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WBB Game Day Central: Elon
Liberty's first road game of the 2014-15 season will feature a pair of teams off to a strong start this year. The Lady Flames (2-1) have recorded back-to-back wins over Atlantic 10 foes, while Elon is 3-0 for the first time since 1997-98. Tuesday evening's tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Gym.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Former Big South Conference rivals Liberty and Elon will square off for the first time since Feb. 22, 2003, during the Phoenix's final season as a conference member.
2) For the second consecutive Tuesday, the Lady Flames will look to hand their opponent its first loss of the season. On Nov. 18, Liberty defeated 2-0 VCU by a 69-53 count. Elon enters Tuesday's tilt with a 3-0 mark, as the Phoenix are off to their best start since the 1997-98 squad opened the year at 4-0.
3) Liberty will play eight of its next nine games away from Lynchburg, beginning with a tough venue at Alumni Gym. Elon was 10-4 at home in 2013-14 and has won its first two home games this season.
4) Liberty and Elon share a common opponent in Charlotte. The Lady Flames lost their season opener to the 49ers by a 79-77 count, Nov. 14 at the Vines Center. Meanwhile, Elon is coming off of a 67-54 triumph at Charlotte on Friday.
5) Karly Buer has played very well to start her Liberty career. She has scored in double figures in all three games this year, including a team-high 15 points on Saturday against Saint Joseph's. In that contest, Buer scored the Lady Flames' last eight points, including the game-winning free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining on the overtime clock.
Liberty vs. Elon At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 11-3.
Current Streak: Liberty has won three straight meetings.
Series Record at Elon: Liberty leads, 4-2.
Current Streak at Elon: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 74, Elon 66 (Feb. 22, 2003 at Elon)
Last Meeting at Elon: Same
Elon's Last Series Victory: Elon 68, Liberty 59 (Feb. 21, 2002 at Elon)
Elon's Last Series Victory at Home: Same
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 359-122 (16th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Elon: 7-3
Elon Head Coach: Charlotte Smith
Overall Record (Seasons): 53-44 (Fourth Season)
Record at Elon (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes
• Tuesday's contest will be the first meeting between Liberty and Elon since Feb. 22, 2003, during Elon's final season as a Big South Conference member. The Phoenix are currently in their first year in the CAA, following a decade in the Southern Conference.
• Liberty won the most recent matchup between the Lady Flames and Phoenix by a 74-66 count on Feb. 22, 2003 at Alumni Gym, clinching the top seed for the Big South Championship. The Lady Flames were led by sophomore Katie Feenstra's 21 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
• At 3-0, Elon is off to its best start to a season since 1997-98, when the Phoenix won their first four games of their initial year transitioning to the Division I level.
• Liberty and Elon have both faced Charlotte already this season. The Lady Flames dropped a 79-77 home contest to the 49ers on Nov. 14, while the Phoenix recorded a 67-54 triumph at Charlotte on Friday.
• Elon went 10-4 at Alumni Gym last season and has won each of its first two home games to start the 2014-15 campaign.
• Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season as Elon's head coach. She is perhaps best known for hitting the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer of the 1994 NCAA national championship game, giving North Carolina a dramatic 60-59 win over Louisiana Tech.
Closing Out a Close One
Karly Buer's free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining in overtime gave Liberty a 76-75 victory over Saint Joseph's on Saturday and snapped a pair of losing streaks.
• Prior to Saturday, Liberty had lost nine consecutive games decided by five points or fewer. The Lady Flames' most recent victory in a close game was a 67-65 triumph at Radford on Dec. 1, 2012.
• The Lady Flames also halted a three-game losing streak in overtime tilts. Liberty's last overtime win was a 77-70 victory at Winthrop on Jan. 16, 2014.
Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has featured a balanced scoring attack thus far this season, as a different player has led the team in scoring in each game and six different Lady Flames have scored in double figures at least once. Seven players are averaging between seven and 12 points per game for the young season.
Picking Up Where She Left Off
After posting 16 double-doubles last season, Ashley Rininger has notched double-doubles in two of the first three games to open 2014-15. She became the first Lady Flame since Megan Frazee in 2006-07 to open a season with back-to-back double-doubles.
Making a Good First Impression
Karly Buer has scored 10 or more points in each of her first three games at Liberty, after transferring from Missouri State during the offseason. The last Lady Flame to reach double figures in each of her first three games in a Liberty uniform was Devon Brown, who started her career with five straight double-digit outputs during the 2009-10 season.
Get Out Your GPS
Beginning on Tuesday, Liberty will play eight of its next nine games away from the Vines Center, including contests in four different states (Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia). During that span, the Lady Flames will face two Big Ten opponents (Minnesota and Penn State), one ACC foe (NC State) and one SEC squad (South Carolina).
Traveling Around the Tar Heel State
Tuesday's contest will be the Lady Flames' first of six games played in North Carolina this season. The Tar Heel State is home to two Liberty players, including Jaymee Fisher-Davis (Charlotte) and Mickayla Sanders (Clayton). Last season, Liberty went just 2-4 when playing in North Carolina.
A Look Back at Liberty's 76-75 Overtime Win Over Saint Joseph's
• Liberty closed out a three-game season-opening homestand with a thrilling 76-75 overtime win over Saint Joseph's, Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center.
• Karly Buer scored the Lady Flames' final eight points of overtime, including a game-winning free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining.
• It marked Liberty's second win over an Atlantic 10 opponent in five days, after defeating VCU on Tuesday. The contest also snapped the Lady Flames' nine-game losing streak in games decided by five points or fewer.
• Liberty won the rebounding battle by a 52-32 count and converted 20 offensive boards into 23 second-chance points.
• The Lady Flames' reserves scored 44 points, as compared with just seven for Saint Joseph's.
• Buer paced the Lady Flames with 15 points, her highest total in three games at Liberty. She is the first Lady Flame since Devon Brown in 2009-10 to begin her time at Liberty with three consecutive double-digit scoring outputs.
• For Gardner, it was her highest scoring performance since she recorded 13 points against Radford on Feb. 16, 2013.
• Kearney's 13 points were one shy of her career high and came against her parents' alma mater.
• Sadalia Ellis scored 14 points in a career-high 37 minutes played.