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LU Hoops Travels to Radford on Saturday

February 27, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Brolin Floyd and the Liberty Flames travel to Radford on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Brolin Floyd and the Liberty Flames travel to Radford on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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Game Day Central

Game Preview
The Liberty Flames (20-10, 11-6) concludes its regular-season schedule, Saturday evening, when they invade the Dedmon Center, to face the Radford Highlanders (18-10, 15-2). Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

The contest will be televised on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), with Jason Knapp providing the play-by-play and Craig Esherick adding the color. 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 this evening's contest, winners of four out of five Big South games and 10 out of 13 league contests. Liberty suffered a setback its last two times out, including a 109-72 conference loss to VMI on Tuesday and in a special non-conference game at Old Dominion, Feb. 21. The Feb. 21 contest was played as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters series. Liberty fell to the Monarchs, 80-56. Seth Curry led the Flames with 24 points in the loss.

Prior to Saturday's loss, Liberty comes off its first sweep of its annual "Beach Trip" since the 2005 season. The Flames rode 22 points from Curry and 19 markers from Kyle Ohman on the road, Feb. 16, at Coastal Carolina, to a 85-82 win. On Feb. 14, it was a sweet Valentine's Day, as Liberty Head Coach Ritchie McKay notched his 200th career victory. Curry, Ohman and Anthony Smith all reached the 20 point plateau, toppling homestanding Charleston Southern, 95-80.

On Feb. 9, Liberty defeated visiting Presbyterian, 69-48. Jesse Sanders led the way with a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists), while committing zero turnovers. Curry tallied 22 points, helping pace the Flames in the victory. Prior to that triumph, Liberty topped four-time Big South champions, the Winthrop Eagles. The Flames secured the 10 point victory, 57-47, thanks in part to Curry's 16 points and Ohman's 10 markers.

Liberty versus Radford
Tonight's contest marks the 54th all-time meeting between the rival schools in basketball, in a series that started on Jan. 28, 1975. Radford leads the series, 31-22. Liberty has won three of the last five meetings, but dropped a tightly contested double-overtime game at home, Jan. 24, 94-82 in the series last meeting. Liberty has an all-time record of 19-9 against the Highlanders in Lynchburg, while managing only a 3-21 mark at Radford. Liberty won for only the third time at Radford during the 2006-07 season, as the Flames were victorious, 64-48, inside the Dedmon Center. The other two road wins came in 1995 and 1997. Liberty won seven of eight in the series from Feb. 26, 1994 through Feb. 28, 1997. The Highlanders' only victory during that span occurred during the Flames' 1996 trip to the Dedmon Center.

The Sanders Factor
With freshman point guard Jesse Sanders at the helm, Liberty experienced eight setbacks in their first 28 contests. Of those eight losses, three were in double-overtime and another four were by a combined 11 points. Since Sanders went out of the lineup with a sprained right angle, the Flames have dropped two straight games by an average 30.5 points per loss. Sanders is still day-to-day.

Curry Notes on Reaching 600 Point Plateau
Seth Curry is the sixth different Flame in program history to tally at least 600 points in a season and the third in the Division I era. Karl Hess, Larry Blair and Ed Vickers reached 600 points in two separate seasons and Bailey Alston did it each of his three years at Liberty.

Curry and Alston (756) are the only two players in program history to score at least 600 points during their first season on Liberty Mountain. Alston was a sophomore transfer from Rutgers his first season in Lynchburg.

Smith on Liberty's Career Three-Point List
Anthony Smith has 209 career three-point field goals, ranking No. 3 all-time in the Liberty record books, passing Matt Hildebrand (207). Larry Jackson (224) is next on the list at No. 2, while Larry Blair (227) sits atop of the list at No. 1.

Single Season Liberty Three-Point Records Passed
On Feb. 21, Seth Curry (92) passed teammate Anthony Smith's record (84) set in 2008 for three-point buckets in a season. Curry isn't the only Flame with his eyes set on the top mark, as former walk-on Kyle Ohman (85) is right in the mix as well this year to finish with the top spot.

As a team, the Flames have 282 three-point field goals. The team record was set last season when Ritchie McKay's inaugural team shattered the previous mark set in 2002 (225 treys), when Liberty connected on 288 attempts from beyond the arc. This year's squad averages 9.4 three-point buckets per game (No. 7 nationally), leaving last season's record-setting mark in jeopardy.

Ohman on Liberty's Career Three-Point List
Kyle Ohman has 150 career three-point field goals, passing Mark Reed (139) on Feb. 14 for No. 5 all-time in the Liberty record books. Ohman is now chasing Matt Hildebrand (207) for No. 4.

Curry Eyes Some Big South Records/Sets Others
Seth Curry currently has tallied 615 points, passing Charleston Southern's Omar Carter (466) for the Big South Conference record for freshman scoring on Jan. 31. Carter, a former high school teammate of Curry at Charlotte Christian, set the mark last season. Curry (92) on Feb. 21 passed 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 more than 20 points per game. Curry currently tallies 20.5 markers per contest, leaving the season to play out to see if the Charlotte, N.C., native could be the first.

