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Men's Hoops in Action this Week in Las Vegas

December 21, 2008  Las Vegas, Nev.  RSS
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Brolin Floyd and the Liberty Flames will conclude the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic this week at the Orleans Arena.

Brolin Floyd and the Liberty Flames will conclude the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic this week at the Orleans Arena.

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Tournament Preview
The Liberty Flames are in the midst of a four-game, three-city tour, as part of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic, an event that takes the Flames to Chicago, St. Louis and Las Vegas. Liberty continues the tournament against the Northern Colorado Bears, Monday, in what will be the Flames' first contest in Las Vegas. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m., inside the Orleans Arena. The Flames will follow up with their fourth and final game against either Southern or USC Upstate on Tuesday, inside the Orleans Arena. Tuesday's contest will take place at 2:30/5 p.m., based on Monday's results.

There will be a radio broadcast of both games, 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.

Recent Results
The Flames enter today's game on the heels of two tough losses by a combined four points. The Flames most recent setback came at the hands of the Saint Louis Billikens on Friday night. Prior to Friday's loss, Liberty experienced a tough one point loss at DePaul on Wednesday night, 64-63. Prior to DePaul, Liberty hosted a non-conference victory over Anderson, Monday night, inside the Vines Center. Seth Curry tallied 22 points in 19 minutes of action. Johnny Stephene poured in a career-high 14 points in the winning effort. Prior to the Anderson contest, Liberty dropped a heartbreaker at ACC foe Clemson, 80-75, on Dec. 7. Liberty led by 12 points with seven minutes left in the game. K.C. River tallied a game-high 32 points for Clemson in the comeback win. Seth Curry poured in 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting in the losing effort.

Prior to the Flames' loss at Clemson, Liberty had ridden a five-game winning streak, which includes victories over inter-state foes Virginia, William & Mary and George Mason. Liberty started the streak with it's second-ever victory over an ACC opponent, when they topped the Virginia Cavaliers, 86-82, on Nov. 25 at John Paul Jones Arena. Liberty's other victory over an ACC opponent was also against Virginia, 69-64, on Jan. 7, 1998, at the old University Hall.

After defeating Virginia, the Flames captured the championship of the Liberty Thanksgiving Classic. Liberty defeated NCAA D-II Coker on Nov. 25, placing them in the championship game. The Flames, in a thriller, topped the Tribe of William & Mary in double-overtime to capture the tournament crown on Nov. 29. On Dec. 1, Liberty showed a viewing of the sequel to the William & Mary victory. Against George Mason, Curry connected on a three-point bucket with 17.7 seconds remaining, sending the contest into overtime. In the extra session, Curry tallied five of Liberty's eight points, helping the Flames capture the victory over the Patriots, while leading all scorers with 22 points. Liberty grabbed its first conference win of the season with a 68-59 triumph over Gardner-Webb on Dec. 6.

Chris Summers, a wide receiver on the Liberty football team, joined the squad on Dec. 10.

Liberty vs. Northern Colorado
The Liberty vs. Northern Colorado game will mark the first all-time meeting between the two schools. Liberty holds a 0-1 career mark against Big Sky Conference schools, but has not faced any of its current members. Liberty lost to former member Idaho in overtime during the 1992-93 season. Liberty's head coach Ritchie McKay holds a 25-13 all-time record against current Big Sky members, including a 2-0 mark against Northern Colorado. McKay faced the Bears once during his stint at Oregon State and once more while the skipper of New Mexico.

Liberty vs. Southern
Liberty and Southern have never met in basketball. Liberty is 0-1 all-time against current members of the SWAC, falling to Alabama State during the 1990-91 season. Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay is a perfect 4-0 against the SWAC.

Liberty vs. USC Upstate
Liberty and USC Upstate have never met in basketball. The Flames are 9-20 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. However, only one of the nine wins came against a member institution during its current reign in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The lone win was last season against Campbell, 68-61. Seven of the wins came against Campbell before they joined the Atlantic Sun and one came against Belmont. Liberty beat Belmont 79-63 during the 1997-98 season, four years before the Bruins entered the Atlantic Sun. Liberty has notched three victories against former members of the conference while they were active participants. Liberty topped Centenary, 73-71, during the 1995-96 campaign. The Flames were victorious over Florida Atlantic, 84-79, during the 2002-03 season and they topped Florida International, 67-51, a game that was part of the 1996-97 schedule. Prior to last season Ritchie McKay had never faced one of the current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Prior to last season, McKay did hold a 1-0 advantage over the conference, with an 88-66 victory on Dec. 29, 2004, over Troy State, when McKay was at New Mexico. Troy State left for the Sun Belt Conference the following year. McKay split with Campbell last season and is now 1-1 all-time against current Atlantic Sun members.

Liberty in the State of Nevada
Participating this week in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Classic, Liberty will play in the state of Nevada for the first time in program history. However, Liberty will leave Las Vegas with still never playing a Nevada-based program.

