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MBB Game Day Central: Samford

March 18, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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MBB Game Day Central: Samford


Game Day Central page


Liberty vs Samford notes


TV Coverage:
Facebook Live – Liberty Flames
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Matt Warner
Color Commentator: Paul Nazigian

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WPLY 98.5/105.9 FM (Lynchburg)
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Alan York

The Game

The Liberty men's basketball team will hosts its second straight game in the Tournament (CIT) as they welcome Samford to the Vines Center. The Flames are coming off a first round win over Norfolk State while the Bulldogs are looking for its second win in the CIT after defeating Canisius at home.  


Matchup Notes

• This will be the fourth meeting all-time between Liberty and Samford.

• The schools have not faced each other since Jan. 7, 1991 (Samford won, 62-61).

• A third place in the Big South ties for the highest finish under coach McKay. Liberty finished third in 2008-09.

• Head coach Ritchie McKay is 2-1 all-time at Liberty in postseason tournaments.

• Liberty returns to the postseason for the first time since making the NCAA Tournament during the 2010-11 season.

• Samford finished seventh in the SoCon Conference with an appearance in the SoCon Championship.


Quick Notes

• Liberty looks for its first 20-win season since 2008-09 when the Flames went 23-12.

• Ryan Kemrite joined the 800-point club against Longwood as he now sits in 30th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 812 career points.

• For the first time in school history, Liberty has won 14 games in the Big South.

• Out of 347 teams, the Flames rank no. 19 in the country in scoring defense (63.1 ppg).

• In conference play, Liberty has had eight games decided by seven points or less. In those games, two of them were against Radford.

• For the third time in school history Liberty avoided back-to-back losses in the Big South.


Series History

Liberty vs. Samford (Fifth All-Time Meeting, Samford leads 4-0)


Coaching Matchup

Liberty Head Coach: Ritchie McKay

Overall Record:  236-218 (15th season)

Record at Liberty: 71-60 (Fourth season)

Big South Record: 43-25

Record vs. Samford: 0-0


Samford Head Coach: Scott Padgett

Overall Record: 47-53 (Third Season)

Record at Samford: Same

SoCon Record: 18-36

Record vs. Liberty: 0-0


Notes and Anecdotes – Samford

• In the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll, Liberty was picked to finish second in the conference, while Samford was picked seventh in the SoCon Conference.

• Samford will be the eighth team Liberty has played this year that has won 20 games.

• Samford has won three of its last four games, making a run in the SoCon Championship.   

• Liberty last played in the CIT in 2008-09 when they defeated Rider in the first round and lost to James Madison in the quarterfinals.

• Under Coach McKay the past two seasons, Liberty is 20-4 when they hold its opponents to 62 points or fewer.

• Ritchie McKay coached Scott Padgett with USA Basketball before his senior year at Kentucky in 1997. That year the USA won the Gold medal in Sicily.


Team Talking Points:

• Liberty ranks no. 20 in scoring defense (63.1 ppg) and first in the Big South

• During conference games, Liberty has allowed opponents to a league-best 61.5 points per game

• On road games during conference play, the Flames have averaged 73.3 points per game compared to just 61.2 at home

• In Liberty's five losses at home (VCU, Furman, Princeton, UNC Asheville and Winthrop) each team has sat in first place or has been tied for first place in their conference this season

Ryan Kemrite moved into a tie for 27th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 842 career points

• Liberty currently is second in the Big South and ranks no. 36 in the country, averaging 9.2 three-point field goals per game (302-of-840/36.0 percent)

• Liberty has made 302 three pointers this, which ranks no. 33 in Division I

• Liberty currently ranks no. 131 in the country and seventh in the Big South in three-point field goal percentage (36.0 percent)

• Liberty took its offense on the road, shooting 45.8 percent from the field in conference play but has struggled at home shooting 43.6 percent

• Ritchie McKay picked up his 70th career win at Liberty on Feb. 14 with a win over High Point

• When Liberty has played on the road in Big South games, they have won by an average of 7.9 points

• For the first time this season and the first time since Dec. 3, 2015 at Radford, the Liberty bench was held scoreless after not contributing points against UNC Asheville

• On the season, the Flames currently rank eighth in the Big South and no. 225 in the country (out of 347 teams) in field goal shooting percentage (43.3 percent/733-1683)

• On the season, the Flames are shooting 4.7 percent better during the second half (first half shooting percentage 40.5/308-of-761; second half shooting percentage 45.5/334-of-734)

• The Flames have shot 40 percent or better from three-point range in 15 of their 20 wins

• In its 20 wins this season, Liberty has shot a combined 46.2 percent from the field (448-of-969)

• In its 13 setbacks this year, Liberty has shot a combined 38.7 percent from the floor (254-of-657)

• Liberty is 7-7 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 has shot 70 percent or better from the free-throw line 23 times this year and currently ranks third in the Big South in free throw shooting percentage (73.8 percent/429-of-581)

• Liberty has forced 10 or more turnovers in 24 of 33 games this season and ranks third in the Big South in turnovers forced (14.3 per game)