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WBB Game Day Central: James Madison
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Broadcast - Tip-Off:
7 p.m. at James Madison
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Liberty (4-3) will play its second straight road game within the Commonwealth Tuesday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames visit James Madison (3-4). This will mark the seventh consecutive season Liberty and JMU have faced one another, with the Dukes winning each of the last four meetings.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Liberty will be in search of its first-ever win at James Madison, as the Lady Flames are 0-5 all-time in Harrisonburg. Additionally, Liberty will try to defeat JMU for the first time since Dec. 4, 2007.
2) Lady Flames redshirt senior Devon Brown grew up in Waynesboro, Va., located about 30 miles from James Madison's campus. Coming off of a season-high 28-point outburst at Radford, Brown will try to help Liberty defeat the Dukes for the first time in her career.
3) Tuesday's game will be the first of back-to-back contests versus CAA opponents for the Lady Flames. UNC Wilmington will travel to Liberty on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
4) The last two meetings between Liberty and James Madison have been decided by a total of seven points, with the Dukes winning both games. The Lady Flames are off to a good start in close games this season, going 2-0 in tilts decided by five points or fewer.
5) Tuesday's contest will feature two high-scoring seniors. Liberty's Devon Brown paces the Big South with 18.3 ppg and ranks No. 5 in program history with 1,569 career points. James Madison's Tarik Hislop is the CAA's top scorer at 18.9 ppg and sits No. 10 in JMU annals with 1,390 career tallies.
Liberty vs. James Madison At a Glance
Series Record: James Madison leads, 7-1.
Current Streak: James Madison has won the last four meetings.
Series Record at James Madison: James Madison leads, 5-0.
Current Streak at James Madison: James Madison has won all five meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: James Madison 62, Liberty 58 (Dec. 1, 2011 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at James Madison: James Madison 54, Liberty 51 (Dec. 5, 2010)
Liberty's Last Series Victory: Liberty 79, James Madison 66 (Dec. 4, 2007 at Liberty)
Liberty's Last Victory at James Madison: N/A
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 314-106 (14th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. James Madison: 1-5
James Madison Head Coach: Kenny Brooks
Overall Record (Seasons): 230-99 (11th Season)
Record at James Madison (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 5-1
Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty's Devon Brown has a number of connections with James Madison. She grew up in Waynesboro, Va., which is only about 30 miles from JMU's campus in Harrisonburg, Va. Brown also graduated from the same high school (Waynesboro High School) as James Madison head coach Kenny Brooks. Brown and the Lady Flames have not defeated the Dukes during her time at Liberty.
• One of the biggest wins of Brown's high school basketball career at Waynesboro came against Turner Ashby, a 58-57 buzzer-beating victory in the 2008 Region III semifinals.Two of Turner Ashby's key players in that game were Kirby Burkholder and Nikki Newman, both of whom are now starting for James Madison.
• James Madison went 86-11 at home between 2006-07 and 2011-12, including three wins over Liberty, which has never been victorious at the JMU Convocation Center. However, the Dukes are just 1-2 at home this season, including losses to Quinnipiac (65-60 on Nov. 11) and Richmond (70-66 on Sunday).
• James Madison's last three wins over Liberty have come by an average of 5.7 ppg.
• The Dukes picked up a big 89-86 overtime win over Green Bay on Nov. 22 in Cancun, handing the Phoenix their only loss so far this season.
• James Madison was the Postseason WNIT runner-up last season.
Liberty vs. the CAA
Record vs. Current Conference Members: 14-39
Carey Green's Record vs. Current Conference Members: 5-8
Current Streak: The CAA has won the last five meetings.
Last Meeting: James Madison 62, Liberty 58 (Dec. 1, 2011 at Liberty)
Liberty's Last Victory: Liberty 69, George Mason 54 (Jan. 15, 2008 at Liberty)
Come Home to the Commonwealth
Liberty, which spent Thanksgiving week in Texas, is now staying within the Commonwealth of Virginia for a month, until a Dec. 29 contest at Winthrop. The Lady Flames have five home games and road tilts at Radford, James Madison and VCU scheduled during the span. Liberty will play 20 of its 29 regular-season games in Virginia this season.
• Saturday's 67-65 victory at Radford was the first of seven games Liberty is scheduled to play against Virginia teams this season. The Lady Flames will play one more game against Radford, a pair of contests against Longwood and single matchups with James Madison, VCU and Virginia Union.
Turning the Tables
Last season, Liberty struggled in close games, going just 1-4 in contests decided by five points or fewer. This year, however, the Lady Flames are already 2-0 in such games. They recorded a 68-63 home win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 17 and pulled out a 67-65 triumph at Radford on Saturday.
The Liberty men's and women's basketball teams are staging a Liberty vs. CAA Challenge of sorts this week, with three games against CAA foes.
• The Liberty men's squad got things started on Sunday at the Vines Center, losing to Georgia State on a last-second three-pointer, 67-66.
• The Lady Flames will play at James Madison on Tuesday at 7 p.m., marking the seventh consecutive season the two teams have faced one other.
• Liberty will then play host to the UNC Wilmington women's basketball team Saturday at 7 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Lady Flames and Seahawks.
A Look Back at Liberty's Win Over Radford
• Liberty trailed by as many as nine points during the second half of Saturday afternoon's Big South Conference opener at Radford before rallying for a 67-65 win.
• Tolu Omotola's basket in the paint with 43.1 seconds remaining gave the Lady Flames their first lead of the second half (66-65), and Liberty hung on to win.
• It was the 12th time in the last 13 seasons that the Lady Flames have opened Big South play with a victory.
• Liberty recorded its first road win of 2012-13, following three setbacks away from the Vines Center.
• The Lady Flames have now been victorious each of the last six times they have faced Radford at the Dedmon Center.
• Liberty won despite shooting just 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field, thanks in large part to a 50-32 rebounding advantage and 80 percent (20-of-25) free throw shooting.
• Devon Brown scored nine of her season-high 28 points during the final 4:45 of the game. She added eight rebounds and a season-best three triples, including one which tied the contest at 62-62 with 1:59 left. Brown also went 9-of-10 at the charity stripe, making nine straight after missing her first shot of the game.
• Omotola ended with eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
• Jasmine Gardner recorded her second double-double of the season and the third of her career with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She made a free throw and grabbed two crucial defensive rebounds during the game's final 12 seconds.
The redshirt senior pairing of Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola has provided Liberty with a strong 1-2 punch so far this season.
• Omotola was named Big South Player of the Week on Nov. 19, with Brown earning the same honor one week later. It was the first time Liberty teammates have been tabbed Big South Player of the Week consecutively since Jan. 26 (Avery Warley) and Feb. 2 (Brown), 2010.
• Omotola and Brown were at it again during Saturday's win over Radford, combining for 36 points and 21 boards. For the year, they average a combined 28.3 ppg and 13.1 rpg.
Speed Limit 65
Liberty has scored 65 or more points in all four of its victories this season, continuing a recent trend.
• The Lady Flames have won 11 straight games when reaching the 65-point mark, dating back to last season. Liberty is also 20-1 the last 21 times it has tallied 65 or more points.
If Liberty is able to defeat James Madison on Tuesday ...
• It would be the Lady Flames' first-ever road win over James Madison.
• It would enable Liberty redshirt senior Devon Brown to claim her first victory over James Madison, which is located about 30 miles from her hometown of Waynesboro, Va.
• It would give Liberty its first three-game winning streak of the season.