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Lady Flames Hope to Clinch No. 1 Seed at CSU
Game Day Central
Liberty (18-8, 12-1 Big South) will play its final road game of the regular season Monday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames travel to Charleston Southern (12-14, 6-7 Big South). The Lady Flames, who have already clinched a share of the Big South regular-season title, can wrap up the outright championship and the No. 1 seed for the Big South Women's Basketball Championship with a victory.
Liberty has won nine straight games overall, 15 consecutive road games against Big South opponents and 28 straight matchups with the Lady Buccaneers.
The Lady Flames enjoyed a considerable amount of success versus Charleston Southern over the years, leading the head-to-head series by a 43-5 count. Liberty has won 28 straight matchups with the Lady Buccaneers, by an average of 23.1 ppg.
Charleston Southern's most recent triumph over Liberty was a 66-60 decision, Jan. 18, 1999 at the CSU Field House. In that game, CSU overcame a 14-point first-half deficit, as well as Sharon Wilkerson's eight triples and 26 points for the Lady Flames. Since then, Liberty has won 11 straight games at Charleston Southern.
Liberty won this season's first matchup against the Lady Buccaneers by a 63-46 count, Jan. 22 inside the Vines Center. Defense keyed the Lady Flames' victory. They limited CSU to 29.1 percent field goal shooting and a season-low 46 points.
Liberty never trailed during the contest, and all five Lady Flame starters scored at least eight points. Leading the way was Avery Warley, who notched 15 points and 16 rebounds. Warley was also successful against CSU a year ago, averaging 20.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg during Liberty's two wins over the Lady Bucs.
Charleston Southern is one of the nation's leaders for three-point shooting, while Liberty is one of the NCAA's best squads at defending the trifecta.
The Lady Buccaneers rank No. 7 in the nation for made three-pointers, connecting on 210 triples so far this season. Katie Tull has made 88 of those three-pointers, which is one more than Liberty's team has hit all year.
Meanwhile, Liberty ranks No. 6 in the NCAA for three-point field goal defense. Opponents are only connecting on 25.7 percent of their three-point attempts against the Lady Flames in 2010-11.
In the two teams' first meeting this season on Jan. 22, CSU made 10 three-pointers on 35 attempts, which is a 28.6 percent clip.
During its last seven games, Liberty has done a nice job of neutralizing its opponents' top scorer, including Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan, Gardner-Webb's Monique Hudson, High Point's Shamia Brown, Radford's Da'Naria Erwin Spencer and Coastal Carolina's Sydnei Moss.
Those players are averaging just 6.1 ppg versus the Lady Flames over the last seven contests, while shooting only 20.5 percent (16-of-78) from the field.
Tull is the Lady Buccaneers' leading scorer and tops the conference at 15.7 ppg. However, Liberty has traditionally held the senior sharpshooter in check. She has only scored more than 11 points once during eight career meetings with the Lady Flames.