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WBB Game Day Central: Longwood
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Liberty (18-10, 14-5 Big South) will play its final regular-season contest at Longwood (8-20, 5-14 Big South), Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Willett Hall. The Lady Flames will aim to complete a regular-season sweep of the Lancers and run their winning streak to five games.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) In order to capture a share of its 15th Big South regular-season title in 17 years, Liberty needs to defeat Longwood and have Radford take down High Point on Saturday. The Lady Flames enter the regular-season finale tied with Winthrop for second place in the conference standings at 14-5.
2) Liberty will attempt to equal its longest winning streak of the season (five games) heading into the Big South Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Flames are also in search of their 11th straight win over the Lancers.
3) Liberty head coach Carey Green will look for continued strong production from his bench, which has tallied 77 points in the last two games, as compared to just 11 for the opponents' reserves.
4) Two of the Lady Flames' bench players (Mickayla Sanders and Jaymee Fisher-Davis) excelled during Liberty's first meeting with Longwood this season, tying for team-high scoring honors with 16 points apiece and combining for seven made triples.
5) Liberty has made 50 percent (20-of-40) of its three-point tries during the last two games, including 11 at Radford on Thursday. That fell just one triple shy of the program single-game record. The Lady Flames drained 10 trifectas against Longwood on Jan. 23.
Liberty vs. Longwood At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 17-15.
Current Streak: Liberty has won 10 consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Longwood: Longwood leads, 11-3.
Current Streak at Longwood: Liberty has won three consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 74, Longwood 41 (Jan. 23, 2014 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Longwood: Liberty 97, Longwood 56 (Feb. 9, 2013)
Longwood's Last Series Victory: Longwood 95, Liberty 88 (Feb. 12, 1988 at Long.)
Longwood's Last Series Victory at Home: Same
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 355-120 (15th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Longwood: 9-0
Longwood Head Coach: Bill Reinson
Overall Record (Seasons): 35-78 (Fourth Season)
Record at Longwood (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-5
Notes and Anecdotes
• The final regular-season game prior to the start of the Big South Championship will feature the two teams which squared off in the 2013 Big South Women's Basketball Championship title game. No. 1 seed Liberty ended No. 7 seed Longwood's Cinderella run with a 54-45 victory, earning its 15th Big South Championship crown in 17 years.
• Liberty made 10 three-pointers on its way to a 74-41 win over Longwood on Jan. 23. Jaymee Fisher-Davis and Mickayla Sanders combined for seven triples and tallied 16 points apiece for the Lady Flames.
• The Lady Flames scorched the nets during their last visit to Willett Hall (Feb. 9, 2013), shooting 60.3 percent from the floor in a 97-56 victory. Katelyn Adams (13 points), Reagan Miller (12 points) and Emily Frazier (10 points) all scored in double figures.
• Longwood is seeking its first win over Liberty since Feb. 12, 1988, as the Lady Flames have won all 10 head-to-head matchups with their Route 460 foe since gaining NCAA Division I status prior to the 1988-89 season.
• Daeisha Brown, a 5-3 sophomore guard, tops the Lancers in scoring at 15.5 ppg, but has missed six games due to injury this season, including Longwood's last two outings.
• Liberty has outrebounded Longwood by an average of 27.0 boards per game in the teams' four meetings during the last two seasons.
What's at Stake?
If Liberty is victorious at Longwood on Saturday, the Lady Flames would keep their chances alive for a share of their 15th Big South regular-season title in the last 17 years. Liberty would also need High Point to lose at Radford.
Liberty is 12-2 in its final game of the regular season under head coach Carey Green.
• 11 of the 12 times the Lady Flames have won their final regular-season tilt under Green, they have gone on to win the Big South Championship. The only exception came in 2010-11.
Competing Against the Commonwealth
Liberty will close out the regular season with a road matchup against in-state foe Longwood on Saturday. The Lady Flames have won four consecutive games against Commonwealth opponents, improving to 4-2 versus in-state opposition this season.
Three-point shooting has played a key role in Liberty's last two victories, as the Lady Flames are hitting 50 percent (20-of-40) of their three-point tries. On Thursday, Liberty nailed a season-best 11 triples at Radford, falling one shy of the program single-game record of 12.
• With 157 three-pointers this season, the Lady Flames are within striking distance of the program single-season record of 173 triples set a year ago.
• Liberty is scorching the nets from beyond the arc again this season despite the fact that 102 of last year's triples were made by graduating seniors.
A Look Back at Liberty's 90-46 Victory at Radford
• Liberty made a season-best 11 three-pointers Thursday evening at Radford, highlighting its 90-46 romp over the Highlanders.
• The Lady Flames' 44-point margin of victory was their largest ever in 61 all-time meetings with the Highlanders and their largest in any game this season.
• Liberty's 11 made triples tied the Dedmon Center single-game record and fell just one shy of the Lady Flame's program single-game record.
• The Lady Flames' fourth straight win moved them into a tie with Winthrop for second place in the Big South standings.
• Liberty enjoyed a season-best +35 rebound margin, grabbing 50 rebounds to Radford's 15 (which set a Dedmon Center record for fewest boards in a contest). The Lady Flames collected 20 offensive rebounds, converting them into 21 points.
• The Lady Flames tied their season high with 46 bench points.
• It was the fifth time in the last seven games that Liberty has held its opponent below 50 points.
• In just 16 minutes, Katelyn Adams recorded her sixth double-double of the season, with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
• Ashley Rininger chipped in a dozen points and eight rebounds.
• Playing in only her sixth career contest, Audrey Rettstatt posted her first double-digit scoring performance with 10 points and added a career-high four rebounds.
• Sadalia Ellis dished out a career-high nine assists.
Liberty boasts a youthful roster this season, featuring seven freshmen and five sophomores among its 16 players.
• Freshmen and sophomores are scoring 79.8 percent of Liberty's points, grabbing 78.5 percent of the Lady Flames' rebounds and playing 76.4 percent of the team's minutes during the 2013-14 campaign.
If past results are any indication, Saturday afternoon's contest could be a tight battle. Seven of Liberty's first nine Big South road games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer, with three of those matchups requiring overtime.
• Liberty has struggled in close games this season, going 0-6 in games decided by five points or fewer. The Lady Flames are 1-3 in overtime tilts.
Liberty has gotten a lift from its reserves in recent weeks, outscoring its opponent in bench points in 12 straight games. In the last two contests, the Lady Flames have racked up 77 bench points to their opponents' 11.
• Two of Liberty's top five scorers this season are currently coming off of the bench, in Mickayla Sanders (9.8 ppg) and Sadalia Ellis (7.3 ppg).