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Liberty to Square Off at East Carolina in Men's Hoops

November 16, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Anthony Smith leads the Flames in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

Anthony Smith leads the Flames in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

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Game Preview
Liberty hits the road again when it travels to face Conference USA foe East Carolina. Tip is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, inside the Minges Coliseum. The contest will mark Liberty's fourth game away from home in eight days and fifth game in nine days.

Saturday's contest will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WWMC 90.9 FM) with Jamie Hall providing play-by-play. Additionally, an Internet audio broadcast on will be available. Liberty Basketball, which normally can be heard on WRVL 88.3 FM, was moved
to WWMC 90.9 FM because of the overlap of Saturday's football showdown at Gardner-Webb.

Liberty Update
Liberty enters tonight's game coming off a 64-49 victory over Coker, Tuesday night, in the Flames' home opener. Anthony Smith collected his third career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Kyle Ohman scored a career-best 15 points, while Alex McLean chipped in 15 points in the win.
Prior to Tuesday's win, Liberty dropped three games at Fresno State's World Vision Classic. The Flames battled tournament champion San Diego State tough on Nov. 9, falling 62-50. Liberty was pitted against host Fresno State on Nov. 10, losing 71-62. On Nov. 11, Liberty went up
against West Coast Conference foe Portland, losing 73-62.

Alex McLean was named to the all-tournament team for his accomplishments. McLean averaged a double-double (11.7 points and 10.3 rebounds) over the three games. Rell Porter equaled a career-best 14 points on Friday versus San Diego State. B.J. Jenkins equaled his career high with 16 points on Saturday versus Fresno State.

TeeJay Bannister set a career high with 17 points on Sunday versus Portland. Bannister's previous
best was 15 points, which he accomplished twice while at Virginia. Bannister scored 15 against Wake Forest and Georgia.

Liberty versus East Carolina
Tonight's contest is the seventh all-time meeting between these two schools in basketball. East Carolina leads the all-time series, 5-1.

Liberty's lone win came last year, on Dec. 2, 2006, inside the Vines Center. Liberty won 64-56, serving as the programs first all-time victory over the Pirates, as well as, a member of Conference USA.

Tonight's game will be the first Liberty has played in Greenville, N.C., since Jan. 14, 1997, when the Pirates defeated the Flames, 74-63.

All-Time Series Results
Dec. 2, 2006 W (64-56) Lynchburg
Nov. 28, 1998 L (56-80) Lynchburg
Jan. 14, 1997 L (63-74) Greenville, N.C.
Jan. 30, 1991 L (49-64) Greenville, N.C.
Dec. 7, 1989 L (47-50) Lynchburg
Feb. 22, 1989 L (60-69) Greenville, N.C.

Notable Scorers From Last Year's Contest
Alex McLean - 17 points, 11 rebounds -- B.J. Jenkins 12 points

The Liberty/East Carolina Connection
Liberty's Director of Athletics Jeff Barber is a native of Greenville, N.C., graduating from East Carolina cum laude in 1981.

Barber got his start in collegiate athletics administration at East Carolina, serving as the Assistant Director of East Carolina's Pirate Club.

McKay In Home Openers
With Tuesday's win over Coker, Ritchie McKay is now 10-2 as a head coach in home openers and has won five straight. McKay's last loss in a home opener came in his inaugural game as the head coach at New Mexico, falling 76-68, at the hands of the Cal Golden Bears on Nov. 23, 2002. McKay also dropped his very first home game as a collegiate head coach at Portland State, falling to Oregon 85-66, in 1996.

Liberty Home Openers
With Tuesday's win over Coker, Liberty has won three-straight home openers. The Flames defeated Cincinnati Christian the past two seasons in their home opener. Liberty is 27-9 all-time in home openers, including winning 12 of its last 14.

Season Openers
Liberty dropped its seventh-straight season opener with its loss to San Diego State on Friday, 62-50.
With the loss to the Aztecs, head Coach Ritchie McKay is now 9-3 all-time in season openers, breaking a streak of four-straight wins.