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MBB Game Day Central: Texas Tech

November 21, 2010  Lubbock, Texas  RSS
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Antwan Burrus and the Flames will step into the United Spirit Center Sunday to take on Big 12 member Texas Tech for the opening contest of the South Padre Island Invitational. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. (EST).

Antwan Burrus and the Flames will step into the United Spirit Center Sunday to take on Big 12 member Texas Tech for the opening contest of the South Padre Island Invitational. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. (EST).

Complete Game Notes

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Live Flames Sports Network Broadcast

Live Video (Texas Tech Sports Network)

Texas Tech Men's Basketball Page

The Games
The Liberty men's basketball team returns to action on Sunday, as the Flames make a stop in Lubbock, Texas to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The matchup marks the Flames' opening contest of the South Padre Island Invitational and the first meeting between Liberty and Texas Tech. Game time inside the United Spirit Arena is slated for 2 p.m. (EST).

Recent Results
Looking to bounce back from a tough road loss to Notre Dame last Sunday, the Liberty men's basketball team stepped into Trask Coliseum, Tuesday night, to take on CAA member UNC Wilmington. After being down 14 points at halftime, the Flames rallied with a 21-2 run to take the lead in the second half.

However, the Seahawks rallied from being eight points down in the closing minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime and ultimately edge the Flames by five, 69-64.

Before returning to the road, Liberty returned to the Vines Center, Thursday night, to play host to Southern Virginia. Displaying a balanced offensive attack, the Flames stifled the Knights on the opposite end of the floor en route to an 82-49 victory.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
There will be a radio broadcast for each game of the South Padre Island Invitational which will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with Nick Pierce providing the play-by-play.

In addition to the radio broadcast, an Internet audio broadcast on will be available. A television broadcast of Sunday's game against the Red Raiders will also be provided by the Texas Tech Sports Network and is available online by clicking the video link under the schedule tab on Viewers must register with the CBS Sports College Network in order to watch the contest.

Scouting the Red Raiders
Texas Tech is coming off a 19-16 overall record and a 4-12 posting in conference play in 2009-10. This season the Red Raiders return three starters from its 2009-10 squad – Mike Singletary (15.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg), John Roberson (14.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and D'wayln Roberts (7.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Texas Tech reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last season, falling to Ole Miss in double overtime, 90-87.

Texas Tech enters Sunday's contest with a 2-1 record this season. The Red Raiders opened the season inside the United Spirit Arena with an 86-67 win over the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Nov. 12. This past Tuesday, the Red Raiders traveled to North Texas where they were defeated, 92-83. On Friday, Texas Tech returned home to host Stephen F. Austin, taking the contest, 70-58.
Forward Robert Lewandowski led the Red Raiders with 20 points, followed by John Roberson, who chipped in 15 tallies. Mike Singletary finished with a near double-double, posting 11 points and nine boards.

Through three games this season, Brad Reese leads the Red Raiders averaging 14.0 points per game, followed by Lewandowski with 12 points per contest. Three players are currently averaging 11.3 points per game – Singletary, Roberson and David Tairu.

Coaching Profile: Pat Knight
Coach Pat Knight begins his third full season as the Texas Tech head coach and his tenth season with the Red Raiders. Knight became the head coach for the Red Raiders on Feb. 4, 2008, taking over for his father and legendary coach Bob Knight, who holds the record for the most wins in Division I history with 902. As a collegiate player and nearly nine seasons as an assistant coach, Pat was on the sidelines as a player or as a coach for 308 of Bob Knight's 902 career wins.

After his four year collegiate playing career at Indiana, Pat Knight joined the staff of the NBA's Phoenix Suns where he served as an administrative assistant and scout. In 1997, he was an assistant coach to the CBA's Connecticut Pride.

In 1998, Pat Knight was named to his first head coaching position as the leader of the Wisconsin Blast of the International Basketball Association. After a 3-5 start, Pat led his team to a 16-10 record over the last 26 games for a 19-15 record, the fourth best mark in the league.

No History Here
Sunday's matchup marks the inaugural meeting between Liberty and Texas Tech. This past Tuesday, Liberty squared off with another first time opponent in UNC Wilmington, with the Seahawks edging the Flames in overtime inside Trask Coliseum, 69-64.
In addition to facing the Seahawks and Red Raiders for the first time, Liberty also has several other first time foes this season, South Florida (Nov. 23), potential opponents Georgia Southern and Chicago State (Nov. 27) and Union College (Ky.) (Dec. 28).

Layer vs. Big 12
Sunday's matchup marks the first time a Dale Layer coached team has squared off with Texas Tech. Layer is currently 3-10 against current members of the Big 12. The 18-year head coach is 0-2 against Baylor, 2-5 against Colorado, 0-1 against Iowa State, 1-1 against Kansas State and 0-1 against Oklahoma State.

Liberty vs. Big 12
Liberty is looking for its first-ever win against a Big 12 member, as the Flames are 0-6 against current members of the conference. Liberty is 0-1 against Baylor, 0-1 versus Colorado, 0-1 against Iowa State, 0-1 against Missouri, 0-1 against Oklahoma and 0-1 against Texas.

Home Sweet Home (Part 1)
While they will be spending nine days on the road, a number of Flames will have the opportunity to return to their home state during Liberty's participation in the 2010 South Padre Invitational. Brothers Jesse Sanders and John Caleb Sanders are natives of Sugar Land, Texas. The Sanders' hometown is approximately 540 miles from Lubbock and 350 miles from South Padre Island.

Chasing Dad
After scoring nine points in Liberty's contest against Notre Dame on Sunday, Evan Gordon now has over 400 career points (426). 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 against Virginia Intermont (Nov. 12), 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
Jesse Sanders finished with 10 points and seven assists in Liberty's 82-49 win over Southern Virginia on Thursday, allowing him to surpass 500 points and 400 rebounds in his collegiate career. The junior point guard now has 506 career points (48th all-time at Liberty) and 405 boards.

With his five assists in last Sunday's game against Notre Dame, Sanders also surpassed the 300 assist mark. The Sugar Land Texas native now has 315 career assists.

Streak Snapped
Liberty's overtime game with UNC Wilmington this past Tuesday ended a 44-game streak without an overtime. Prior to Tuesday's contest, the last time Liberty had went to an extra period was on Feb. 4, 2009, when the Flames were edged on the road by Gardner-Webb, 95-90.