from Liberty's game versus High Point (Jan. 21)
- Jesse Sanders garnered his fourth career triple double with 24 ticks left in the contest, grabbing his 10th rebound to complete the three category feat.

- Liberty finished the contest shooting 52.2 percent (24-of-46) from the field and went 32-of-41 from the free throw line. The Panthers concluded the game with 47.6 percent shooting (30-of-63).

- High Point won the rebounding battle, 33-30, and controlled the paint, 38-26. Free throws proved to be a considerable factor on the night, with the Flames outscoring the Panthers from the charity stripe, 32-13.

- Liberty did not score from the field in the final 3:34, hitting 13-of-18 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

- Liberty did not trail against the Panthers on Saturday, marking the first time the Flames have not relinquished the lead versus a conference opponent since March 3, 2009, when the Flames defeated Gardner-Webb at home in the Big South Championship Quarterfinals, 88-77. The last time Liberty did not trail against a Big South member during the regular season was Jan. 21, 2008, as the Flames bested
Coastal Carolina in the Vines Center, 78-59.

- The victory moves the Flames to 18-11 all-time against the Panthers.

Miscellaneous Notes
- Jesse Sanders is seven assists away from passing Karl Hess (648, 1977-80) as Liberty's all-time assist leader. Sanders also needs 24 rebounds to surpass Mike Coleman (1989-92) for fifth all-time on Liberty's career rebounding list.

- Jesse Sanders is currently leading the Flames in points (12.6 ppg), rebounds (8.0 rpg) and assists (8.1 apg). The Sugar Land Texas native is one of seven players in the country leading his team in all three categories. Sanders is third in the country in assists and is the first player in at least 15 years to average eight rebounds and eight assists. Sanders is the only player in Big South history with 1,000 career points (1,101), 700 career rebounds (733) and 600 career assists (642).

- Liberty has made 30 free throws or more in two of its last three games. Liberty's free throw total on Saturday is the most since the Flames went 32-of-45 at Radford (92-85, Feb. 28, 2009).

- Last season, John Caleb Sanders posted 126 points on the year. The sophomore guard currently has 251 tallies through 21 games this season. Sanders' minutes are up dramatically this season. After averaging 12.4 minutes per game in 2010-11, the Sugar Land, Texas native is averaging 26.0 per game, this year.

- Liberty currently has five players averaging double scoring figures. The Flames have had just one season with five players averaging 10 or more points per game, doing so during the program's second year (1973-74).