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Liberty Hosts VMI in Round One on Tuesday

March 3, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty hosts VMI in the first round of the Big South Championship on Tuesday night.

Liberty hosts VMI in the first round of the Big South Championship on Tuesday night.

Game Notes (PDF)
Live Stats
Live Audio
Live Video
Game Day Central

Game Preview
The No. 4 seed Liberty Flames will play host in the quarterfinal round of the Advance Auto Parts Big South Championship on Tuesday, when the No. 5 seed VMI Keydets enter the Vines Center in a win-or-go-home contest. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., in a game that is a rematch of last year's quarterfinal game between the No. 3 seed Flames and the No. 6 seed Keydets.

Tuesday's contest will be televised on the Flames Television Network with Ray Jones providing play-by-play, Tim Scarborough adding color commentary and Samantha Steele patrolling the sidelines. There will be a radio broadcast that will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with Jerry Edwards providing play-by-play. Additionally, an Internet audio broadcast on will be available. There will also be a live video stream of the broadcast via the Big South EDGE, available on

Liberty Update
The Flames secured home court advantage in the first round of the Advance Auto Parts Big South Championship with a 78-71 triumph against arch-rival Radford on Saturday. Anthony Smith led all scorers with a career-high 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting. B.J. Jenkins added 18 in the win.

The victory over the Highlanders broke a three-game losing streak. It marked the first time all season since the opening three games that the Flames had dropped three games in a row. The most recent setback was an 81-79 defeat against VMI on Feb. 26. Smith led Liberty with 23 points. The second setback in the recent losing streak was a 79-68 defeat at nonconference foe Longwood on Feb. 22. Smith led the Flames with 24 points, while Alex McLean chipped in 23 point in the losing cause.

Liberty versus VMI
Tonight's contest marks the 18th all-time meeting between the two schools in basketball. The VMI leads the series, 9-8. This game is a rematch of last year's quarterfinal game between the No. 3 seed Flames and the No. 6 seed Keydets. VMI earned the 79-78 triumph inside the Vines Center beginning their run to the championship game.

Liberty is 6-3 all time inside the Vines Center against VMI. The Keydets handed the Flames a 69-61 setback on Nov. 30, 1990, in what served as the first basketball contest inside the Vines Center. Liberty won the following six-straight games against VMI inside the Vines Center before last year's defeat in the Big South Championship. Liberty dropped a contest on Feb. 26 to VMI, marking a current two-game losing streak to the Keydets.

All-Time Series Results
Feb. 26, 2008 L (81-79) Lynchburg
Jan. 28, 2008 W (87-81) Lexington, Va.
Feb. 27, 2007 L (78-79) Lynchburg
Feb. 21, 2007 W (118-108) Lexington, Va.
Jan. 27, 2007 W (122-117) Lynchburg
Feb. 2, 2006 W (71-67) Lynchburg
Jan. 14, 2006 L (68-84) Lexington, Va.
Feb. 17, 2005 L (67-73) Lexington, Va.
Jan. 24, 2005 W (91-71) Lynchburg
Feb. 2, 2004 L (52-61) Lexington, Va.
Jan. 20, 2004 W (66-46) Lynchburg
Dec. 2, 2002 W (77-69) Lynchburg
Nov. 23, 2002 L (54-68) Lexington
Dec. 7, 1991 W (64-55) Lynchburg
Nov. 30, 1990 L (61-69) Lynchburg
Nov. 28, 1977 L (68-105) Lexington, Va.
Dec. 1, 1975 L (58-106) Lexington, Va.
* - Overtime Game
** - Double Overtime Game

The Liberty/VMI Connection
VMI assistant coach Jason Allison is a 1999 graduate of Liberty. Allison appeared in 49 game over his three-year career (1996-97-98). Allison was a member of Liberty's 1997 regular season Big South champion club.

Anthony Smith Against VMI in 2008
Anthony Smith is averaging 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two contests against the Keydets this season. Smith is also connecting on 55.9 percent (19-of-34) of his attempts from the floor against VMI.

Current Flames With Notable Games Versus VMI
Anthony Smith (23 points and 11 rebounds vs. VMI, Feb. 26, 2008)
Alex McLean (20 points and 11 rebounds vs. VMI, Feb. 26, 2008)
Anthony Smith (22 points and four rebounds at VMI, Jan. 28, 2008)
Jeremy Anderson (20 points on 7-of-9 shooting at VMI, Jan. 28, 2008)
Alex McLean (40 points and 19 rebounds at VMI, Feb. 21, 2007)
Anthony Smith (14 points and 10 assists at VMI, Feb. 21, 2007)
Alex McLean (22 points and 13 rebounds vs. VMI, Jan. 27, 2007)
Anthony Smith (17 points and six assists vs. VMI, Jan. 27, 2007)
Rell Porter (12 points and eight rebounds vs. VMI, Feb. 2, 2006)

Liberty in the Big South Championship
Liberty holds a 15-14 all-time record in the Big South Championship.  The Flames are 9-7 all-time in the quarterfinal round of the tournament, but have lost the last three straight. Liberty hasn't claimed victory in a Big South Championship game since its 89-44 win over High Point to claim the conference crown in 2004.

Anthony Smith Breaks Three-Point Record
Anthony Smith has tallied 79 three-point field goals this season, breaking Matt Hildebrand's three-point field goal record (73) for a season. Hildebrand set his mark in 1994. Smith has attempted 189 shots from behind the arc, 10 away from Travis Eisentrout's record of 199 in 2002. Despite attempting so many treys, Smith's success rate of 41.8 serves as the fourth highest in program history, while attempting over 64 more three-pointers then anybody in the Top 5 in the Liberty annals.

McKay Versus the Big South Conference
Head coach Ritchie McKay is 8-7 all-time against the Big South Conference. Two of the eight victories have come against Charleston Southern. The first came last season when McKay's Lobo team at New Mexico defeated Charleston Southern, 76-69. The second was on Jan. 19.

Anderson Second in Big South
Freshman Jeremy Anderson is second in the Big South in three-point shooting (41.7) during conference games.

When Holding Opponents Under 70
The Flames are 12-5 when their opponents score less than 70 points and 3-10 when their opposition tallies more than 70 points. Liberty's wins over Niagara (86-81), VMI (87-81) and Radford (78-71) are the two occasions when Liberty won a game while allowing over 70 points.

January vs. February
Liberty went 6-2 in the month of January before going 2-6 in February.

Alex McLean One of Three
Alex McLean is one of three players in the Big South Conference to rank in the Top 6 in the conference in both scoring (15.8) and rebounding (8.9).

Liberty On Mark
Liberty is the only team in the conference with two players connecting on over 50 percent of their field goal attempts. Alex McLean is hitting 55.7 percent from the field, while Anthony Smith is connecting 51.5 percent.

Liberty Setting Records
Liberty has tallied 262 three-point field goals this season, breaking the 1994 team's school record of 211. Liberty also broke the season record for three-point attempts (670) with its 707 attempts this season. Despite setting a record for attempts, the team's success rate of 37.1 percent is currently the third-best season mark in the Liberty annals.