Game Day Central page
Liberty vs. Clarks Summit game notes
Game Time: 7 p.m. Official Tipoff: 7:05 p.m.
TV Coverage: Big South Network Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Matt Warner Color Commentator: Paul Nazigian Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio WPLY 98.5/105.9 FM (Lynchburg) Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Alan York
Liberty (4-6) will play its final home game of the calendar year, hosting Clarks Summit (1-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Vines Center. The Flames are playing their eighth home game, and will then head on the road for their next four games. Liberty defeated Cairn, 81-53, in the season opener, while Cairn downed Clarks Summit, 81-68, on Dec. 3.
Matchup Notes • Last year, Liberty defeated Summit, 90-52, on Nov. 14, 2015. In that game, current Flames Ryan Kemrite (22 points), Lovell Cabbil (19) and Ezra Talbert (18) all recorded career highs in points that still stand. Abe Valentine led Summit with 19 points. • Liberty has had at least one 20-point scorer in all three previous meetings with Clarks Summit, including three (George Sweet - 27, Mike Goad - 21, Willard DeShazor - 20) in the first meeting, a 94-85 Liberty win on March 2, 1974.
Quick Notes • Liberty is looking to snap a three-game winless streak, with the three games being decided by a total of 13 points. On Saturday against Princeton, the Flames trimmed a 15-point second-half deficit to one, but fell to the Tigers, 67-64. • The Flames have dropped their last two games by three points each. Last year, Liberty went 6-2 in games decided by three points or fewer. • Caleb Homesley sustained a season-ending injury during the second half of Liberty's game against Princeton on Saturday. At the time of his injury, Homesley was leading the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocked shots for the season. • Ryan Kemrite posted his sixth straight double-digit scoring game on Saturday, leading the Flames with 16 points. Kemrite leads the Big South with a 50.0 percent three-point shooting percentage. • Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz scored a career-high 14 points on Saturday against Princeton, helping him earn Big South Freshman of the Week honors. • 2016 Big South Coach of the Year Ritchie McKay is in his fourth year as head coach at Liberty. McKay has posted a 40-14 (.741) record at the Vines Center.
Series History Liberty vs. Clarks Summit Series History: (Liberty leads, 3-0) All-Time Meetings: Lynchburg Baptist 94, Baptist Bible 85 (March 2, 1974) Liberty Baptist 55, Baptist Bible 52 (Jan. 2, 1981 - Lynchburg, Va.) Liberty 90, Summit 52 (Nov. 14, 2015 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Ritchie McKay Overall Record: 221-211 (15th season) Record at Liberty: 56-53 (Fourth season) Record vs. Clarks Summit: 1-0
Clarks Summit Head Coach: Joel Niet Overall Record: 6-53 (Third season) Record at Furman: Same Record vs. Liberty: 0-1
Notes and Anecdotes – Clarks Summit • Liberty and Clarks Summit both earned NCCAA national championships in men's basketball. The Flames won the 1980 NCCAA Division I national championship. Clarks Summit, then Baptist Bible (Pa.), won the NCCAA Division II national title in both 1979 and 1992. • Just over one year after changing its name from Baptist Bible College to Summit University of Pennsylvania, the school was renamed Clarks Summit University on July 5, 2016.
Team Talking Points: • After winning four out of its first five home games of the season, the Flames have dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since losing consecutive home games late in the 2015-16 season (Feb. 18 and 20) • Liberty is now 4-3 at home this season with its three setbacks coming by a combined 11 points or an average of 3.67 points per game (VCU L/59-64; Furman L/58-61; Princeton L/64-67) • The Flames have suffered six setbacks this year with the six teams having posted a combined 35-19 record (VCU 7-3/S.O.S - #40; Indiana 8-1/S.O.S - #197; William & Mary 3-4/S.O.S - #129; UNCG 7-3/S.O.S. - #249; Furman 6-4/S.O.S. - #291; Princeton 4-4/S.O.S. - #140) • Liberty is 0-3 on the road this season and is looking for its first non-conference road win since defeating Western Carolina, 63-62, on Dec. 31, 2012 • Liberty's wins over UMass Lowell and Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 21 and 23) marked the first time the Flames have defeated NCAA Division I non-conference opponents in consecutive games since November 2013 • The Flames continued their trend this season of improved shooting during the second half of the game against Princeton (first half – 38.5 percent/10-of-26; second half – 54.2 percent/13-of-24) • On the season, the Flames are shooting 11.5 percent better during the second half (first half shooting percentage 36.3/95-of-261; second half shooting percentage 47.8/123-of-257) • Liberty's improved second-half shooting allowed the Flames to string together a 16-2 run against Princeton and trim a 15-point lead down to one, 63-62, on a Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz three-pointer with 1:41 left to play • On the season, the Flames currently rank ninth in the Big South and No. 276 in the country (out of 347 teams) in field goal shooting percentage (42.1 percent/218-of-518) • In its four wins this season, Liberty has shot a combined 45.8 percent from the field (98-of-214) • In its six setbacks this year, Liberty has shot a combined 39.5 percent from the floor (120-of-304) • The Flames have shot better than 40 percent from three-point range in three of their four wins (41.4 percent vs. Carin; 43.8 percent vs. UMass Lowell; 53.8 percent vs. Mississippi Valley State; 19.2 percent vs. Central Penn) • Liberty finished the Princeton game shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range (9-of-24), marking the fourth game in a row the Flames were held below 10 three-point field goals made • Liberty currently leads the Big South and ranks No. 46 in the country, averaging 9.3 three-point field goals per game (93-of-264/35.2 percent) • Last year, Liberty finished 12 out of 32 games connecting on 10 or more three-pointers • The Flames finished the Princeton game shooting 60.0 percent from the free throw line (9-of-15), marking the fifth time in 10 games the Flames have failed to shoot 70 percent or higher • Liberty has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line five times this year and currently ranks seventh in the Big South in free throw shooting percentage (68.4 percent/132-of-193) • The Flames narrowly won the rebounding battle against Princeton by one (31 to 30), marking the fourth time in 10 games Liberty has outrebounded an opponent • Liberty is currently 10th in the Big South and ranks No. 321 out of 347 NCAA Division I schools in rebounding margin (-5.5 rpg) • Liberty currently leads the Big South in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 66.3 points per game • Princeton became the first team this season to finish a game against Liberty with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (21 assists to seven turnovers) • Liberty has forced 10 or more turnovers in eight of 10 games this season and ranks second in the Big South in turnovers forced (15.10 per game) • Flames Head Coach Ritchie McKay continues to utilize his bench well this year, averaging 13.00 players played per game (14 vs. Indiana; 13 vs. Cairn and Mississippi Valley State; 12 vs. UMass Lowell, UNCG and Princeton; 11 vs. VCU, William & Mary, Central Penn and Furman; 10 vs. UNCG)
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