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MBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb

February 20, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Ryan Kemrite

Ryan Kemrite

Game Day Central
Complete Game Notes

The Game
The Liberty men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, squaring off with Gardner-Webb. The Flames hope to avoid going winless on the road this season, while the Runnin' Bulldogs hope to bounce back after three straight losses. Liberty is looking for its first win over Gardner-Webb inside Paul Porter Arena since a 64-62 overtime win on Dec. 31, 2010. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest streaming live on the Big South Network.

What to Watch for
- After his career-high 21-point performance on Tuesday, Andrew Smith is now 42nd all-time on Liberty's career scoring list with 673 tallies. The State Farm Dark Horse Dunker Competitor is also 13th on the program's rebounding list with 521 boards.

- Theo Johnson concluded Tuesday's contest with 17 points, his second highest scoring performance of the season. Johnson is averaging 13.6 ppg in the last five games and is pacing the Flames' offense during the span.

- In the six games freshman point guard Jordan Dembley has started, the Flames have averaged 13.5 turnovers per game. In the 22 games prior, the Flames were averaging 17.3 miscues per contest.

- In its 15 conference games, Liberty is averaging 60.7 ppg and allowing 73.2 ppg. The Flames are shooting 412 percent compared to 43.4 percent for their opponents. Liberty is grabbing 33.3 boards per game, while opponents are averaging 34.6. The Flames are committing 15.9 turnovers in conference play and forcing 11.0 per game.

- In games played away from the Vines Center, Liberty is averaging 58.7 ppg compared to 72.4 ppg for its opponents. The Flames are shooting 40.3 percent, while opponents are shooting 43.6 percent. Liberty is also committing 17.6 turnovers, and forcing 12.2 per game.

- The last time Liberty went the entire season without winning a true road game was the 2005-06 campaign. The Flames finished 0-14 in road games that year.

Notes and Anecdotes
- Head coach Dale Layer currently has a 8-3 record against Gardner-Webb (6-2 while at Liberty). 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.

- Liberty and Gardner-Webb have matched up once during the regular season in each of the last three years. The Flames have not met the Runnin' Bulldogs twice in the regular season since the 2010-11 season, taking both meetings against Gardner-Webb. Of course, the two squads matched up twice in the 2012-13 campaign, with second meeting taking place in the semifinals of the 2013 Big South Basketball Championship. Liberty won the matchup, 65-62 (March 9, 2013).

- Last season's meeting marked Gardner-Webb's first-ever road win over Liberty. Jerome Hill paced the Runnin' Bulldogs with 13 points in the 68-52 victory. Gardner-Webb led by as much as 24 in the contest. Tomasz Gielo led Liberty with 11 points, followed by Andrew Smith and John Caleb Sanders who each had 10.

News and Notes vs. Longwood - 2/17/15
- The Liberty men's basketball team hosted Longwood, Tuesday night, hoping to remain undefeated inside the Vines Center against the Lancers. Unfortunately for the Flames, solid shooting from the visitors allowed Longwood (8-20, 4-11 Big South) to pick up its first-ever win over Liberty (7-21, 1-14 Big South) in the facility with a 78-72 win.

- Longwood now leads the all-time series, 21-10. The Lancers pick up their first road win against the Flames since Feb. 8, 1988, when Liberty defeated Longwood in the Schilling Center, 61-53. The Flames are now 5-1 inside the Vines Center all-time against the Lancers.

- Andrew Smith led the Flames with a career-high 21 points, becoming the fifth Liberty player to score 20 or more points, this season. Smith also had 12 rebounds to accompany his point total. Theo Johnson followed up with 17 points.

- Leron Fisher paced the Lancers with a game-high 24 points, followed by Shaquille Johnson (18) and Quincy Taylor (14).

- Longwood shot 49.0 percent (25-of-21), while the Flames shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56). The Lancers hit 10 treys on the night compared to four for Liberty. The Flames edged Longwood in the paint, 34-26.