Liberty (4-10) opens Big South Conference Play this evening against 2-time defending conference champions UNC Asheville. What you need to know about the Bulldogs:
Asheville is 6-8 on the season with notable wins over St John’s and Northeastern.
- UNC-A is coming off an overtime loss to Charlotte 71-63 on Wednesday.
- The Bulldogs have faced a tough schedule this season including Tennessee, Providence, NC State, Ohio State, and Charlotte.
- The Flames and Bulldogs have one common opponent: Western Carolina. UNC-A beat the Catamounts in Asheville 71-61 in their season opener on November 9. Liberty faced WCU in their last outing, besting the Catmounts in Cullowhee 63-62.
- Asheville was tabbed in the preseason to finish 3rd out of 6 teams in the Big South South Division.
- This season marks the first year that the Big South has split into two divisions, North and South. Liberty is in the North; Asheville is in the South. So, this will be the only time the schools face each other this year unless they meet up in the postseason.
- The last time the 2 schools did not play each other at least twice in a season? 1990-91
- The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 29-20.
- In an odd stat, the last 3 seasons the teams have alternated sweeping the season series. Asheville swept the season series in 2009-10, Liberty swept the season series in 2010-11, and Asheville swept the season series last year.
- Senior Forward Jeremy Atkinson is leading the team with 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. In the upset win over St John’s, Atkinson had 31 points and 9 rebounds.
- Other players to watch are Sophomore Guard Keith Hornsby and Junior Center D.J. Cunningham. Hornsby, Bruce’s son, is averaging 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists per game, and is shooting 46% from 3. Cunningham is averaging 8.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game.
- At #122, Asheville is the highest ranked Big South team according to KenPom.com.