Liberty (11-20) at Coastal Carolina (14-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 5, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The HTC Center (3,212) -- Conway, South Carolina.
Television: None. Home Record: Liberty 8-7, CCU 12-3. Away Record: Liberty
3-11, CCU 2-11. Neutral Record: Liberty 0-2, CCU 0-0. Conference Record:
Liberty 6-10, CCU 9-7. Series Record: Liberty leads, 27-23.
GAME NOTES: The Big South Conference Tournament tips off on Tuesday at the HTC
Center as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers entertain the Liberty Flames in
Liberty, the fifth seed from the North Division of the conference, started off
the 2012-13 campaign rather rough with eight straight defeats before finally
picking up a victory, albeit against a program outside of Division I play in
Southern Virginia. As far as conference play was concerned, the Flames never
even put together back-to-back wins, although there is a chance for that on
Tuesday after the team closed out the regular season over the weekend with a
73-56 triumph versus Radford on the road.
As for the Chanticleers, the fourth seed from the South Division, they too had
problems stringing together multiple wins in league action, but still they
finished with a record two games over .500 at 9-7 even after bowing to
Charleston Southern on Saturday, 75-64.
Coastal Carolina has a mark of 15-22 in this tournament over the years and
while the squad appeared in the title game in both 2010 and 2011, it has not
taken home the trophy since 1993. Liberty has a record of 17-19 in this event
and has taken the championship twice, most recently in 2004.
In terms of an all-time series between these two squads, Liberty owns a 27-23
advantage, with the Flames taking a 64-56 win in the most recent encounter in
the middle of January.
The winner of this meeting will be pitted against the top seed from the North
Division, High Point, in quarterfinals action on Thursday night.
Producing 68.6 ppg on the season, the Flames sported a trio of double-digit
scorers in John Caleb Sanders (13.8 ppg), Tavares Speaks (13.1 ppg) and Davon
Marshall (12.8 ppg), the latter being the only player on the roster to have
started all 31 games for Liberty. Marshall is also the primary 3-pointer
shooter for the squad, having knocked down 84-of-209 (.402) on the outside
which means he has made more than twice as many long-distance shots than
anyone else on the roster. Although he shows up much further down on the
scoring list with a mere 5.2 ppg, having JR Coronado on the floor can be both
a blessing and a curse for the squad since he leads them in rebounding (8.4
rpg) but is also shooting just 50 percent at the free-throw line.
The key figure on the Chanticleers this season is Anthony Raffa who was
recently named First Team All-Big South, having earned a spot on the second
team a season ago. This time around Raffa finished second in the conference in
scoring with 19.0 ppg, pacing the program on the perimeter where he made good
on 60-of-167 (.359). On a squad that averaged about eight steals per outing,
Raffa finished second in that department with 52, trailing only Kierre
Greenwood (12.7 ppg) who not only had 53 thefts, he was also first on the unit
with 114 assists as he directed traffic on the floor. Warren Gillis (10.7 ppg)
completes the list of double-digit scorers for CCU, while El Hadji Ndieguene
(7.0 rpg) leads a rebounding effort that has topped the competition by more
than six rebounds per game.
With a little more of a presence in the paint and playing in front of a
favorable crowd, expect to see the Chanticleers advance to the next round of
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Coastal Carolina 68, Liberty 63
03/05 11:45:20 ET
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