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Game Day Central: William & Mary
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Pregame Show: 6 p.m.
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m.
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The Liberty men's basketball team makes its Vines Center debut, Monday night, playing host to William & Mary of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Flames own a 4-2 record over the Tribe since the series began in 2002. The pair met twice in the same week last season, with Liberty taking the first meeting, 75-72, inside Kaplan Arena (Nov. 14, 2011). William & Mary returned the favor at the Vines Center six days later, edging the Flames 65-64. Game time for the seventh meeting is slated for 7 p.m.
What to Watch for
- Liberty is 31-9 all-time in home openers, including 18-4 all-time when playing its first game of the season in the Vines Center. The Flames have won seven straight home openers. The last time Liberty dropped a home opener was on Nov. 19, 2004, when the Flames fell to New Hampshire, 59-58.
- Liberty will no doubt look to reduce the amount of turnovers against the Tribe. The Flames' 18 miscues at Richmond are the most since the 2010-11 season (19 at Coastal Carolina, Feb. 3, 2011). In the two meetings against William & Mary last season, Dale Layer's squad averaged 11 turnovers.
- The Flames are also looking to bounce back from their third-lowest scoring total during Layer's coaching tenure. Liberty's 42 points against Richmond is the lowest point total since the Flames posted 41 against Old Dominion (Nov. 19, 2009) during Layer's first season as head coach.
- John Caleb Sanders would love to forget the conclusion of last year's meeting with William & Mary inside the Vines Center, missing back-to-back free throws which allowed the Tribe to hang on for the 65-64 victory. Last season, the Sugar Land, Texas native averaged 12 ppg in games against William & Mary. If he surpasses that mark in Monday's matchup, don't call it a comeback.
- Point guard Davon Marshall certainly has some big shoes to fill at the No. 1 spot. Against Richmond, he proved he could handle the pressure, displaying his scoring ability with a team-high 12 points. With his Liberty debut behind him, he should be well prepared for his second act.