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WBB Game Day Central: Coastal Carolina
Liberty (9-5, 5-0 Big South) will look to extend several winning streaks and retain the conference lead on Thursday when the Lady Flames travel to Coastal Carolina (7-6, 1-3 Big South). Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. inside The HTC Center, site of the 2015 Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty enters Thursday's contest riding a three-game winning streak overall and a 42-game winning streak against Coastal Carolina. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames are 6-1 all-time at The HTC Center and 51-6 when playing in South Carolina under head coach Carey Green, a Coastal Carolina alum.
2) Rebounding will be a key statistic to watch. Liberty has topped the nation in rebound margin for three straight seasons. However, Coastal Carolina leads the Big South and ranks No. 5 nationally in rebound margin in 2014-15, at +13.4.
3) The Lady Flames will look to slow down the Chanticleers, who are averaging a conference-best 77.2 ppg. Liberty is yielding only 50.8 ppg through its first five Big South contests.
4) Playing its fourth game in 10 days, Liberty will hope for continued strong production from its bench. On Monday, the Lady Flames' reserves scored 37 of the team's 59 points against Presbyterian.
5) Ashley Rininger, the reigning Big South and ECAC Division I South Player of the Week, is averaging 14.7 ppg and 14.7 rpg over her last three games. She notched two double-doubles against Coastal Carolina a year ago.
Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 52-7.
Current Streak: Liberty has won 42 consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Coastal Carolina: Liberty leads, 23-3.
Current Streak at Coastal Carolina: Liberty has won 18 consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 64, Coastal Carolina 46 (Feb. 6, 2014 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Coastal Carolina: Liberty 71, Coastal Carolina 62 (Jan. 4, 2014)
Coastal's Last Series Victory: Coastal 70, Liberty 55 (Feb. 19, 1996 at CCU)
Coastal's Last Series Victory at Home: Same
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 366-126 (16th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Coastal Carolina: 34-0
Coastal Carolina Head Coach: Jaida Williams
Overall Record (Seasons): 22-22 (Second Season)
Record at Coastal Carolina (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-2
Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty has won 42 consecutive games in the head-to-head series against Coastal Carolina, marking the second-longest active winning streak against a conference opponent in NCAA Division I women's basketball. (See additional details on the next page.)
• The HTC Center will play host to the Big South Women's Basketball Championship for the third consecutive year, March 3-8. Liberty is 6-1 all-time at the facility, including 2-0 against the Chanticleers. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina is 6-2 at home this season.
• Liberty is 51-6 all-time in games played in South Carolina under head coach Carey Green.
• Liberty head coach Carey Green, a 1979 graduate of Coastal Carolina, is 34-0 coaching against his alma mater.
• New-look Coastal Carolina, which boasts only two holdovers from last season's team (AJ Jordan and Olivia Carlton), got off to a 7-2 start but has since lost four games in a row.
• Four Chanticleers are averaging more points per game than Liberty's scoring leader, Karly Buer (12.3 ppg), including Jordan (15.0), Ced Gibson (13.6), Anna Vogt (13.2) and Stephanie Isaacs (12.7).
• Coastal Carolina ranks No. 5 nationally in rebound margin (+13.4) this season.
Liberty has won 42 consecutive games against Coastal Carolina, which is the second-longest active winning streak against a conference opponent in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Here is a look at the top four.
1) Stanford vs. Washington State - 57 (Pac-12)
2) Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina - 42 (Big South)
3) Duke vs. Wake Forest - 41 (ACC)
4) Tennessee vs. Alabama - 40 (SEC)
Unbeaten in the Big South
The Lady Flames are off to their first 5-0 conference start since 2008-09, when they started 15-0. Here are a couple keys to Liberty's strong start in Big South play.
• Liberty has played strong defense in its first five Big South games, yielding just 50.8 ppg and holding opponents to 28.9 percent field goal shooting.
• Ashley Rininger is averaging a double-double in conference play, with 12.0 ppg and 10.4 rpg.
Feasting at the Foul Line
The Lady Flames lead the Big South and rank No. 22 nationally at 75.4 percent.
• Liberty's season record for free throw percentage is 72.8 percent, set in 2007-08.
• Four of the Lady Flames' starters are shooting 75 percent or higher from the foul line this season, including Karly Buer (85.7), Simone Brown (85.3), Ashley Rininger (79.1) and Sadalia Ellis (75.0).
A Look Back at Liberty's 59-42 Win Over Presbyterian
• Liberty's reserves paved the way for the Lady Flames' 59-42 victory over Presbyterian, Monday evening at the Vines Center, scoring 37 points.
• Liberty started off slowly, going 8:52 before making its first field goal of the evening.
• The Lady Flames took the lead for good with an 11-0 run that spanned both halves.
• Liberty improved to 9-5 overall with its third straight win and its fifth consecutive home victory, which marked the Lady Flames' 250th all-time triumph at the Vines Center.
• The Lady Flames are 5-0 to start conference play for the first time since 2008-09 and are the Big South's only remaining unbeaten team.
• Liberty held PC to 30.2 percent (13-of-43) field goal shooting and only six points in the paint.
• The Lady Flames dominated nearly every statistical category, including rebounds (43-27), points in the paint (22-6), points off turnovers (23-5) and second-chance points (13-2).
• Jaymee Fisher-Davis paced Liberty's bench bunch with a team-high and season-high 13 points and three triples.
• Mickayla Sanders added 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds off the bench.
• Emily Frazier contributed nine points, a season-high nine assists, a season-high three steals and zero turnovers in 25 minutes at the point guard spot.
• After being named Big South Player of the Week earlier in the day, Ashley Rininger tallied nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Ashley Rininger has returned from Christmas break with a trio of impressive performances, averaging 14.7 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 2.7 bpg in three Liberty wins.
• Rininger is the reigning Big South and ECAC Division I South Women's Basketball Player of the Week.
Liberty ranks second in the Big South and No. 23 nationally with 5.4 blocked shots per game. The Lady Flames have not topped the conference in blocks since 2004-05.
• Ashley Rininger is leading the way, ranking third in the Big South with 2.0 bpg. She is one of only five Lady Flames ever to block 100 career shots.
• Teammate Katelyn Adams is nearing the century mark herself, as the redshirt junior enters Thursday's contest with 98 career rejections.
• Interestingly, 5-6 Sadalia Ellis is tied for third on the team with seven blocks in 2014-15.