Where: The Death Star (Lynchburg, VA)
When: Tuesday January 22, 7PM
Longwood will voyage into the bowels of the Death Star for the first time in over five years Tuesday night to take on the Liberty Flames. The game can possible reignite a rivalry that is 35 years old, with Longwood holding the all-time advantage 18-7. Longwood has never won in the Vines Center in the Division I era, but Tuesday’s match up will feature two very even teams.
Liberty has won two games over Division I competition this year with a victory over Western Carolina and a conference win over Coastal Carolina 64-46. But the season has been an up and down affair for the Flames with more downs than ups. Just this past Saturday Liberty lost to Presbyterian to mark the only DI win for the Flames this year. Liberty coach Dale Layer finds himself very much on the hot seat heading into the Big South stretch. Layer is 53-61 as the Flames head coach but finds himself in the midst of one of the worst season in program history.
The make up of Layer’s squad is interesting to say the least. The Flames feature five junior college transfers and would have six if Jarred Jourdan wouldn’t have left the team earlier in the season. The Flames also only feature one player from the state of Virginia, which happens to be the coach’s son Ethan Layer. Liberty does not really have a standout player but guards Davon Marshall, John Caleb Sanders, and Tavares Speaks all average just over 10 points per game. 6’8 big man JR Coronado has been a vicious rebounder and ranks third in the conference behind Michael Kessens and Stan Okoye. Coronado is not polished on the offensive end of the floor though.
Nik Brown’s availability is unknown for this game after missing the last game and a half due to a concussion. Lucas Woodhouse has filled in admirably with 21 assists combined versus Radford and UNC Asheville. Michael Kessens is coming off a double-double but could be neutralized in this with with a slew of big bodies the Flames can throw at him. The Lancers success may hinge on TT Carey and David Robinson who have been on fire of late. Robinson is coming off a 20 point performance and Carey is now sixth in the conference in scoring averaging just over 15 points per game.
To add fuel to the fire Liberty assistant Vince Walden is a Longwood alum (JUDAS!).
The Lancer Lunatics have a sold out on bus trip on tap for this one and plenty of other fans will be making the voyage to the Death Star. If you can’t make it to Lynchburg then check the game out on MASN2 HD or ESPN3.