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MBB Game Day Central: Covenant

November 12, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central
Liberty Game Notes

The Games
Under the guidance of new head coach Ritchie McKay, the Liberty men's basketball team opens the 2015-16 season inside the Vines Center, Friday at 7 p.m. against Covenant. The Flames are 3-1 all-time against the Scots, with the most recent meeting taking place during the 1999-2000 season. The contest will stream live on the Big South Network and Liberty Flames Sports Network

The Flames make a quick turnaround on Saturday, hosting Summit at 7 p.m. Liberty is 2-0 all-time against the Defenders, with the series being renewed for the first time in nearly 35 years. The contest will also stream live on the Big South Network and Liberty Flames Sports Network.

Tis the Season
Liberty is 33-10 all-time in home openers, including 20-5 all-time when playing its first game of the season in the Vines Center. The Flames are beginning their season inside the Vines Center for the third straight year.

Youth Movement
Liberty sports one of the youngest rosters in NCAA Division I, this season, with 11 out of 12 players being underclassmen (just below 92 percent). The Flames are comprised of six freshmen and five sophomores. Following closely behind Liberty are Ohio State (85 percent) and Fairleigh Dickinson (85 percent) and Wyoming (80 percent).

Wanna Be Starting Something
Ryan Kemrite and A.C. Reid are the only two returning Flames with collegiate starting experience, combining for 20 total starts. Kemrite received the starting nod in 15 contests, last season, while Reid started for the Flames in five games.

Stepping Up
The Flames will rely heavily on fresh faces this season, as Liberty enters the 2015-16 campaign without 83.5 percent of its scoring, 87 percent of its rebounding and 87 percent of its total assists from last year.

Notes and Anecdotes
- While Friday's matchup is Liberty's home opener, it will be counted as an exhibition game for Covenant. The Scots competed in their first exhibition game on Nov. 6 at Chattanooga. The Mocs defeated the Scots, 91-63. Patjo Twagirayezu paced Covenant with 15 points, followed by Berto Dryden who had 13 tallies.

- Liberty is beginning the season with four straight home games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. That year, the Flames started the season with five consecutive contests inside the Vines Center, defeating Virginia-Wise, Tusculum. James Madison and Towson before dropping a 74-54 decision to Albany on Dec. 4, 2000. The Flames longest home streak to begin a season occurred during the 1982-83 campaign, when Liberty played eight straight games in the Schilling Center. That year, the Flames finished the season with a 23-9 record.

- While Liberty has won the last three meetings with Covenant, the Scots claimed the first matchup during Liberty's inaugural season (1972-73). The two teams clashed in Liberty's 18th game of the season, with Covenant earning the home victory, 76-74 (Feb. 2, 1973).