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MBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb

February 1, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Flames Center Joel Vander Pol

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

MASN – Regional Coverage (Tape Delay)
Game will air at 9 p.m.

ESPN3.com – National Coverage
Game will be Carried Live

ESPN FullCourt – National Coverage (Subscription required)
Game will be Carried Live

Video Streaming Coverage:
Big South Network

Radio Coverage:
Provided by the Flames Sports Network

Broadcast - Tip-Off:
7:05 p.m.  vs. Gardner-Webb                                

Flagship Station:
Victory FM (88.3 FM WRVL)

Network Affiliates:
Full List of Victory FM Network Affiliates

The Game
The Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center on Thursday, playing host to Gardner-Webb. The contest marks the 10th meeting between the two squads, with Liberty holding a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series. Liberty carries a 4-0 home record against the Runnin' Bulldogs and is currently on a five-game win streak versus the conference opponent. Tipoff inside the Vines Center is slated for 7 p.m.

Recent Results
After a narrow defeat at Winthrop on Thursday, the Liberty men's basketball team bounced back, Saturday afternoon, defeating Radford inside the Dedmon Center, 67-65.

The victory moves the Flames to 8-15 overall and 3-8 in the Big South. Radford falls to 4-20 on the year and 1-11 in conference play.

Liberty has now won four straight contests against Radford, sweeping the Highlanders for two consecutive years. The Flames' victory also marks the fourth win in a row inside the Dedmon Center.

For the second straight contest, David Minaya and Antwan Burrus served as Liberty's dynamic duo, pacing the Flames' offense with 15 points each. Jesse Sanders concluded the night with 11 points and a team-leading seven rebounds and six assists. Javonte Green led the Highlanders with a game-high 20 points and eight boards. Freshman guard R.J. Price finished as Radford's other double-digit scorer with 16 tallies.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
Liberty's clash with the Runnin' Bulldogs will be broadcast live on the Liberty Channel, and ESPN FullCourt with Ray Jones providing the play-by-play and Tim Scarborough serving as the color analyst.

There will be a Flames Sports Network radio broadcast (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) for Saturday's contest with Alan York providing the play-by-play. 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 and ESPN3.com.

Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 6-3
Current Streak: Liberty is on a five-game win streak
Liberty Series Record at Home: 4-0
Last Meeting: Liberty 67, Gardner-Webb 51 (Jan. 29, 2011)
Last Gardner-Webb Victory: Gardner-Webb 95, Liberty 90 (2OT) (Feb. 4, 2011)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Dale Layer
Overall Record (Season): 313-238 (19th)
Record at Liberty (Season): 42-44 (Third)
Record vs. Gardner-Webb: 6-1

Gardner-Webb Head Coach: Chris Holtmann
Overall Record (Season): 21-34 (Second)
Record at Gardner-Webb (Season): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-2

Notes and Anecdotes
- Thursday's contest marks the only regular-season meeting between the Flames and the Runnin' Bulldogs this year.

- Liberty has averaged 73 points against Gardner-Webb in its four wins over the Runnin' Bulldogs in the Vines Center, winning by an average margin of 12 points.

- Liberty has shot over 75 percent from the charity stripe in the last three contests.

- Head coach Dale Layer currently has a 5-1 record against Gardner-Webb. During Layer's tenure at Colorado State, the Rams matched up with the Bulldogs on three occasions. The first meeting took place on Nov. 29, 2001, resulting in a narrow Runnin' Bulldogs victory, 56-54. The following season, Layer's Rams avenged the loss, besting Gardner-Webb, 90-63, on Dec. 7, 2002. The last meeting took place on Dec. 6, 2003, with the Rams cruising past the Runnin' Bulldogs again, 89-59.

- The Flames are 11th in the Big South in three-point field goal shooting percentage (28.1) and will face a tough challenge from behind the arc on Thursday, as the Runnin' Bulldogs are tops in the Big South in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.8).

- Gardner-Webb is the alma mater of Jesse and John Caleb Sanders' older brother, Thomas. The elder Sanders transferred to Gardner-Webb, playing for the Runnin' Bulldogs the final two seasons the team was a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. In his senior season with the Runnin' Bulldogs, he was named 2008 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and received an honorable mention on the 2008 All-America team.

- Liberty's junior forward Antwan Burrus and Gardner-Webb's freshman forward Donta Harper will step on the court as opponents this Thursday, but for two years (2007-09) at South Central High School (Winterville, N.C.), they took the floor as teammates. During Burrus' final year (2008-09) at South Central, he averaged 22.2 points and 9.6 rebounds, leading the program to a 23-4 record. As a senior last year, Harper led the school to a state runner-up finish, averaging 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Burrus is averaging 10.8 points and 6.3 boards for the Flames this season. Harper has 4.4 ppg and 2.2 rpg for the Runnin' Bulldgos in his freshman season.

News and Notes from Liberty's game versus Radford (Jan. 28)
- Liberty has now won four straight contests against Radford, sweeping the Highlanders for two consecutive years. The Flames' victory also marks the fourth win in a row inside the Dedmon Center.

- Liberty concluded the contest with 41.5 percent shooting (22-of-53), while Radford shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56). The Flames held the advantage in the paint (30-28), off turnovers (10-9) and on second chance points (12-9).

- Despite being outrebounded in the opening half, 16-15, the Flames turned it around in the second. Liberty grabbed 23 boards compared to Radford's 12, ultimately winning the rebounding battle, 38-28.

- Liberty's eight assists against the Highlanders are the fewest since the Flames recorded seven in a 73-66 defeat at Presbyterian College (Feb. 26, 2011)

Miscellaneous Notes
- Liberty is currently second in the conference in free throw shooting with 72.1 percent. If the Flames finish the season at that mark, it will be the fifth-best percentage by a Liberty squad in program history.

- The Flames last five contests have been determined by two possessions or less.

- John Caleb Sanders needs four more points to reach 400 for his Liberty career.

- Jesse Sanders needs eight 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 (12.4 ppg), rebounds (7.9 rpg) and assists (8.1 apg). The Sugar Land Texas native is one of eight players in the country leading his team in all three categories. The last time a Big South play accomplished the feat was when Reggie Williams led VMI with 27.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists during the 2007-08 season.

- Jesse Sanders is third in the country in assists. Sanders is averaging about 3.5 apg more than Coastal Carolina's Kierre Greenwood, who is second in the Big South in dimes.

- Jesse Sanders is the only player in Big South history with 1,000 career points (1,121), 700 career rebounds (748) and 600 career assists (658).

- Last season, John Caleb Sanders posted 126 points on the year. The sophomore guard currently has 270 tallies through 23 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 26.2 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).

- After posting a total of nine double-doubles his first three seasons, Jesse Sanders has 10 this season. Liberty's single-season record is 15, held by Alex McLean (2008) and Mike Coleman (1990).