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Men's Hoops to Appear on ESPN Tuesday

November 17, 2008  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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The Liberty Flames open up Big South play on Tuesday at UNC Asheville. The game will be broadcast on ESPN as part of the network's College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.

The Liberty Flames open up Big South play on Tuesday at UNC Asheville. The game will be broadcast on ESPN as part of the network's College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.

Full Game Notes (PDF)
Live Audio
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Game Day Central

Game Preview
The Liberty Flames hit the road for the first time during the 2008-09 season on Tuesday, when they invade the Justice Center to square off with Big South Conference foe, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.

Tuesday's conference opener will be televised on ESPN with a simulcast on as part of the network's College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon, with Dave Barnett providing the play-byplay and Bob Wenzel providing color analysis. There will be a radio broadcast which 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 will be available.

Liberty In Big South Openers
Today's game marks the 18th Big South opener for the Flames. Liberty brings a 4-13 all-time record in Big South openers into the contest. The Flames have opened a conference season against UNC Asheville on six previous occasions, all resulting in Bulldog wins. UNCA is 3-0 inside the Vines Center and 3-0 inside the Justice Center against Liberty when opening Big South play. Today's contest marks the third straight year the Flames have opened up conference play inside the Justice Center.

Curry Joins Elite Liberty Circle
Freshman Seth Curry became the fourth Liberty freshman, and the third since the Flames moved to Division I, to reach the 20-point plateau in their collegiate debut when he tallied 23 markers against Montreat on Friday.

The first Liberty freshman to accomplish the feat was Willard DeShazor, who poured in 29 points against Tennessee Temple on Nov. 28, 1973. Chris Toomer scored 21 points against Maine on Nov. 23, 1990 in his first collegiate game. Jay Boykin was the last Liberty freshman, until Curry, to reach 20 points in his collegiate debut. He scored 20 points against Drake on Nov. 24, 1995, when Curry was five years old.

The previous three members of this exclusive Liberty club played all four years at Liberty, but Deshazor was the only player to reach the 1,000-point club (1,569). Toomer is next with 583 career points.

Liberty versus UNC Asheville
Today's contest marks the 43rd all-time meeting between the two schools in basketball. UNC Asheville leads the series, 25-17. The Flames have won five of their last six meetings with UNC Asheville, inside the Vines Center. But, when traveling to the Justice Center, the Flames are 2-4 over their last six games.

All-Time Series Results
March 6, 2008 L (57-75) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 9, 2008 W (83-54) Lynchburg
Jan. 12, 2008 L (70-74) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 30, 2007 W (80-65) Lynchburg
Jan. 6, 2007 L (77-84) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 6, 2006 L (81-83) * Lynchburg
Jan. 25, 2006 L (65-77) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 24, 2005 W (92-80) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 22, 2005 W (72-71) Lynchburg
Feb. 4, 2004 W (82-68) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 8, 2004 W (84-72) Lynchburg
Feb. 10, 2003 W (73-72) Lynchburg
Jan. 5, 2003 L (80-81) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 9, 2002 L (69-85) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 8, 2002 L (54-68) Lynchburg
March 1, 2001 W (60-48) Roanoke, Va.
Feb. 10, 2001 L (54-73) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 23, 2001 L (52-59) Lynchburg
March 2, 2000 L (63-77) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 9, 2000 L (68-82) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 15, 2000 W (70-62) Lynchburg
Feb. 25, 1999 L (98-106) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 17, 1999 L (86-89) * Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 9, 1999 L (72-77) Lynchburg
Feb. 27, 1998 L (42-46) Lynchburg
Feb. 9, 1998 L (59-75) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 10, 1998 L (60-70) Lynchburg
Feb. 10, 1997 L (65-68) ** Lynchburg
Jan. 11, 1997 L (55-64) Asheville, N.C.
March 1, 1996 W (73-60) Lynchburg
Feb. 9, 1996 W (65-54) Lynchburg
Jan. 13, 1996 L (48-66) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 9, 1995 L (67-73) * Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 12, 1995 L (46-57) Lynchburg
Feb. 10, 1994 W (56-51) Lynchburg
Jan. 13, 1994 W (79-71) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 22, 1993 L (55-58) Asheville, N.C.
Feb. 1, 1993 W (80-73) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 21, 1993 W (73-50) Lynchburg
March 5, 1992 W (85-54) Anderson, S.C.
Feb. 10, 1992 L (77-82) Asheville, N.C.
Jan. 23, 1992 W (90-76) Lynchburg
* - Overtime Game
** - Double Overtime Game

