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WBB Game Day Central: Saint Joseph's
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Liberty (0-3) will open its four-game road swing Saturday with a visit to Saint Joseph's (3-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. inside Hagan Arena for the first-ever meeting between the reigning Big South and Atlantic 10 Conference champions.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Saturday's contest will be a special one for Liberty redshirt sophomore Catherine Kearney. Not only did she grow up just 30 miles from Philadelphia in Monroeville, N.J., but both of her parents (Steve Kearney and Kate (McPeak) Kearney) played basketball at Saint Joseph's during the early 1980s.
2) The matinee will match up a pair of conference tournament champions and NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship qualifiers from the 2012-13 season. Liberty won the Big South title, while Saint Joseph's was a surprise victor in the Atlantic 10 tournament.
3) Liberty is embarking upon its longest road trip of the 2013-14 season, as Saturday's game will mark the Lady Flames' first of four road games during the next eight days. Liberty will not return to campus until Dec. 1.
4) The Lady Flames are off to their first 0-3 start since 1993-94 and have lost four games in a row (dating back to 2012-13) for the first time since early in the 2008-09 season. In order to get back on track, Liberty will have to snap the Hawks' five-game home winning streak at Hagan Arena.
5) This is Liberty's first game in Philadelphia since March 20, 2004. That day, the Lady Flames fell to Georgia by a 78-53 count in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, inside Temple's Liacouras Center.
Liberty vs. Saint Joseph's At a Glance
Series Record: First meeting
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 337-113 (15th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Saint Joseph's: 0-0
Saint Joseph's Head Coach: Cindy Griffin
Overall Record (Seasons): 274-190 (16th Season)
Record at Saint Joseph's (Seasons): 226-157 (13th Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes
• Saturday's game will be a homecoming for Liberty redshirt sophomore Catherine Kearney, who grew up just 30 miles from Philadelphia in Monroeville, N.J. Additionally, both of her parents played basketball at Saint Joseph's. Father Steve Kearney was a member of the men's basketball team in 1979-80 and 1980-81, helping the Hawks reach the Elite Eight of the 1981 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Mother Kate (McPeak) Kearney played for the women's basketball team from 1979-80 through 1982-83.
• Both Liberty (Big South) and Saint Joseph's (Atlantic 10) won their respective conference tournament titles in 2012-13 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Hopes are high for each team again in 2013-14, as Liberty was picked first in the Big South and the Hawks were tabbed second in the Atlantic 10.
• Liberty has appeared in postseason play six straight seasons (five NCAA, one WNIT), while Saint Joseph's has made four consecutive postseason appearances (one NCAA, three WNIT).
• Saturday will mark Liberty's first game in Philadelphia since March 20, 2004. That day, the Lady Flames fell to Georgia by a 78-53 count in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, inside Temple's Liacouras Center.
• Saint Joseph's is 50-18 all-time at Hagan Arena and has won five straight home games since a loss to Charlotte on Feb. 10, 2013.
• Two of the Lady Flames' next five games will be against Atlantic 10 opponents. Conference member Richmond will visit the Vines Center on December 3, which marks Liberty's next home game.
• Saint Joseph's is one of four first-time opponents for the Lady Flames in 2013-14, along with Kutztown, Fresno State and either Savannah State or Seton Hall.
This marks Liberty's longest road trip of the 2013-14 season, as the Lady Flames will leave campus on Nov. 22 and not return until Dec. 1. During that time, Liberty will play four first-time opponents in eight days, including Saint Joseph's (Nov. 23), Kutztown (Nov. 25), Fresno State (Nov. 29) and either Savannah State or Seton Hall (Nov. 30). The Lady Flames will also do some sightseeing in Philadelphia and New York City and visit Catherine Kearney's hometown of Monroeville, N.J.
At Home on the Road
Liberty's season-opening loss at Charlotte on Nov. 8 snapped an 11-game road winning streak for the Lady Flames. Liberty has been successful away from the Vines Center in recent years, posting double-digit road victories during each of the last four seasons, including an 11-3 road mark in 2012-13.
There's Something About Saturday
The Saint Joseph's contest will mark the Lady Flames' first Saturday game of the 2013-14 season. Liberty played well on Saturdays in 2012-13, going 14-1 with 11 consecutive Saturday triumphs to end the season. The Lady Flames have not lost on Saturday since a 60-56 home setback against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 15, 2012.
• The Lady Flames have started out 0-3 for the first time under head coach Carey Green and the first time since beginning the 1993-94 campaign at 0-7.
• Liberty has lost four consecutive games dating back to last season, marking the Lady Flames' longest losing streak since a five-game losing skein spanning Nov. 22 and Dec. 7, 2008.
• Liberty has dropped back-to-back home games (James Madison on Nov. 12 and Virginia on Nov. 19) for the first time since falling to VCU and No. 13/14 Auburn on Nov. 14 and Dec. 7, 2008.
• Liberty was outrebounded by a 42-37 count during its 67-56 loss against James Madison on Nov. 12. It was just the 10th time that the Lady Flames have lost the rebounding battle since the start of the 2009-10 season. Liberty is 2-8 in those games.
• Liberty set a program single-season record by making 173 three-pointers during the 2012-13 season, averaging 5.1 made triples per game.
• The Lady Flames are off to a fast start from behind the arc in 2013-14, averaging 6.0 three-pointers per contest.
• Freshman Mickayla Sanders is leading the way, shooting 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) from behind the arc during the first three games of her collegiate career. Sanders is the first Lady Flame since Devon Brown during her freshman season of 2009-10 to make seven triples in the season's first three games.
A Look Back at Liberty's 61-60 Home Loss to Virginia
• Virginia's Ataira Franklin split a pair of free throws with 11.8 seconds remaining, giving the Cavaliers a 61-60 victory over Liberty, Tuesday evening inside the Vines Center.
• Catherine Kearney's free throw with 38.2 seconds left capped off a late 11-2 Liberty run, tying the score at 60-60.
• However, Liberty was unable to attempt a shot on its final possession of the game and fell to 0-3 to start the season for the first time since 1993-94.
• Virginia improved to 3-1 with its third consecutive win, converting Liberty's 30 turnovers into 35 points.
• It was only the second time Virginia had ever visited the Vines Center. Liberty defeated the No. 23 Cavaliers 77-69 in overtime on Nov. 26, 2002 during Virginia's initial trip to Lynchburg.
• After being outrebounded during its previous game against James Madison, Liberty enjoyed a +17 rebound margin (52-35). Eighteen of the Lady Flames' caroms came at the offensive end, including five during the last 3:09.
• Freshman Mickayla Sanders led all players with a career-high 16 points, highlighted by four three-pointers.
• Ashley Rininger fashioned her second double-double in a row, with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
• Sadalia Ellis reached double digits for the third straight game to start the season, finishing with 11 points.
• Katelyn Adams set season highs for points (9) and rebounds (8).
• Making her first start since Nov. 26, 2011, Catherine Kearney pulled down a season-best eight rebounds.