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WBB Game Day Central: Charleston Southern
Big South-leading Liberty (11-5, 7-0 Big South) begins a two-game South Carolina swing Saturday at Charleston Southern (3-12, 0-7 Big South). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Buc Dome for the 57th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Buccaneers.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty will attempt to extend a number of winning streaks on Saturday. The Lady Flames have won a season-best five straight games overall, seven consecutive meetings with Charleston Southern and 12 straight Big South regular-season games, dating back to last season.
2) Meanwhile, Charleston Southern is aiming to snap a seven-game losing streak and achieve its first win over a Division I opponent since Jan. 21, 2014.
3) Liberty has played stifling defense in recent weeks, keeping four straight opponents below the 50-point mark. If the Lady Flames can do so on Saturday, it would mark the first time they have ever held five consecutive opponents to fewer than 50 points.
4) Coming off of her sixth double-double this season, Ashley Rininger will return to the Buc Dome, where she has historically played well. In two previous appearances at the facility, Rininger is averaging 20.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 4.0 bpg while shooting 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the field.
5) Karly Buer hit three of Liberty's season-high 11 three-pointers during Tuesday's 70-48 win over Longwood, moving to within 22 points of 1,000 for her collegiate career. In Big South games, Buer is averaging a team-high 14.4 ppg, while shooting 55.7 percent from the field, 57.9 percent from three-point range and 91.7 percent from the free throw line.
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 50-6.
Current Streak: Liberty has won seven consecutive meetings.
Series Record at CSU: Liberty leads, 21-4.
Current Streak at CSU: Liberty has won three consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 66, Charleston Southern 45 (Feb. 8, 2014 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at CSU: Liberty 92, Charleston Southern 69 (Jan. 2, 2014)
CSU's Last Series Victory: Charleston So. 54, Liberty 51 (Feb. 28, 2011 at CSU)
CSU's Last Series Victory at Home: Same
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 368-126 (16th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Charleston Southern: 33-1
Charleston Southern Head Coach: Fred Applin
Overall Record (Seasons): 32-74 (Fifth Season)
Record at Charleston Southern (Seasons): 19-54 (Third Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 1-5
Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty has scored 92 points in each of its last two visits to the Buc Dome, including its 92-69 victory over the Buccaneers last season (Jan. 2, 2014). Three Lady Flames fashioned double-doubles in that contest, including Ashley Rininger (27 points, 11 rebounds), Katelyn Adams (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Catherine Kearney (10 points, 13 rebounds).
• Rininger has played well in both of her previous contests at the Buc Dome, averaging 20.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 4.0 bpg while shooting 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the field.
• Liberty is 52-6 in games played in South Carolina under head coach Carey Green, including 1-0 this season.
• The Lady Flames have won seven straight games over Charleston Southern, by an average of 24.6 ppg.
• All three of Charleston Southern's victories this season have come at home against non-Division I opponents. CSU is looking for its first Division I win since Jan. 21, 2014 versus Presbyterian.
• The Buccaneers will be looking to snap a seven-game losing streak. Their most recent win was an 86-34 home triumph over Montreat on Dec. 16.
• CSU leads the Big South in steals, averaging 10.7 thefts per contest.
Unbeaten in the Big South
The Lady Flames are off to their first 7-0 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 seven Big South games. The Lady Flames rank first in the Big South in both scoring defense (49.9 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (29.9 percent) in conference contests this season.
• Karly Buer is averaging a team-high 14.4 ppg while shooting 55.7 percent (34-of-61) from the field, 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three-point range and 91.7 percent (22-of-24) from the foul line.
Liberty has held four consecutive opponents below 50 points, which marks the Lady Flames' longest such streak since Jan. 19-Feb. 3, 2004, when Liberty also kept four straight opponents below the 50-point mark.
• If the Lady Flames keep Charleston Southern from scoring 50 points on Saturday, they will set a new program record with their fifth straight game holding their opponent to fewer than 50 points.
The Lady Flames made a season-high 11 three-pointers during Tuesday's win over Longwood, equaling the most they have ever hit in a game at the Vines Center.
• Liberty, which fell just one triple shy of the program single-game record of 12, saw its first seven made field goals come from three-point range. Early in the game, the Lady Flames were 7-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc and 0-of-12 on two-point field goals.
A Look Back at Liberty's 70-48 Win Over Longwood
• Liberty broke in the new nets Tuesday evening at the Vines Center, nailing a season-high 11 three-pointers in a 70-48 victory over Longwood.
• Liberty, whose first seven made field goals were triples, equaled the most three-pointers the Lady Flames have ever hit at the Vines Center.
• The Lady Flames held their fourth straight opponent below the 50-point mark, tying the program record for the most consecutive games doing so.
• Now 7-0 in the Big South, Liberty has won a season-best five straight games overall, six consecutive home games, eight straight matchups with in-state opponents and 12 consecutive meetings with Longwood.
• Liberty won the second-half rebounding battle, 39-8, finishing with its top rebound margin of the season at +39 (62-23). The Lady Flames equaled their season high with 26 offensive boards and tallied their most rebounds since hauling in 62 caroms against Sacred Heart on Nov. 17, 2012.
• The Lady Flames established new season highs for assists (18) and bench points (46), with three players scoring in double digits off of Carey Green's bench.
• Rininger also collected a game-high 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and the 25th of her career. She is now tied with Elena Kisseleva for fourth place on Liberty's career double-doubles list.
• Katelyn Adams became the sixth Lady Flame ever to block 100 career shots.
Feasting at the Foul Line
The Lady Flames lead the Big South and rank No. 13 nationally in free throw percentage at 76.8 percent.
• Liberty's season record for free throw percentage is 72.8 percent, set in 2007-08.
• Liberty shot a season-best 91.7 percent (22-of-24) at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 8.
Liberty ranks third in the Big South and No. 28 nationally with 5.1 blocked shots per game. The Lady Flames have not topped the conference in blocks since 2004-05.
• Ashley Rininger is leading the way, as she is tied for third in the Big South with 1.8 bpg. She ranks fifth in program history with 113 career blocks.
• During Tuesday's win over Longwood, Katelyn Adams became the sixth Lady Flame ever to reject 100 career shots.
• Interestingly, 5-6 Sadalia Ellis is tied for fourth on the team with seven blocks in 2014-15.
Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded five consecutive opponents, moving up to No. 31 nationally in rebound margin at +7.8.
The Container is Half Empty
Liberty has held 47 straight opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field. Purdue was the Lady Flames' most recent foe to make at least half of its field goal attempts, connecting at a 50.0 percent (26-of-52) clip during the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 24, 2013).