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WBB Game Day Central: Penn State
Tournament at a Glance
Liberty (2-2) will spend the holiday weekend in Atlanta, competing in the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament. The Lady Flames will square off with three-time defending Big Ten champion Penn State (1-3) in the tournament opener, Friday at 2 p.m. Liberty defeated Penn State, 78-70, in the teams' only previous meeting, in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
Friday's second game, set for a 4 p.m. tipoff, will feature host Georgia State (2-0) of the Sun Belt Conference and Samford (3-1) of the Southern Conference. Liberty is 1-0 all-time against Samford and has never faced Georgia State on the hardwood.
Following an off day, Friday's two victors will square off for the tournament championship on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., following the 12:30 p.m. consolation game.
Liberty will seek its first regular-season tournament title since the 2009 Navy Classic in its final contests before tipping off Big South play on Dec. 6 at Radford.
Liberty vs. Penn State At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 1-0
Previous Meeting: Liberty 78, Penn State 70 (March 20, 2005 in College Park, Md.)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 359-123 (16th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Penn State: 1-0
Penn State Head Coach: Coquese Washington
Overall Record (Seasons): 143-84 (Eighth Season)
Record at Penn State (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes
• The only previous meeting between Liberty and Penn State produced one of the biggest victories in program history for the Lady Flames. No. 13 seed Liberty upset No. 4 seed Penn State, 78-70, in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, on March 20, 2005 in College Park, Md. The Lady Flames' first-ever NCAA Tournament victory featured double-doubles by Katie Feenstra (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Rima Margeviciute (18 points, 12 rebounds). Liberty went on to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
• Penn State has won three consecutive Big Ten regular-season titles and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season. However, the Lady Lions graduated their top four scorers from that team and are off to a 1-3 start this season. Penn State enters the weekend on a three-game losing streak, its longest since dropping five in a row between Jan. 31-Feb. 14, 2010.
• The Lady Lions will be playing their first games away from home in 2014-15 this weekend after opening the year with four straight tilts at the Bryce Jordan Center.
• Penn State is the only Big Ten team Liberty has ever defeated, as the Lady Flames are 1-3 against conference opponents. Liberty's most recent Big Ten matchup was a 77-43 setback to Purdue on March 24, 2013 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Eighth-year Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington played against Liberty during her career. She scored 15 points in a 113-35 Notre Dame triumph over the Lady Flames in the opening game of the UCF Rotary Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 24, 1989.
• Penn State assistant coach Itoro (Umoh) Coleman was an All-American player at Clemson during Carey Green's time as an assistant coach for the Tigers. She went on to serve as a student assistant at Liberty during Green's first season as the Lady Flames' head coach, 1999-2000.
Liberty will seek its first victory in the opening game of a regular-season tournament since defeating Cornell in the first round of the Marriott Cavalier Classic, Dec. 28, 2009 in Charlottesville, Va.
The Lady Flames' most recent regular-season tournament championship came at the 2009 Navy Classic (Nov. 20-21, 2009), when Liberty defeated Tulane and Navy to claim the title in Annapolis, Md.
Playing in the Peach State
Liberty has not played a game in Georgia since March 16, 2001, when the Lady Flames fell to Georgia by a 77-48 score in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Athens, Ga.
The Lady Flames' most recent regular-season games in the Peach State came at the Georgia Southern Tournament on Jan. 6-7, 1995 in Statesboro, Ga.
Streaks at Stake
Karly Buer and Ashley Rininger have been the Lady Flames' most consistent performers through the early stages of the 2014-15 season. Buer has scored in double figures in each of her first four games as a Lady Flame, while Rininger has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in all four outings.
• The last Liberty player to open her Lady Flames career with four or more consecutive games of scoring in double figures was Devon Brown, who reached double digits in five straight games to open the 2009-10 season.
• Rininger is the first Lady Flame to pull down double-digit rebounds in a season's first four games since Theresa Bream in 1992-93.
A Look Back at Liberty's 73-62 Loss at Elon
• Elon raced out to a 9-0 advantage to start Tuesday evening's contest at Alumni Gym and never trailed Liberty the rest of the way. The Phoenix improved to 4-0 with a 73-62 victory.
• Liberty's first road game of the season was the Lady Flames' first matchup with their former Big South Conference rival since Feb. 22, 2003.
• The Lady Flames shot just 27.9 percent (19-of-68) for the game, which was their lowest field goal percentage since hitting 26.3 percent (15-of-57) of their attempts against Purdue on March 24, 2013.
• Liberty stayed within striking distance by making 73.3 percent (22-of-30) of its foul shots, setting season highs for free throws made and attempted.
• The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle, 54-41, and turned 26 offensive boards into 24 second-chance points.
• Elon hit six three-pointers in the second half to stave off Liberty's attempts at a comeback.
• Karly Buer led all players with 15 points, scoring in double figures for the fourth straight game to start her Liberty career.
• Ashley Rininger recorded her third double-double of the young season, consisting of 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
• Sadalia Ellis made it three Lady Flames in double figures with 11 points.
• Jasmine Gardner contributed nine points and eight rebounds (seven offensive).
• Simone Brown played a team-high 32 minutes, equaling her career high.