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Liberty to Meet Purdue in NCAA First Round
|No. 13 seed Liberty will face No. 4 seed Purdue in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Sunday at 12:10 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.|
2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Bracket
Big South champion Liberty has earned the No. 13 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship and will meet No. 4 seed Purdue in the opening round. The contest will be played Sunday at 12:10 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
The winner of the Liberty-Purdue clash will face the victor of Sunday's meeting between No. 5 seed Louisville and No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee State. The second-round game is slated for next Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Louisville.
The Lady Flames (27-6, 16-2 Big South) earned their 15th trip to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship in the last 17 years with a 54-45 victory over Longwood in the title game of the Big South Women's Basketball Championship on March 10.
Liberty is seeded No. 13 for the sixth time and first since 2010, when the Lady Flames also played in Louisville at Freedom Hall. The Lady Flames were a No. 13 seed in 2005 when they defeated Penn State and DePaul to advance to the Sweet 16.
Liberty has won 14 games in a row overall since a 71-63 home loss to High Point on Jan. 17. The Lady Flames have also prevailed in 14 straight games away from the Vines Center since falling at No. 3/3 Baylor, 92-60, on Nov. 23.
The Lady Flames are headlined by the redshirt senior trio of 5-10 guard/forward Devon Brown (16.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg), 6-3 forward/center Tolu Omotola (13.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and 6-0 guard/forward Brittany Campbell (5.8 ppg, 43.7% 3FG). All three made the Big South all-tournament team, with Brown being named tournament MVP. Additionally, Brown and Omotola were both first team All-Big South selections.
The same day that Liberty captured the Big South title, Purdue (24-8, 10-6 Big Ten) claimed its conference-best ninth Big Ten Tournament championship with a 62-47 victory over Michigan State. Head coach Sharon Versyp's Boilermakers, who have now won back-to-back Big Ten crowns, are ranked No. 21 in both national polls.
Three Boilermakers score in double figures, including 5-6 junior guard Courtney Moses (13.3 ppg), 6-2 redshirt senior forward Drey Mingo (12.6 ppg) and 5-6 redshirt junior guard KK Houser (11.3 ppg). Sam Ostarello, a 6-2 senior forward, averages nearly a double-double with 9.7 ppg and a team-high 9.8 rpg. Mingo and Moses were both third team All-Big Ten honorees, with Mingo being tabbed Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Liberty has never faced Purdue in women's basketball, and this will be just the Lady Flames' fourth meeting against a Big Ten opponent. Liberty is 1-2 against Big Ten foes with its victory coming against Penn State (78-70) in the opening round of the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.