Flames Ranked in's Top 25 Mid-Major Poll
Currently the Flames are ranked No. 12 in's Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. The recent poll came out on Dec. 15, marking the second straight week Liberty was ranked. On Dec. 8, for the first time in program history, the Liberty Flames were ranked in the's Top 25 Mid-Major Poll. Liberty garnered a No. 13 ranking in the Dec. 8 poll. Liberty had received votes before, but never was able to crack the Top 25. The poll is released every Monday during the season, between 5-8 p.m. EST.

Smith Eyeing the 1,000 Pt/500 Rebound Club
Anthony Smith needs 79 more rebounds to become the 36th player in Big South history to score at least 1,000 career points and grab 500 career rebounds. Smith will become the ninth player in program history to accomplish the feat and the fourth in the Division I era.

Curry Nabs Second Weekly Award
Seth Curry was named Big South Freshman of the Week on Dec. 8, marking the second weekly honor the Big South has bestowed upon him. Curry was named Big South Player of the Week on Dec. 1.

Curry Tallies a Big South Conference First
Seth Curry was named Choice Hotels Big South Player of the Week on Dec. 1, marking the first time that a true freshman earned the weekly award since the institution of the Big South Freshman of the Week award for the 1990-91 season. Kennedy Okafor from Maryland-Baltimore County won the award as a redshirt freshman on Dec. 15, 1997.

Curry and Sanders Team Up for another Big South First
On Dec. 1, Seth Curry and Jesse Sanders were named Big South Player and Freshman of the Week respectively. It marked the first time in the history of the Big South Conference that a school swept the weekly awards, with the player of the week also being a freshman.

Curry Top Scoring Freshman in the Nation
Seth Curry's 26-point performance at Virginia on Nov. 25 pushed his points per game average to 22.3, bypassing the Cavaliers' Sylven Landesberg (22.0) as the nation's top scoring true freshman. Curry is currently the only freshman in the Top 50 in scoring and is No. 47 overall at 19.7 ppg. Curry's eight point performance on Friday at Saint Louis dropped him from No. 24 overall in the nation. Curry holds a slim lead over Landesberg (19.5) as the top scoring freshman by 0.2 ppg.

Curry Receives Weekly Accolades From ESPN's Dick Vitale
Seth Curry was named Dick Vitale's Diaper Dandy of the Week on Dec. 1 for his play against Virginia, Coker and William & Mary, all Flames' victories.

Smith Played in his 100th Career Game
Dec. 6 against Gardner-Webb marked Anthony Smith's 100th career game and his 89th career start. The program record for games played is 122 by Larry Blair (2004-07). Barring injury, Smith is set to break the record on Feb. 24 against VMI.

Smith's Free Throw Attempts are Up
Anthony Smith is currently averaging 5.5 free throw attempts per contest. His attempts are up by 3.0 from last season. Smith attempted 2.5 shots from the charity stripe a season ago.

Ohman Crashes the Boards
Kyle Ohman is pulling down 5.9 rebounds a game this season. That is 3.4 more caroms per contest then the former walk-on averaged a season ago.

Ohman Hitting the Trey
Since the arrival of head coach Ritchie McKay, Kyle Ohman has appeared in all 43 contests he has coached. Ohman only appeared in 10 games prior to McKay's arrival. Since the opening day of the 2007-08 season, Ohman has connected on 41.3 percent (92-of-223) of his three-point shots. Ohman's career 40.3 percent mark (94-of-233) ranks No. three all time in the Liberty annals.

Smith on Liberty Career Three-Point List
Anthony Smith has 160 career three-point field goals, ranking No. 4 all-time in the Liberty record books. Next on the list is Matt Hildebrand (207).

McKay Wins First Game over an ACC Team
Head Coach Ritchie McKay earned his first victory over an ACC team, when the Flames topped Virginia, 86-82, on Nov. 25. McKay entered the contest 0-4 against the ACC. McKay previously dropped a game against Virginia Tech last season while at Liberty. As the head coach at New Mexico, McKay went 0-2 against Wake Forest and he dropped a game against Duke during his reign at Portland State.

Ohman Ties a John Paul Jones Arena Record
Kyle Ohman scored 17-first half points against Virginia on Nov. 25, tying a John Paul Jones Arena record for first half points. Ohman shares the record with North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough and Hampton's Vincent Simpson.

Curry in the Clutch
Seth Curry scored 13 points, on 6-of-7 shooting, during two overtime periods on Nov. 29, leading the Flames to an 80-74 victory over William & Mary. Curry's trey with 18 seconds tied the game at 71, sending the contest into the second overtime period. Curry's heroics helped him earn tournament MVP honors in the Liberty Thanksgiving Classic.

Curry in the Clutch Part II
Seth Curry reprised his role from the William & Mary double-overtime victory, helping Liberty dispose of George Mason in overtime on Dec. 1, 69-66. Curry's triple with 17.7 seconds left sent the game into the extra frame. From that juncture, Curry scored five of Liberty's eight points in overtime, including an 18-foot jumper to put the Flame ahead for good with 40.6 left in the extra period.