Flames Home > Men's Basketball Home > News

MBB Game Day Central: Morgan State

February 17, 2012
|  Baltimore, Md.
|   RSS
|   Share

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

Radio Coverage:
Provided by the Flames Sports Network

Broadcast - Tip-Off:
1 p.m.  vs. Morgan State                                

Flagship Station:
Victory FM (88.3 FM WRVL)

Network Affiliates:
Full List of Victory FM Network Affiliates

The Game
Stepping out of conference play on Saturday, the Liberty men's basketball team heads to Baltimore, Md., to square off against Morgan State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The matchup is part of the Sears BracketBusters series. Liberty is looking for its first series win, having gone 0-3 in BracketBusters games.

The Flames and the Bears have met just once previously, with the matchup taking place nearly 30 years ago on Jan. 22, 1983. Liberty took the contest inside the Schilling Center, 68-51. Dale Layer's squad hopes to pick up another win against the Bears to extend its current win streak to four games, while improving its all-time record against MEAC teams to 12-5. Tipoff for Saturday's contest is slated for 1 p.m.

Recent Results
The Liberty men's basketball team continued its winning ways with sharp shooting, Tuesday night, defeating Commonwealth competitor VMI, 78-69.

The Flames led by as much as 17 in the first half, but the relentless Keydets crawled back in the second half to close within three during the final three minutes of the contest. Liberty shot over 55 percent for the third straight contest, finishing with 57.1 percent (32-of-56) from the field. Despite the success from the field, Liberty struggled at the free throw line with a season low 52.2 percent (12-of-23), allowing the Keydets to close the distance late.

With the victory, Liberty moves to 12-14 overall and 7-9 in the Big South, finishing the night tied with the Keydets (12-16, 7-9 BSC) in the conference standings.

David Minaya led the Flames with 20 points, posting a career-high 10 made field goals. The performance marks the redshirt senior's third 20-point performance of the year. Jesse Sanders posted 16 points, while leading Liberty with a game-high 13 rebounds and five assists. Antwan Burrus chipped in 15 points for the second-straight game. Tavares Speaks rounded out Liberty's double-digit scorers with 10 tallies.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
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:
Liberty leads 1-0
Current Streak: Liberty won the most recent meeting
Liberty Record at Morgan State: First Meeting
Last Meeting: Liberty 68, Morgan State 51 (Jan. 22, 1983)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Dale Layer
Overall Record (Season): 317-239 (19th)
Record at Liberty (Season): 46-45 (Third)
Record vs. Morgan State:  0-0

Morgan State Head Coach: Todd Bozeman  
Overall Record (Seasons): 142-145
Record at Morgan State (Season): 107-83 (6th)
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0

Notes and Anecdotes
- Liberty is looking for its first BrackBusters win. The Flames are 0-3 when competing in the series, having previously lost to Niagara, Old Dominion and Iona.

-The Flames are competing on the road in the BracketBusters series for the third time. Last season, Liberty hosted a BracketBusters matchup for the first time since the series' inception.

- Saturday's contest marks the first meeting between the two squads in nearly 30 years. The previous matchup took place inside Liberty's Schilling Center on Jan. 22, 1983 during Jeff Meyer's second season as head coach. Back then, Liberty was still an NAIA institution, approximately five and a half years away from moving to NCAA Division I.

- Liberty has faced one other MEAC team this season, defeating Hampton inside the Vines Center on Dec. 17, 74-65.

- The two squads are expected to schedule a return match inside the Vines Center during November or December of the 2013-14 season.

- Liberty holds an 11-5 record over current members of the MEAC. The Flames are 2-0 against Coppin State, 0-1 against Delaware State, 1-0 against Florida A&M, 2-2 against Hampton, 2-0 versus Howard, 2-0 versus Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1-0 against Morgan State and 1-2 against Norfolk State.

Liberty's Last Three Games …
- Jesse Sanders and David Minaya have been a dynamic duo in scoring. Sanders has averaged 18.0 ppg during the span, while Minaya has followed closely behind with 17.0 ppg.

- Liberty has allowed 27.0 rpg, six less than the overall season average.

- Antwan Burrus has been the most accurate from the field, shooting 66.7 percent from the field.

- The Flames have shot 57.1 percent (92-of-161) from the field, including 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from three-point land. Liberty's opponents shot 45.9 percent (79-of-172) from the field during the span and 29.2 percent (21-of-72) behind the arc.

Miscellaneous Notes
- Antwan Burrus' 30-foot three-point buzzer beater to give the Flames a 75-74 win over Charleston Southern on Feb. 9 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).

- Three current Flames are listed among the program's Top 40 scorers of all-time – Jesse Sanders (16th, 1,192), David Minaya (31st, 753) and Antwan Burrus (33rd, 714).

- Jesse Sanders is third in the country in assists with 8.0 apg, trailing Iona's Scott Machado (9.9 apg) and North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (9.6 apg). Sanders is averaging 3.5 apg more than Coastal Carolina's Kierre Greenwood, who is second in the Big South in dimes with 4.5 per game.

- Jesse Sanders needs eight more points for 1,200, 13 more rebounds to reach 800 and five more assists for 700.

- Last season, John Caleb Sanders posted 126 points on the year. The sophomore guard currently has 326 tallies through 28 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 12 this season. Liberty's single-season record is 15, held by Alex McLean (2008) and Mike Coleman (1990).

- Jesse Sanders has 224 assists this season, ranking third in program history in single season assists. Sanders needs one 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).