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Men's Hoops Announce 2009-10 Schedule

August 3, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jesse Sanders and company open up the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13 at George Mason.

Jesse Sanders and company open up the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13 at George Mason.

Click here to view entire 2009-10 men's basketball schedule

Clemson, Notre Dame and the Chicago Invitational headline a loaded 2009-10 Liberty men's basketball schedule, as announced by head coach Dale Layer.

"I am looking forward to this year's schedule," said Layer. "It will be fun and exciting early as we bring some big-time programs to the Vines Center."

The Flames are coming off one of the program's best Division I seasons ever and a berth in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Post Season Tournament (CIT). Liberty finished the year 23-12, securing the very first victory in the history of the CIT over Rider in the opening round.

Liberty starts quickly at perennial CAA power George Mason on Nov. 13. The Flames turn around the next day on Nov. 14 for their home opener against Southern Virginia, the first contest of a three-game homestand.

A big-time week starts as Clemson invades the Vines Center on Nov. 17, marking the first ACC opponent the Flames have ever hosted in Lynchburg. The game with the Tigers also marks the third straight season and seventh time in the past eight years Liberty has faced off with a member of the ACC. Last year, the Flames topped intra-state rival Virginia at the John Paul Jones Arena, 86-82.

"Hosting Clemson is an awesome and unique opportunity for basketball fans in Lynchburg to see ACC basketball without leaving the city," commented Layer.

The Flames conclude the homestand on Nov. 19 against CAA foe and 2009 CIT champion Old Dominion. The game serves as the return contest from last year's ESPNU BracketBuster game televised on ESPNU.

"Having Clemson and Old Dominion come to town in the same week will be a challenge that our players and coaches are looking forward to," said Layer.

Next on the slate will be four games in the Chicago Invitational, a tournament run very similar to last year's Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic. Liberty will play two home site games, starting at Notre Dame on Nov. 22, followed by a contest at Northwestern on Nov. 24.

The Notre Dame game will mark the fourth-different BIG EAST foe Liberty has faced all-time. The Flames squared off previously against DePaul (2008), Providence (1990) and Seton Hall (2003, '04, '06). The contest at Northwestern marks the third game all-time against a member of the Big Ten Conference. Liberty previously faced Iowa (2002) and Northwestern (2001).

Along with Iowa State, Kennesaw State, Notre Dame, Mississippi Valley State, Northwestern, Tennessee State and Saint Louis, Liberty will converge on the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for the second half of the Chicago Invitational.

Liberty will square off with Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 27 and will face either Kennesaw State or Tennessee State on Nov. 28.

"The Chicago Invitational will be a week where we can lock in, grow and develop as a team, while playing great competition," commented Layer. "We will have 11 freshmen and sophomores who will need to mature early in the year in order to prepare us for Big South play."

Big South Conference play starts on Dec. 3, when Liberty hosts Charleston Southern. Coastal Carolina will invade Lynchburg on Dec. 5 before Liberty ventures out of conference again.
Liberty hosts three more games prior to Christmas, as Kentucky Christian will make its second journey in three seasons to Lynchburg on Dec. 12. Shawnee State comes to town on Dec. 15 and Houghton concludes the five-game homestand on Dec. 19.

The Flames finish the non-conference portion of the schedule at the UCF Classic. The tournament runs Dec. 29-30, and the Flames will play two games against a field that features Buffalo, UCF and Jacksonville.

Big South Conference action continues on Jan. 2 at VMI. Liberty then makes its first South Carolina road trip of the season, as the Flames play at Presbyterian on Jan. 7 and Winthrop on Jan. 9.
Liberty returns home on Jan. 14 to host Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville on Jan. 16. Layer and company will head to High Point on Jan. 21 and Radford on Jan. 23.

The only three-game conference homestand of the season commences on Jan. 28, when VMI marches into the Vines Center to start the second round of league play. Winthrop travels to Lynchburg on Feb. 4, followed by Presbyterian on Feb. 6.

UNC Asheville will host Liberty on Feb. 11, followed by a road game at Gardner-Webb on Feb. 13.
The regular-season home portion of the schedule concludes with games against Radford on Feb. 16 and Senior Night against High Point on Feb. 20.

The annual "Beach Trip" concludes the regular season for the Flames, starting at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 25 and Charleston Southern on Feb. 27.

The Big South Men's Basketball Championship begins with the quarterfinals on March 2 at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals, which will be broadcast on ESPNU, will be played at the site of the regular-season champion on March 4. One of the ESPN Family of Networks will broadcast the championship game on March 6 at the home of the highest remaining seed. The NCAA Tournament starts March 18-21, with the first two rounds being played at various locations across the country.

All television assignments and game times will be announced at a later date.