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Men's Hoops Host High Point Tonight

January 27, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jesse Sanders and the Flames host High Point tonight, inside the Vines Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jesse Sanders and the Flames host High Point tonight, inside the Vines Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Full Game Notes (PDF)
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Game Day Central

Click here to view final minute of the Liberty Flames' comeback victory at High Point, Jan. 26, 2009 (Video File)

Game Preview
The Liberty Flames (14-7, 5-4 BSC) continue their three game homestand when the High Point Panthers (5-14, 1-8 BSC) invade the Vines Center, Tuesday night, concluding the season series. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The contest will be televised on the Mid-Atlantic Sorts Network (MASN) and the Flames Sports Network, with Ray Jones providing the play-by-play, Tim Scarborough adding the color analysis and Samantha Steele roaming the sidelines. The radio broadcast will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM), with Jerry Edwards providing the play-by-play for his 28th season. Additionally, an Internet audio broadcast on LibertyFlames.com will be available. There will also be a live video stream of the broadcast via the Big South EDGE, available on BigSouthSports.com.

Recent Results
Liberty enters tonight's game after seeing its four game winning streak and its 11 game home winning streak snapped by Radford on Saturday night. The Highlanders edged Liberty in double overtime, 94-82. Seth Curry led all scorers with 30 points. Prior to Saturday's setback, at High Point on Jan. 20, Liberty scored 14 straight points in the game's final 1:43 to steal away the victory, 61-56. The Flames were down nine points before Anthony Smith scored eight straight points and grabbed three steals in the final 23 seconds to lead the comeback charge. Kyle Ohman hit a trey with 17 seconds remaining to take the lead. Smith scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

On Jan. 17, Curry poured in a career-high 35 points and Smith pulled down a career-best 17 rebounds to defeat the Big South's only remaining undefeated team, VMI, 91-80. On Jan. 12, Curry and Brolin Floyd each tallied 15 point to lead Liberty to a 68-55 triumph over the visiting Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The victory came two days after Liberty snapped a two-game losing streak with a 79-60 win over Charleston Southern. Curry tallied a game-high 27 points, while Anthony Smith scored 13 points, as Liberty finished the game on a 32-12 run to seal the victory.

Liberty versus High Point
Tonight's contest marks the 23rd all-time meeting between the two schools in basketball. Liberty leads the series, 13-9. Liberty is 10-1 against the Panthers inside the Vines Center, including seven straight. Only twice has a team swept the season series. Liberty went 3-0 in the series during the 2004 season, concluding with an 89-44 victory in the Big South Championship game. High Point swept the 2001 series, which included the Panther's lone win in the Vines Center.

For the second straight year, the season series between Liberty and High Point will conclude within 10 days of each other, due to one of the programs playing in the ESPN BracketBuster. A year ago it was 10 days in between matchups because of the Panthers involvement in the event. This year, just a mere seven days separates the games because of Liberty's appearance in the February ESPN event.

Last Tuesday, Liberty tallied 14 straight points in the final 1:43 of the game, defeating the Panthers by five points, 61-56. Anthony Smith scored 24 points and grabbed three vital steals in the final 23 seconds to help Liberty win. It was the Flames' first win in the Millis Athletic Center since Jan. 31, 2004, when five Flames tallied double figures, led by Gabe Martin's 15 points, capturing a 67-56 victory.

All-Time Series Results
Jan. 20, 2009 W (61-56) High Point, N.C.
Feb. 6, 2008 L (53-67) High Point, N.C.
Jan. 26, 2008 W (55-51) Lynchburg
Feb. 3, 2007 W (96-79) Lynchburg
Jan. 17, 2007 L (71-77) High Point, N.C.
Feb. 25, 2006 L (49-78) High Point, N.C.
Jan. 3, 2006 W (93-80) Lynchburg
Feb.2, 2005 W (86-81) Lynchburg
Jan. 5, 2005 L (56-73) High Point, N.C.
Mar. 6, 2004 W (89-44) Lynchburg
Jan. 31, 2004 W (67-56) High Point, N.C.
Jan. 10, 2004 W (79-66) Lynchburg
Feb. 26, 2003 L (68-72) High Point, N.C.
Jan. 9, 2003 W (74-70) Lynchburg
Feb. 16, 2002 L (98-99) ** High Point, N.C.
Jan. 24, 2002 L (58-73) Lynchburg
Feb. 17, 2001 W (77-72) Lynchburg
Jan. 31, 2001 W (65-61) High Point, N.C.
Feb. 16, 2000 L (65-71) High Point, N.C.
Feb. 1, 2000 W (88-63) Lynchburg
Feb. 13, 1999 W (72-55) Lynchburg
Jan. 23, 1999 L (89-93) * High Point, N.C.

* - Overtime Game
** - Double Overtime Game

Curry Reaches Single Season Top 5 for 3-Point Field Goals
Seth Curry currently has 66 three-point field goals this year, giving him Liberty's fourth-best individual total for a season, trailing only 2008's Anthony Smith (84), 1994's Matt Hildebrand (73) and 1997's Larry Jackson (69). On Saturday, Curry passed 2004's Larry Blair (63) for most by a Liberty freshman.

Curry Eyes Some Big South Records
Seth Curry currently has 435 points, needing 31 points to pass Charleston Southern's Omar Carter (466) for a Big South Conference record for freshman scoring. Carter, a former high school teammate of Curry at Charlotte Christian, set the record last season. Curry can also set his sights on Coastal Carolina's Jack Leasure and his Big South freshman record of 85 three-point buckets set in 2005.

Also of note, no freshman in Big South history has ever averaged at least 20 points per game. Curry currently tallies 20.7 markers per contest, leaving the season to play out to see if the Charlotte, N.C., native could be the first.

