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MBB Game Day Central: UNC Wilmington

November 16, 2010  Wilmington, N.C.  RSS
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John Caleb is looking to build upon his nine-point performance against Notre Dame when the Flames step into the Trask Coliseum on Tuesday to take on UNC Wilmington at 7 p.m.

John Caleb is looking to build upon his nine-point performance against Notre Dame when the Flames step into the Trask Coliseum on Tuesday to take on UNC Wilmington at 7 p.m.

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UNC Wilmington Men's Basketball Page

The Games

The Liberty men's basketball team continues its busy November on Tuesday. The Flames (1-1, 0-0 BSC) will make a stop in Wilmington, N.C., to take on CAA member UNC Wilmington. The matchup marks the first meeting between the two teams. Tipoff inside Trask Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m.

Following its trip to the Tar Heel State, Liberty returns to the Vines Center to host Southern Virginia on Thursday. The Flames hold a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series against the Commonwealth competitor. Last season, Liberty defended home court against the Knights on Nov. 14, 2009, taking the contest 89-53. Game time for Thursday's meeting is set for 7 p.m.

Recent Results
Liberty opened the 2010-11 season inside the Vines Center last Friday, defeating the Virginia Intermont Cobras, 82-65. Evan Gordon led the Flames with 23 points, followed by redshirt junior transfer John Brown, who finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds in his Liberty debut. The Flames are now 30-9 all-time in home openers and 17-3 when opening the season at home.

Following its win, the Flames trekked up to South Bend, Ind., to take on BIG EAST power Notre Dame. Hoping to even the series at 1-1, Notre Dame denied Liberty for the second-straight year en route to a 72-51 decision. David Minaya led the Flames with 12 points, while Brown garnered his second straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and 12 boards.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
There will be a radio broadcast for each game which will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with the new Voice of the Flames Alan York providing the play-by-play. York takes over play-by-play duties this season for longtime broadcaster Jerry Edwards, who retired this past spring after 29 years.

In addition to the radio broadcast, an Internet audio broadcast on will be available. For Thursday's game, there will also be a live video stream broadcast via the Big South Network, available on

Flying with the Seahawks
The Seahawks are picked to finish 12th in the CAA after finishing the 2009-10 season with a 9-22 overall and a 5-13 posting in conference play. The Seahawks return their leading scorer Chad Tomko (12.8 ppg), as well as starters Ahmad Grant (8.1 ppg) and Keith Rendleman (5.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg). UNC Wilmington lost two starters from the 2009-10 squad – second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, John Fields (10.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Johnny Wolf (7.9 ppg)

UNC Wilmington opened its season with a tough test, paying a visit to Gainesville, Fla., to take on No.9 Florida inside the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The SEC power successfully defended its home turf, defeating the Seahawks, 77-60. Tomko led UNC Wilmington with 15 points, followed by Trevor Deloach, who chipped in 14 tallies off the bench. Rendleman rounded out UNC Wilmington's double digit scorers with 11 points.

In the contest, the Seahawks shot 23-of-48 (47.9 percent) from the field, 6-of-16 (37.5) from the three-point arc and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. However, the Gators shot 49.1 percent from the field (28-of-57) and hit 15-of-22 shots from the free throw line. The Seahawks also struggled on the glass, as the Gators outrebounded UNC Wilmington, 36-22.

Coaching Profile: Buzz Peterson
The 2010-11 season marks Buzz Peterson's first year at the helm of UNC Wilmington's men's basketball program. Now in his 13th year as a head coach, Peterson currently holds a 225-148 career record. Before becoming the Seahawks ninth head coach in program history, served as head coach at Appalachian State during the 2009-10 season, leading the Mountaineers to a 24-13 record and a trip to the semifinals of the Tournament. The brief stint marked Peterson's second as head coach of Appalachian State, as he manned the program's helm four previous seasons (1996-2000).

In addition to coaching the Mountaineers, Peterson also served as head coach at Big South member Coastal Carolina (2005-07), Tennessee (2001-05), and Tulsa (2000-01). After his two-year stay at Coastal Carolina, Peterson worked for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats as the franchise's Director of Player Personnel.
Along with his head coaching experience, Peterson was also an assistant coach at Appalachian State (1987-1989), East Tennessee State (1989-90), N.C. State (1990-93) and Vanderbilt (1993-1996)

No History Here
Tuesday's matchup marks the inaugural meeting between Liberty and UNC Wilmington. In addition to facing the Seahawks for the first time, Liberty also has five other new opponents lined up on the docket this season – Texas Tech (Nov. 21), South Florida (Nov. 23), potential opponents Georgia Southern and Chicago State (Nov. 27) and Union College (Ky.) (Dec. 28).

Liberty Versus the CAA
The Flames are 11-35 all-time against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association. Liberty is currently 1-3 against Drexel, 3-5 against George Mason, 2-7 against James Madison, 0-4 against Old Dominion, 3-9 against Towson, 1-5 against VCU and 1-2 against William & Mary.

Layer Versus the CAA
Liberty Head Coach Dale Layer is 1-3 all-time against CAA opponents. As head coach at Liberty, Layer is 0-1 against George Mason and 0-1 against Old Dominion. During his stint at Colorado State, Layer led his team to a victory over Northeastern on Dec. 29, 2000, as the Rams defeated the Huskies, 63-52. At the time of the matchup, Northeastern belonged to the America East Conference.

While building the men's basketball program at Queens, Layer and the Royals matched up against UNC Wilmington on Dec. 30, 1991. The Seahawks defeated the Royals, 87-70.

CAA on the Docket
In addition to UNC Wilmington, the Flames will face two other CAA members this season – George Mason (Dec. 11) and William & Mary (Dec. 18).

Chasing Dad
After scoring nine points in Liberty's contest against Notre Dame on Sunday, Evan Gordon now has over 400 career points (404). The sophomore's father, Eric Gordon, Sr., holds a place in the Liberty record books as a member of the 1,000-point club with 1,154 career points. The elder Gordon is 16th all-time on Liberty's scoring list.

Rebounding Machine
In his Liberty debut, redshirt junior John Brown finished with a double-double, posting 18 points and 17 rebounds. The last time a Flame grabbed that many boards was during the 2008-09 season, Anthony Smith finished with 17 in a 91-80 win at VMI (Jan. 17, 2009). The most rebounds garnered by a Flame in a single game last season was 15 (Jesse Sanders, vs. VMI, Jan. 28, 2010).

Milestone Man
With his five assists in Sunday's game against Notre Dame, point guard Jesse Sanders has now surpassed the 300 assist mark. The Sugar Land Texas native now has 301 career assists. Sanders is also approaching two other career milestones, as he currently has 490 points and 389 rebounds.