Overtime Drought
Liberty has played 72 overtime-free games since the Flames last ended regulation of a contest tied. The last time Liberty played in an overtime game was on Feb. 6, 2006, against UNC Asheville inside the Vines Center. Liberty eventually dropped the game, 83-81.

The streak serves as the second-longest in program history and the longest during Liberty's Division I era. The longest Liberty streak without an overtime contest is 134 games from Dec. 8, 1972 until Dec. 9, 1977. Liberty is 18-29 all-time in overtime games.

Winning a Season Opener
With a 97-77 victory over Montreat on Friday, the Flames secured their first win in a season opener since Nov. 17, 2000, when Liberty defeated Tusculum, 84-58, inside the Vines Center. Liberty is now 19-18 all-time in season openers.

Curry Ties Vines Center Record in Debut
Curry's seven steals against Montreat on Friday tied a Vines Center record that was originally set by Delawn Grandison on Jan. 7, 1999 against Tusculum and was last achieved by Maurice Watkins on Jan. 15, 2001 against Charleston Southern. Curry becomes one of seven players to record seven steals inside Liberty's home edifice.

McKay Starts Strong
Ritchie McKay is now 10-3 as a head coach in season openers. He starts a new winning streak after his previous streak of four straight triumphs was snapped last year by San Diego State. Liberty fell to San Diego State, 62-50, at Fresno State's World Vision Classic on Nov. 9, 2007. McKay previous loss in a season opener came in his inaugural game as the head coach at New Mexico, falling 76-68, at the hands of the Cal Golden Bears on Nov. 23, 2002. McKay also dropped his very first game as a collegiate head coach at Portland State, falling at Mississippi, 56-54, in 1996.

Flames Facing New Foes This Year
Liberty has the potential to face eight opponents the Flames have never previously met. Liberty's non-conference schedule pits the Flames against Anderson, DePaul, Northern Colorado and Saint Louis. Due to Liberty's Thanksgiving Classic, the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic and the ESPNU BracketBuster, an additional three opponents could join the list. Those possible opponents are South Carolina State, Southern, USC Upstate and whoever the Flames draw in the ESPNU BracketBuster (opponent will be announced in February).

The Curry/Lynchburg Connection
Freshman Seth Curry isn't the only member of his family to appear in a college game on the Liberty campus. Seth's father, Dell Curry, as a freshman, poured in a game-high 19 points, on 7-of-13 shooting, for Virginia Tech on Dec. 7, 1982, in the Hokies' 71-53 triumph over the Flames.

The game featured two fathers of 2008 All-Americans. Dell's older son Stephen is an All-American performer at Davidson, while the Flames' Eric Gordon saw his son, Eric Gordon, Jr., picked in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers after an All-American season at Indiana. Liberty's Gordon, scored six points and dished out two assists against Curry's Virginia Tech squad on that cold December night in 1982.

My Brother is an All-American
Freshmen Seth Curry and Jesse Sanders each are younger siblings of All-Americans from last season. Curry's older brother Stephen is currently an All-American performer at Davidson, nearly lifting the Wildcats to the 2008 Final Four. Sanders' older brother Thomas earned All-American honors at Gardner-Webb after being named 2008 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year. The elder Sanders poured in 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs' 84-68 upset win at No. 20 Kentucky on Nov. 8, 2007.

Next on the Scoring List for Anthony Smith
With 1,164 career points, Anthony Smith sits in 15th place all-time in the Liberty annals for scoring. On Friday, Smith passed Eric Gordon (1,154), on Liberty's career scoring list. Gordon was a three-year letterwinner from 1982-84 and is the father of former Indiana All-American and the Los Angeles Clippers' 2008 fi rst-round draft pick, Eric Gordon.

Next up is Greg McCauley (1,228), a four-year letterwinner from 1981-85.