Smith Breaks Liberty Record for Games Played
By participating in Tuesday's contest against VMI, Anthony Smith appeared in his 123rd career game, breaking the record for most games played in program history. Smith passed former teammate Larry Blair (2004-07) and his previous program record of 122 games.

Sanders Drops Liberty's First Triple-Double
On Feb. 9, Jesse Sanders completed the first triple-double in Liberty's Division I era. Sanders tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists versus no turnovers in Liberty's 69-48 triumph over Presbyterian.

Liberty Notches 20th Victory
With its victory at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 16, Liberty reached the 20 win plateau for the first time in 12 seasons, the third time in its Division I era and fifth time overall. Liberty becomes the 15th Big South Conference (24 years of basketball) team to tally 20 wins during the regular season. Both of Liberty's previous 20 win campaigns at the Division I level are also a part of that list.

Liberty's Other 20 Win Seasons
1980 (28-11) 1983 (23-9) 1992 (22-7) 1997 (23-9)

Curry Sets Liberty's Consecutive Free Throw Record
Seth Curry has currently made 40 straight free throws, breaking Karl Hess (1980) and Matt Hildebrand's (1992) record of 37 at Old Dominion on Feb. 21.

McKay Notches 200th Career Victory
At Charleston Southern on Feb. 14, Ritchie McKay secured his 200th career head coaching victory. In his 13th season of head coaching, all of McKay's victories have come at the Division I level and in five different conferences (Big Sky, Big South, Mountain West, Pac-10 and WAC). McKay is winning at a 52.2 percent clip, having a 201-184 career coaching victory.

Sanders and Big South Triple-Doubles
Jesse Sanders' triple-double on Feb. 9 was the fifth all-time in Big South Conference history. UNC Asheville's Kenny George accomplished the feat last, on Nov. 17, 2007, with points (20), rebounds (12) and blocks (10). Sanders is the second overall player in the Big South to notch a triple-double with points (10), rebounds (10) and assists (10), and is the first since UMBC's Marc Lay, who reached his mark against Coastal Carolina on Jan. 16, 1995.

Winning on the Road in 2009
Liberty has won five road games and two neutral site games this season, giving the Flames seven wins away from the Vines Center. The last time Liberty had five road wins was the 2005 season and the last time they won at least seven games away from the Vines Center was 1997, when they won nine road games and two neutral site games.

Curry Reaches 500 Point Club
Freshman Seth Curry became the 48th player in program history to tally 500 career points. Curry is the third player to reach the club in his first season with the program and the second freshman. As a freshman, George Sweet (524) reached the 500 point club in 1973, in the first year of the program. Mike Goad (511) made his mark on the 500 point club in 1974 as a junior.

Liberty Cinches First Winning Season Since 2004
With Liberty's victory over Winthrop on Feb. 7, the Flames successfully claimed their first winning season since 2004 when the program won the Big South Championship, finishing with an 18-15 mark.

Smith Accomplishes Liberty First
Anthony Smith dished out his 200th career helper on Feb. 4 at Gardner-Webb, making him the first player in Liberty program history with at least 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds and 200 career assists.

Curry Taking Charity from the Stripe
Seth Curry has made 65 of his last 67 free throw attempts, including his last 40. Curry is currently No. 1 in the Big South for free throw efficiency this season at 85.6 percent.

Liberty's Unique Point Guard
Freshman point guard Jesse Sanders averages 5.5 rebounds per game. Offensive rebounds make up 66 of his total 154 caroms (42.9 percent). No other point guard in the nation averages over 5.0 rebounds per game while sniffing at least 40 percent of their total on the offensive end. Only eight other point guards in the nation average at least 5.0 rebounds per game. Carlon Brown (Utah), Talor Battle (Penn State), Nick Calathes (Florida), Courtney Fortson (Arkansas), Marquis Hall (Lehigh), Aaron Jackson (Duquesne), Dominique Jones (South Florida) and Alex Renfroe (Belmont).

Rebounding runs in the Sanders family, as older brother Thomas, a third team AP All-American at Gardner-Webb last season, led the nation in rebounding (10.5) for players 6-5 and under. Thomas Sanders is 6-4.

Lights Camera Action
Liberty freshman Seth Curry had a cameo role in the basketball motion picture Juwanna Mann. Curry was 11 years old when the movie was released in the summer of 2002. In a scene that was filmed in the backyard of a previous home his family owned in Charlotte, the main character of the movie, Jamal Jefferies, sees a young girl playing basketball with a group of young boys. The Jefferies character, who recently was suspended from the NBA, gets the idea of dressing up as a women to play in the WNBA. Curry was one of the young boys playing in the game the Jefferies character witnessed.

Team Rebounding on the Way Up
Liberty as a team was outrebounded in 11 of the season's first 13 games. Since game No. 14, the Liberty squad, which starts five guards, has outrebounded nine of its last 17 opponents, including a streak of five straight games during which Flames' opponent have not register more rebounds. Liberty and Presbyterian tied in the rebound battle on Feb. 9. Charleston Southern edged Liberty by two rebounds, 32-30, on Feb. 14, breaking the streak.

Three Amigos
Seth Curry, Kyle Ohman and Anthony Smith have contributed to hit 241 of Liberty's 282 three-pointers this season. The total comes out to 85.4 percent of the Flames' treys coming from the trio.