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MBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb

January 25, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central
Liberty Game Notes

Matchup Notes
- A.C. Reid and Ezra Talbert are each coming off some of their top scoring efforts of the season against High Point, Saturday. Reid's 15 points marked his third highest performance of the year, while Talbert's 14 tallies represent his second best single-game total, this season.

- John Dawson delivered his second game-winning bucket in his budding career with the Flames, this past Saturday. With less than two seconds left, Dawson connected on a layup to give Liberty the 69-67 victory. On Jan. 6, Dawson swished a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining at Coastal Carolina to help Liberty garner its first road win in nearly two years.

- Each of the Flames' four conference wins have been decided by one possession. Four of Liberty's five Big South losses have been decided by seven points or less.

- Liberty is knocking down exactly 10 three-pointers per game in the month of January, while holding opponents to 5.6 treys per game during the seven-game span. The Flames have hit a combined 24 three-pointers in the last two games, shooting a percentage of .436 (24-of-55) from downtown.

- Liberty is second in the Big South in scoring defense on the year, holding teams to 66.8 ppg. In conference games, the Flames are first in the league, holding their opponents to 63.4 ppg.

- In conference games, John Dawson is ninth in scoring, averaging 14.4 ppg. The redshirt sophomore is also first in defensive rebounds in Big South games, pulling down six per contest.

Notes and Anecdotes
- Liberty and Gardner-Webb have matched up once during the regular season in each of the last four years. This year, the Flames and the Runnin' Bulldogs will meet twice in the regular season for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign. That season, the Flames took both meetings against Gardner-Webb. The first was a 64-62 overtime win inside Paul Porter Arena on Jan. 31, 2010. Flames all-time assist leader Jesse Sanders swished a clutch jumper with four seconds left in the extra period to clinch the victory. Liberty then followed up with a 67-51 decision in the Vines Center (Jan. 29, 2016). Of course, the two squads matched up twice in the 2012-13 campaign. Gardner-Webb hosted the Flames, edging Liberty, 71-68 (Feb. 9, 2013). The second meeting took place in the semifinals of the 2013 Big South Men's Basketball Championship. Liberty won the matchup, 65-62 (March 9, 2013).

- Ritchie McKay is 2-1 all-time versus Gardner-Webb. In McKay's first stint with the Flames, Liberty and Gardner-Webb met three times during the 2008-09 season, the Runnin' Bulldogs first year in the Big South. The Flames defeated Gardner-Webb, 68-59, in the Vines Center (Dec. 6, 2008). The Runnin' Bulldogs avenged the loss at Paul Porter Arena (Feb. 4, 2009), edging the Flames in double overtime, 95-90. Liberty guard Kyle Ohman had 38 points in the defeat. Liberty won the rubber match in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Big South Championship, earning the 88-77 decision inside the Vines Center (March 3, 2009).

News and Notes vs. High Point
- John Dawson's late-game heroics came through again for the Liberty men's basketball team, Saturday afternoon in the Vines Center. With the Flames and Big South leader High Point tied, Dawson drove to the basket and connected on a layup with less than two seconds left, sealing the 69-67 final.

- Sophomore guard A.C. Reid paced the Liberty offense with 15 points, going 5-of-8 from three-point land. Redshirt freshman Ezra Talbert was also instrumental in the contest, posting 14 points. Talbert went 3-of-3 from long distance, which included two key three-pointers during the final 3:07. Dawson's game-winning shot pushed him to an 11-point performance on the day. The redshirt sophomore also had seven rebounds.

- High Point guard John Brown, who entered the contest averaging 19.6 ppg, led all scorers with 22 points. Anthony Lindauer (13) and Adam Weary (12) rounded out the Panthers' double-digit scorers.

- With the win, Liberty moved to 7-15 overall and 4-5 in Big South action. High Point, who came into the game tied for first place in the Big South with UNC Asheville, moved to 13-7 on the year and 6-3 in conference play.

- The Flames shot 51.0 percent (26-of-51) from the field, marking their third best shooting percentage, this season. Liberty benefited from sharp shooting in the second period, hitting 14-of-23 shots (60.9 percent). The Flames' 13 three-pointers tied their second best mark of the season.

- High Point also shot well on the afternoon, closing the contest shooting at a 55.3 percent clip (26-of-47). The Panthers found their rhythm inside, outscoring Liberty in the paint, 40-24. However, the visitors were limited from downtown, going 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) for the game.