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Game Day Central: Charleston Southern

December 30, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central: Charleston Southern

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Liberty vs. Charleston Southern game notes

Game Time:
2 p.m.

Official Tipoff:
2:05 p.m.

TV Coverage:
Big South Network
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Kevin O'Rourke
Color Commentator: John Peters

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WPLY 98.5 FM (Lynchburg)
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Alan York

The Game
Liberty will conclude its first road trip within the Big South Conference in South Carolina with a matchup against Charleston Southern. The Flames have a chance to get their first sweep in the first week of conference play since the 2010-11 season when they defeated Presbyterian and Winthrop on Dec. 2 and 4 in 2010.

Matchup Notes
• This will be the 62nd meeting between Liberty and Charleston Southern in school history.
• Last year, Charleston Southern swept the series over the Flames with a 68-61 defeat at the Vines Center on Dec. 5, 2015, followed by a nail-biting 64-63 loss at the Buc Dome on Jan. 14, 2016.
• The last time Liberty defeated Charleston Southern was on March 10, 2013, in the Big South Championship title game, sending the Flames to the NCAA Tournament with a 87-76 win in Conway, S.C.
• The last time the Flames defeated CSU at the Buc Dome during the regular season was on Feb. 9, 2012 with a thrilling 75-74 victory.
• Head coach Ritchie McKay is 1-2 all-time at the Buc Dome. On Feb. 14, 2009, McKay led the Flames to a 95-80 win over Charleston Southern.

Quick Notes
Ryan Kemrite led Liberty with 16 points in its conference opener against Presbyterian.
• Liberty handed Presbyterian's first loss at home this season on Thursday (77-61).
• In the Big South Preseason Coaches Poll, Liberty was picked to finish second in the conference, while PC was slotted at seven.
• The freshmen duo of Brock Gardner and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz combined for 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists against Presbyterian on Thursday.
• Liberty ended non-conference with the best scoring defense in the Big South, allowing a league-best 65.8 points per game.
• 2016 Big South Coach of the Year Ritchie McKay is in his fourth year as head coach at Liberty.

Series History
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern Series History:
Liberty leads, 33-28

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Ritchie McKay
Overall Record:  223-213 (15th season)
Record at Liberty: 58-55 (Fourth season)

Charleston Southern Head Coach: Barclay Radebaugh
Overall Record: 173-202 (13th season)
Record at Lamar: 152-194 (12th season)

Notes and Anecdotes – Charleston Southern
• The Buccaneers have won its last five meetings against Liberty
• Liberty was picked to finish second in the Big South Preseason Coaches Poll, while Charleston Southern was picked to finish seventh
• At the end of the non-conference schedule, Liberty ranked seventh in the Big South with a 5-8 record, while Charleston Southern was tied in eighth place with Presbyterian (4-7 record)
• Saturday's game will be a battle of one of the top offenses in the Big South against one of the best defenses. The Bucs average 75.2 points per game, which ranks third in the conference, while Liberty has the top defense in the Big South, limiting opponents to 65.4 points per contest

Team Talking Points:
• The Flames snapped a five game losing streak on the road this season with its 77-61 win at Presbyterian on Thursday
• During its previous five setbacks on the road, the Flames had lost by an average of 19.0 points per game
• Liberty's win on Thursday at PC marked the first time the Blue Hose had lost at home this year
• Liberty is now 4-3 at home this season with its three setbacks coming by a combined 11 points or an average of 3.67 points per game (VCU L/59-64; Furman L/58-61; Princeton L/64-67)
• Liberty is 1-5 on the road this season and has not won a non-conference road game since defeating Western Carolina, 63-62, on Dec. 31, 2012
• Liberty's wins over UMass Lowell and Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 21 and 23) marked the first time the Flames have defeated NCAA Division I non-conference opponents in consecutive games since November 2013
• During Liberty's win over PC on Thursday, the Flames shot 44.4 percent during the first half (12-of-27) and 65.4 percent during the second half (17-of-26)
• On the season, the Flames are shooting 10.5 percent better during the second half (first half shooting percentage 38.8/141-of-363; second half shooting percentage 49.3/176-of-357)
• On the season, the Flames currently rank seventh in the Big South and No. 224 in the country (out of 347 teams) in field goal shooting percentage (44.0 percent/317-of-720)
• In its six wins this season, Liberty has shot a combined 48.6 percent from the field (158-of-325)
• In its eight setbacks this year, Liberty has shot a combined 40.2 percent from the floor (159-of-395)
• Liberty finished the Presbyterian game shooting 46.2 percent from three-point range (12-of-26), including 58.3 percent during the second half (7-of-12)
• The Flames shot 46.2 percent from the three-point line against Presbyterian, the third highest percentage from Liberty this season
• The Flames have shot better than 40 percent from three-point range in five of their six wins (41.4 percent vs. Carin; 43.8 percent vs. UMass Lowell; 53.8 percent vs. Mississippi Valley State; 19.2 percent vs. Central Penn; 46.2 percent at Presbyterian)
• Liberty currently leads the Big South and ranks No. 35 in the country, averaging 9.50 three-point field goals per game (133-of-353/37.6 percent)
• Liberty has connected on 10 or more three-pointers the last two games (11 vs. Houston; 12 vs. Presbyterian) and has hit 10 or more three-pointers in six games this season
• Last year, Liberty finished 12 out of 32 games connecting on 10 or more three-pointers
• The Flames have finished the last two games shooting 87.5 percent from the free throw line, hitting 7-of-8 attempts from the charity stripe against both Houston and PC
• Liberty has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line eight times this year and currently ranks fifth in the Big South in free throw shooting percentage (69.2 percent/171-of-247)
• Liberty's bench players outscored PC's players by 12 points, 28-16, marking the most points off the bench for the Flames since Nov. 21 against UMass Lowell (34 points)
• PC finished the game on Thursday with a seven rebound advantage over the Flames (30 to 23)
• Liberty has lost the rebounding battle in nine of 14 games this season
• Liberty is currently eighth in the Big South and ranks No. 307 out of 347 NCAA Division I schools in rebounding margin (-4.4 rpg)
• Liberty currently leads the Big South in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 65.4 points per game
• Liberty has forced 10 or more turnovers in 10 of 14 games this season and ranks fourth in the Big South in turnovers forced (14.4 per game)
• Flames Head Coach Ritchie McKay continues to utilize his bench well this year, averaging 11.93 players played per game (14 vs. Indiana; 13 vs. Cairn, Mississippi Valley State, Lamar and Presbyterian; 12 vs. UMass Lowell, UNCG and Princeton; 11 vs. VCU, William & Mary, Central Penn, Furman and Houston; 10 vs. UNCG)