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MBB Game Day Central: VMI

February 13, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Flames guard Jesse Sanders

Game Day Central Page

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

Complete Game Notes


Video Streaming Coverage:
ESPN3.com (Exclusive)

Radio Coverage:
Provided by the Flames Sports Network

Broadcast - Tip-Off:
7:06 p.m.  vs. VMI                                

Flagship Station:
Victory FM (88.3 FM WRVL)

Network Affiliates:
Full List of Victory FM Network Affiliates

The Game
After picking up a pair of key Big South road wins this past week, the Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center on Tuesday. Winners of four of their last five, the Flames host a Keydets squad that is coming off two straight losses and is 2-12 away from Cameron Hall. With the all-time series tied, 13-13, Liberty is looking to take the advantage in the series en route to a three-game winning streak.

Duggar Baucom's team took the first meeting this season, besting the Flames inside Cameron Hall, 71-57. Since then, VMI is 4-4, while the Flames are 6-3. Despite VMI's struggle on the road, the Keydets pose a threat as the No. 4 scoring offense in the country, averaging 82.2 ppg. Tipoff for Tuesday's clash is slated for 7 p.m.

Recent Results
Riding the momentum of a thrilling buzzer beater at Charleston Sothern on Thursday, the Liberty men's basketball team stepped into Presbyterian College's Templeton Center, Saturday night, looking to add to its recent success. The Flames did just that thanks to sharp shooting, breaking away in the second half and snapping the Blue Hose's three-game win streak with a 77-64 victory.

The win moves the Flames to 11-16 on the year and 6-9 in Big South play. PC falls to 11-14 overall and 5-10 in conference action. Liberty is now 6-5 in the all-time series. The Flames have now won four of its last five road games, including three straight.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
Tuesday's game will be streamed live exclusively on ESPN3.com with Patrick Kinas providing play-by-play and Nate Ross joining him on color commentary.

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.

Series History
Series Record:
Series tied 13-13
Current Streak: VMI won the most recent meeting
Liberty Series Record at the Vines Center: 8-4
Last Meeting: VMI 71, Liberty 57 (Jan. 10, 2012)
Last Liberty Victory: Liberty 100, VMI 82 (Jan. 20, 2011)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Dale Layer
Overall Record (Season): 316-239 (19th)
Record at Liberty (Season): 45-45 (Third)
Record vs. VMI: 3-2

VMI Head Coach: Duggar Baucom
Overall Record (Seasons): 99-107 (Seventh)
Record at VMI (Season): 136-126 (Ninth)
Record vs. Liberty: 7-9

Notes and Anecdotes
- The Flames have won their last two games against the Keydets inside the Vines Center by a margin of 18 points.

- VMI enters the contest as the No. 4 offense in the country (82.2 ppg) behind No. 5 North Carolina (83.5), Iona (83.2) and fellow Big South member UNC Asheville (82.8).

- Dating back to the 2006-07 season, Liberty's last five 100-point games have come against VMI. The Keydets themselves have had four 100-point games this season.

- While Antwan Burrus was featured at No. 2 on Sports Center for his buzzer beating three-pointer Thursday night, it wasn't the first time the big man has made the Top 10, doing so against the Keydets the last time they played in the Vines Center (Jan. 20, 2011). Upon receiving an acrobatic pass from John Brown, Burrus finished with a two-handed jam to make the national highlight reel at the No. 8 spot that night. Liberty went on to win, 100-82.

- In Liberty's last meeting with VMI, Antwan Burrus was the only Liberty player to post double scoring figures, finishing with 10. Burrus has come up big for the Flames against the Keydets, averaging 13.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg in his five games versus VMI. The junior's career highs for points, rebounds and assists date back to Jan. 28, 2010 when he led the Flames with 20 tallies, 13 boards and six dimes versus the Keydets.

- Following its contest with Liberty, the Keydets host a Sears BracketBusters matchup with CAA member William & Mary. The Flames played the Tribe twice this season, winning inside Kaplan Arena, 75-72 (Nov. 14) and then falling narrowly in the Vines Center, 65-64 (Nov. 20).

News and Notes from Liberty's game versus Presbyterian College (Feb. 11)
- Liberty finished the contest with its best shooting performance of the season. The Flames shot 57.1 percent (28-of-49) from the field, marking the second straight game Liberty has shot over 55.0 percent.

- The Flames shot at a 70.8 percent (17-of-24) clip during the second half, its best single half shooting performance of the season. PC had a strong shooting performance, as well, finishing with 54.3 percent (25-of-46) from the field.

- The Flames won the rebounding battle decidedly, 29-14, holding PC well below its season average of 29.5 boards per game. The mark is the fewest rebounds allowed by the Flames since the Blue Hose were held to 14 at the Vines Center on Feb. 6, 2010. In that contest, Liberty had 35 boards.

- Jesse Sanders led the Flames with 19 points, six rebounds and 10 assists, followed by Antwan Burrus with 15 points. John Caleb Sanders had 13 tallies, while Tavares Speaks and David Minaya each had 11. Alonzo Coleman paced PC with 19 points, followed by Pierre Miller, who had 15.

- The Liberty defense held Alonzo Coleman to just six points in the opening half. Coleman went 2-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe.
- Liberty shot 81.8 percent from the charity stipe, hitting 18-of-22 shots at the foul line.

Miscellaneous Notes
- Antwan Burrus' 30-foot three-point buzzer beater to give the Flames a 75-74 win over Charleston Southern last Thursday appeared at No. 2 on ESPN's Sports Center Top 10. The bucket, which was also featured on College Game Day, was the junior's second three-point attempt of his collegiate career. Burrus' other attempt only other attempt occurred during his freshman year against the University of Central Florida (Dec. 29, 2009).

- In its last five games, Liberty has shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53) from three-point range, while holding their opponents to 29.5 percent (28-of-95). During the span, the Flames are also shooting 75.6 percent (65-of-86) from the foul line. Liberty's opponents have shot 67.7 percent (42-of-62) from the charity stripe.

- Three current Flames are listed among the program's Top 40 scorers of all-time – Jesse Sanders (16th, 1,176), David Minaya (32nd, 733) and Antwan Burrus (35th, 699).

- Liberty is currently second in the conference in free throw shooting with 72.0 percent. If the Flames finish the season at that mark, it will be the fifth-best percentage by a Liberty squad in program history.

- Jesse Sanders is third in the country in assists with 8.1 apg, trailing Iona's Scott Machado (10.0 apg) and North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (9.6 apg). Sanders is averaging 3.6 apg more than Coastal Carolina's Kierre Greenwood, who is second in the Big South in dimes with 4.5 per game.

- Jesse Sanders is the only player in Big South history with 1,000 career points (1,176), 700 career rebounds (774) and 600 career assists (691).

- Last season, John Caleb Sanders posted 126 points on the year. The sophomore guard currently has 320 tallies through 27 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 26.5 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 11 this season. Liberty's single-season record is 15, held by Alex McLean (2008) and Mike Coleman (1990).

- Jesse Sanders has 219 assists this season, ranking fifth in program history in single season assists. Sanders needs six more to surpass TeeJay Banister for the most assists recorded in a single season by a senior. Sanders is also approaching Liberty's single-season record, held by Ed Gomes (256; 1976).