Liberty (0-3) vs. UC Irvine (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 19, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bernard Johnson Coliseum (6,110) -- Huntsville, Texas.
Television: None. Home Record: Liberty 0-1, UCI 2-0. Away Record: Liberty 0-2,
UCI 0-1. Neutral Record: Liberty 0-0, UCI 0-0. Conference Record: Liberty 0-0,
UCI 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Liberty Flames and the UC Irvine Anteaters meet for the first
time ever this evening, as they take part in the Legends Classic from Bernard
Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville, Texas.
The round-robin tournament will also include Southern Miss and hosts Sam
Houston State, with each team facing each other over the next three days.
Liberty has had no success this season with regard to finding the win column.
It opened up with a blowout loss to Richmond (84-42), then came home and was
defeated by William & Mary (71-59). The Flames showed some improvements in the
Washington regional of the Legends Classic when they fought hard against
Georgetown, but they came down on the wrong side of a 68-59 decision.
UCI's season started with an impressive 78-64 home win over Nevada, but that
was followed by a tough loss at UCLA (80-79). That effort proved the team
shouldn't be taken lightly. The Anteaters had an offensive explosion against
Pacifica the last time out, winning 116-47, but this bout starts a string of
seven road games in their next eight overall.
Liberty has yet to score more than 60 points in any game this season, and its
.363 field goal percentage is indicative of its struggles at the offensive
end. Things are beginning to look up for the Flames however, as they raised
their shooting percentage to .429 against a sound Georgetown team, which
included an impressive 10-of-19 showing from three-point range. Casey Roberts
came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 13 points, and Davon
Marshall and Tavares Speaks scored 12 points apiece. Roberts and Marshall did
the majority of their damage from beyond the arc, combining to nail 7-of-11
three-point tries. Marshall is the team's leading scorer on the year with 12.0
ppg, and no one else averages double figures at the moment. J.R. Coronado
averages just 3.3 ppg, but he's the Flames' leading rebounder with 7.7 per
UCI could do no wrong in its latest win over Pacifica, as it combined an
outstanding shooting night (.618) with a suffocating effort at the defensive
end as it held its overmatched opponent to just 21.5 percent field goal
efficiency. The 69-point margin of victory was the largest in school history.
Among the many players to have a successful night was Conor Clifford, who
logged a double-double consisting of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Adding to the
solid bench effort was Alex Young (15 points) and Travis Souza (13 points),
both of whom drilled three shots from beyond the arc. Chris McNealy registered
15 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Michael Wilder scored 12 points
on 4-of-6 from three-point range, and Will Davis II chipped in 10 points.
Daman Starring (17.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg) had been the team's top performer but he
missed the last game. Wilder (15.7 ppg) has hit more than 52 percent of his
three-pointers through three games.
In a matchup between squads heading in opposite directions, this one could be
a one-sided affair. UCI has one of the best core units in the Big West and it
should continue its early-season scoring success.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 88, Liberty 60
11/19 10:41:26 ET
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