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Curry and Smith Lead Liberty To Victory

November 14, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Seth Curry tallied 23 points and tied a Vines Center record with seven steals in his collegiate debut. Curry also pulled down five rebounds and dished out six assists.

Seth Curry tallied 23 points and tied a Vines Center record with seven steals in his collegiate debut. Curry also pulled down five rebounds and dished out six assists.

Seth Curry had a banner night, scoring 23 points and tying a Vines Center record with seven thefts as the Liberty Flames (1-0) defeated the Montreat Cavaliers (1-2) Friday night, 97-77, in front 5,198 raucous fans.

The win marks the first season-opening win for the Flames since they topped Tusculum, 84-58, on Nov. 17, 2000, inside the Vines Center.

Curry's seven steals tied a Vines Center record that was originally set by Delawn Grandison on Jan. 7, 1999 against Tusculum and was last achieved by Maurice Watkins on Jan. 15, 2001 against Charleston Southern. Curry becomes one of seven players to record seven steals inside Liberty's home edifice.

The Flames sprinted out to a 15-3 lead when Brolin Floyd nailed a three-point bucket from the corner at 13:28. Making his first collegiate appearance, Curry scored Liberty's first five points and seven of the Flames' first 12 during the run.

Montreat managed one field goal by Timmy Harper at the 17:53 mark, before being held without a field goal until the 10:18 mark, when Seth Moore tallied a bucket in the paint. By that time, Liberty had extended its advantage to 21-6.

The Cavaliers were able to cut the deficit to 10 points, 34-24, via an 18-13 advantage, capped by a Vincent Dombrowski three-point bucket at 3:45. Liberty quickly extended the lead back to 15 points, 39-24, courtesy of five straight points by Floyd. A trey from the corner at 2:34 capped the mini surge.

Liberty closed out the half on a 9-5 run, capped by an Anthony Smith bucket as the half expired. The Flames went into the break with a 48-29 lead.

The Flames were led in the opening stanza with 14 points by Curry, followed by 10 points by Floyd. Liberty connected on 42.9 percent (18-of-42) from the floor and 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc.

Montreat shot 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from the floor and 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from beyond the arc in the first period.

The Cavaliers came out of the break on an 11-5 spurt, capped by a MJ Njoku bucket at the 16:25 mark, cutting the score to 55-40. Liberty then reeled off seven straight points, taking a 20-point advantage, 60-40, after two free throws by Kyle Ohman at 15:36.

The difference between the teams did not change much the rest of the contest, as Liberty finished with the 20-point win, 97-77.

The Flames finished the night connecting on 47.8 percent (33-of-69) from the floor and 46.2 percent (12-of-26) from three-point range. Montreat tallied a 40.6 percent (28-of-69) success rate from the field and 25 percent (7-of-28) from beyond the arc.

Smith led the Flames with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while moving into 15th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list, passing Eric Gordon (1,154). Smith pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in the victory. Floyd added 15 points and Ohman chipped in 14 points, as every player who appeared for the Flames tallied at least two points.

Njoku led Montreat with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Terrell Mosley added 11 points and Seth Moore chipped in 10 in the losing cause.

Liberty returns to action on Tuesday, opening conference play at UNC Asheville. The game will be played as part of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon and will be broadcast on ESPN. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.