The Liberty Flames return to the hardwood on Tuesday evening for a matchup against former assistant coach Omar Mance and his Trevecca Nazarene squad. The Flames are seeking to start the season 2-0 for the 2nd straight year. The game will tip-off at approximately 8:30 on ESPN+, and is part of a double header as the Lady Flames will host Virginia Tech at 6pm.
Mance was at Liberty from 2013-2016 serving as an assistant under both Dale Layer and Ritchie McKay. He left prior to the 2016-17 season to become an assistant at Vanderbilt for 1 season and then his alma mater Rice for 1 year. He was named head coach at Division II Trevecca Nazarene in June.
“Make no mistake about it,” McKay said, “Omar Mance recruited some of these guys, knows the program. It’s a game that I’m sure they will be highly prepared for.”
This game will be the first of the season for the Trojans after opening the year with a 81-63 exhibition win against Covenant College. Trevecca was 6-22 a season ago. This will be Liberty’s 2nd consecutive game against a non-DI opponent to open the season, the first time that has happened since McKay’s first season back with the Flames in 2015-16. Liberty will face its first Division I competition of the regular season on Friday when it travels to take on Kent State.
“When you have the non-conference schedule that we have, you have to create some balance,” said McKay. “It just so happened at the beginning of the year, with our conference affiliation change, we were forced to kind of realign the schedule, and it just fell this way that our first two games are against non-1s.”