College Basketball

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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 first-round action.

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 the tournament.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Coastal Carolina 68, Liberty 63

03/05 11:45:20 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
4th
OKC 89
MEM 75
 
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
3rd
COL 3
MIN 1
 
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR