Game Day Central Liberty Game Notes
The Game Coming off a win against Radford, Thursday, the Liberty men's basketball team returns to the Vines Center on Saturday to close out the 2014-15 regular season against UNC Asheville. Liberty looks to snap five-game skid in the series against the Bulldogs, while Asheville hopes to return to the win column after four straight losses in conference play. Prior to the contest, Liberty will honor its three seniors – Andrew Smith, James Johnson and Ethan Layer. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m., with the contest airing live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN HD, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.
What to Watch for - With his career-high 26-point performance against Radford, Theo Johnson became the sixth Flame to score 20 or more points this year. The point total is also the most by a Liberty player during the 2014-15 campaign. Johnson surpassed his previous career high of 19 points, which also came against the Highlanders on Jan. 24. The junior is pacing the Flames offense in the last seven games, averaging 15.6 ppg during the span.
- Johnson wasn't the only Flame to have a big night, as Andrew Smith finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Highlanders. Smith now has over 700 points for his Liberty career (703), and is the only Liberty player to have multiple 20-point games, this season.
- Joe Retic may not have filled up the stat sheet on Thursday, but his presence was certainly felt when it came to breaking the press of Radford. The junior guard played 18 minutes off the bench, finishing with seven points and three assists.
- In the eight games freshman point guard Jordan Dembley has started, the Flames have averaged 13.4 turnovers per game. In the 22 games prior, the Flames were averaging 17.3 miscues per contest. Looking Ahead Liberty is locked into the No. 11 seed heading into the 2015 Big South Championship and will take on the No. 6 seed, Wednesday, at 6 p.m. inside The HTC Center in Conway. S.C. The contest will stream live on the Big South Network.
Notes and Anecdotes - In the last meeting between the two teams, David Robertson paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points. Andrew Rowsey had 13 tallies, while Pal Chudier finished with 10 points and 11 boards. David Andoh led the Flames with 14 points, followed by Theo Johnson, who had 10.
- The Flames are looking to snap a five-game losing skid to UNC Asheville. Liberty's last
win against the Bulldogs on Jan. 27, 2011. On that day, the Flames' John Brown connected on a buzzer beating layup to defeat UNC Asheville, 83-81, in overtime.
- The last time multiple Liberty players recorded 20 or more points in the same game was on Feb. 25, 2014. On that day, John Caleb Sanders led the Flames with 22 points, followed by Antwan Burrus and Tomasz Gielo, who each finished with 20. The trio was instrumental in leading the Flames to a 90-76 win over the Lancers.
- In its 17 conference games, Liberty is averaging 62.2 ppg and allowing 73.2 ppg. The Flames are shooting 41.8 percent compared to 43.5 percent for their opponents. Liberty is grabbing 33.4 boards per game, while opponents are averaging 34.5. The Flames are committing 15.5 turnovers in conference play and forcing 11 per game.
- In 15 home games, Liberty is averaging 67.4 ppg, while holding opponents to 63.7 ppg. The Flames are shooting 46.1 percent compared to 38.8 percent for the opposition. Liberty is also averaging 37.7 rebounds per game and holding opponents to 32.7 boards. The Flames are also committing an average of 15.2 turnovers per game, while forcing 11.7 per contest.
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