Best Start through First 20 Games
Liberty registered a 14-6 mark through the first 20 games of the season. The record is the best mark for Liberty since they started the 1991-92 campaign with a 17-3 mark, marking Liberty's first in the Big South Conference.

Liberty's All-Time Top Scoring Freshman
Name                           Year         Points        PPG
1. George Sweet           1973          524          19.4
2. Larry Blair                2004          437          13.2
3. Seth Curry             2009          435         20.7
4. Steve Isaacs            1980           387           9.9
5. Rod Martin                1980          379            9.7
6. David Dees              2004           347          10.5
7. Karl Hess                 1977           300          11.1

Curry Pulls Two Weekly Awards on Jan. 19
For the second time this season, Seth Curry has been named Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week and Dick Vitale's "Diaper Dandy" of the Week on the same day. It first happened on Dec. 1.

Smith Starts Slow From Beyond the Arc
Anthony Smith shot 26.2 percent (16-of-61) from beyond the arc through the season's first 12 games. Since his slow start, Smith is shooting 50.9 percent (28-of-55) from three-point range over the past nine games.

This is nothing new for Smith, as the Plano, Texas native shot 27.3 percent (9-of-33) from three-point range through the first six games of last season. Smith heated up in game seven against Longwood on Nov. 27, 2007, connecting on 7-of-8 from three-point land, jumpstarting him to finish the final 26 games connecting on 43.6 percent (75-of-172) of his shots. Smith finished the year connecting on 41.0 percent (84-of-205) of his attempts, giving him the fifth-best success rate for a season in program history. The 84 three-point field goals and 205 three-point attempts were program bests.

Road Winning Streak
With their win at High Point on Jan. 20, Liberty has won back-to-back road games for the second time in three seasons. Liberty closed out the regular season in 2007 with wins at VMI and Radford.

Top Scorers
Liberty has Seth Curry (20.7 ppg) and Anthony Smith (18.8 ppg), both ranked in the top four in the Big South in scoring, helping Liberty register the second best team scoring average in the league, 75.3.

Smith's Last 11 Games
Anthony Smith has tallied at least 20 points in seven of his last 11 games. Over that span Smith is averaging 19.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg and is hitting 55.5 percent of his field goals, including 44.8 percent of his three-point attempts.

Overtime Craziness
After going 75 overtime-free games, a streak that was broken on Nov. 29 when Liberty experienced a double-overtime affair with William & Mary, the Flames have now registered a total of four overtime games this season. The four overtime mark ties a season high set in 1996. Three of Liberty's overtime contests this season have been of the double-overtime variety, a first for the program.

Liberty is 2-2 this season in overtime contests and 20-31 all-time. Liberty is 2-1 inside the Vines Center and 0-1 on the road in overtime contests this season.

The overtime free streak which was snapped this season served as the second-longest in program history and the longest during Liberty's Division I era. Liberty's overall longest streak without an overtime contest is 134 games from Dec. 8, 1972, until Dec. 9, 1977.

Smith Climbs Career Minutes Played List
Senior Anthony Smith currently sits fourth all-time in the Liberty annals in minutes played. The Plano, Texas native has played 3,653 minutes in his career, only ranking behind Larry Blair (4,123), Matt Hildebrand (3,729) and Larry Jackson (3,694). Based on his current minutes per game average and barring injury, Smith should finish the regular season No. 2 all-time in the Liberty record books.

No Bench Points
Liberty tallied no bench points in its 91-80 victory at VMI on Jan. 24. Liberty has never scored that many points and won a game without any points from its bench. The last time Liberty received no bench scoring was on Nov. 16, 2006, at Oklahoma. Liberty lost to the Sooners, 74-48.

Curry Scores 30 Points and another Liberty First
Seth Curry scored 30 points on Dec. 22 against Northern Colorado, becoming the first freshman in the Liberty Division I era to score at least 30 points during a regular season contest. Jamaal Bennett tallied 35 points in the quarterfinals of the 1999 Big South Championship, making him the only other freshman in Liberty's Division I era. One other freshman in the Liberty annals has accomplished the feat, as George Sweet did so during the first year of the program, the 1972-73 season. Sweet tallied 30 points on the nose on three separate occasions. Curry became the first Division I Liberty freshman to reach the 30-point plateau three times, after tallying 35 points on Jan. 17 at VMI, and pouring 30 markers against Radford on Saturday.

Smith Eyeing the 1,000 Point/500 Rebound Club
Anthony Smith needs three more rebounds to become the 36th player in Big South history to score at least 1,000 career points and grab 500 career rebounds. Should Smith reach both marks, he would become the ninth player in program history to accomplish the feat and the fourth during the Division I era.

Smith Eyeing the 1,500 Point/500 Rebound Club
Anthony Smith has 1,534 career points and 497 career rebounds. He is in a sprint with VMI's Travis Holmes (1,486 points and 501 rebounds) to become the ninth player in Big South history with 1,500 career points and 500 career rebounds.

Flames Ranked in CollegeInsider.com's Top 25 Mid-Major Poll
Currently, the Flames are ranked No. 19 in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. The most recent poll came out on Jan. 26, marking the eighth straight week Liberty was ranked.

Liberty's Week-by-Week Ranking
Jan. 26 (19)
Jan. 19 (16)
Jan. 12 (21)
Jan. 5 (15)
Dec. 29 (12)
Dec. 22 (15)
Dec. 15 (12)
Dec. 8 (13)
Dec. 1 (RV)

For the first time in program history, the Liberty Flames were ranked in the CollegeInsider.com's Top 25 Mid-Major Poll, when Liberty garnered a No. 13 ranking in the Dec. 8 poll. Liberty had received votes before, but never was able to crack the Top 25. The poll is released every Monday during the season, between 5-8 p.m. EST.