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WBB Game Day Central: Fresno State

November 27, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty will face Fresno State in the opening game of the 2013 Seton Hall Thanksgiving Tournament, Friday at 2 p.m. inside Walsh Gymnasium.

Game Day Central Page

Complete Game Notes

Tip-Off:
2 p.m. vs. Fresno State at Seton Hall

Radio Coverage:
Provided by the Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN)

Broadcasting Station:
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)

Tournament at a Glance
Liberty (1-4) will wrap up its season-long four-game, eight-day road trip at this weekend's Seton Hall Thanksgiving Tournament at Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, N.J. The Lady Flames' lone regular-season tournament of 2013-14 will tip off Friday at 2 p.m. with Liberty's first-ever matchup with reigning Mountain West champion Fresno State (2-2).

Friday's second game, set for a 4:30 p.m. start, will pit Savannah State (3-3) against tournament host Seton Hall (4-1). Liberty has never faced either the Lady Tigers or the Pirates on the hardwood.

Friday's two victors will square off for the tournament championship on Saturday, with the two losers playing in the consolation game. Regardless of Friday's outcomes, Savannah State will play at noon on Saturday, while Seton Hall will be part of the 2:30 p.m. tournament finale.

Liberty will seek its first regular-season tournament title since the 2009 Navy Classic.

Liberty vs. Fresno State At a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
First meeting

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 338-114 (15th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Fresno State: 0-0

Fresno State Head Coach: Raegan Pebley
Overall Record (Seasons): 136-166 (11th Season)
Record at Fresno State (Seasons): 26-11 (Second Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty (Big South) and Fresno State (Mountain West) both won their respective conference tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.

• Fresno State will be Liberty's third consecutive first-time opponent, following Saint Joseph's (Nov. 23) and Kutztown (Nov. 25).

• This will be the Lady Flames' fourth game all-time against an opponent from California and the first since Nov. 21, 2008. That day, Liberty recorded its first Preseason WNIT victory over UC Riverside, 45-44, on a last-second layup by Megan Frazee. The game was played in Cullowhee, N.C. Liberty has never played a game in the state of California.

• Friday's game will be Liberty's first against a current Mountain West Conference member since Dec. 21, 2007, when the Lady Flames recorded a 70-68 win over host UNLV in the title game of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic.

• This will mark Fresno State's first-ever matchup against a member of the Big South Conference.

• Fresno State's lineup features seven international players, including four from Australia and one each from Denmark, Martinique and Mexico.

• The preseason favorite to repeat as Mountain West champions, the Bulldogs are 2-2 to start the 2013-14 season. Both losses have come at the hands of Pac-12 foes, including a 63-54 home setback to USC and a 92-79 loss at Washington State in Fresno State's most recent outing on Nov. 22.

• Fresno State is a good outside shooting team. Seven different Bulldogs have made three-pointers this season, and Fresno State is shooting 35.1 percent from beyond the arc while making 8.5 triples per game.

Tourney Time
The Seton Hall Thanksgiving Tournament is Liberty's lone regular-season tournament of the 2013-14 season. The Lady Flames are in search of their first regular-season tournament title since defeating Tulane and Navy to win the Navy Classic championship on Nov. 20-21, 2009.

Road Warriors
This marks Liberty's longest road trip of the 2013-14 season, as the Lady Flames left campus on Nov. 22 and not return until Dec. 1. During that time, Liberty is playing 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 have also done some sightseeing in Philadelphia and New York City and visited 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. The Lady Flames are 1-2 away from the Vines Center this season.

Double-Double x 4
Ashley Rininger has notched double-doubles in four consecutive games entering the Seton Hall Thanksgiving Tournament.

• Rininger has already posted more double-doubles this season (4) than she did during her entire freshman campaign in 2012-13 (3).

• This is the longest streak of consecutive double-doubles by a Lady Flame since Avery Warley had a pair of five-game streaks during the 2010-11 season.

Feasting at the Foul Line
Liberty is shooting 74.2 percent from the free throw line to start the season. The Lady Flames' program record for free throw percentage is 72.8 percent, set in 2007-08.

Back in Time
This season has seen numerous parallels to the 1993-94 campaign.

• Liberty's 0-4 start marked its longest losing streak to begin a season since the 1993-94 Lady Flames started out 0-7.

• As in 1993-94, this year's Lady Flames picked up their first victory of the season on the road against a non-Division I opponent. That year, it was a 90-61 triumph at Cedarville on Jan. 6, 1994. This time around, it was Liberty's 72-56 win at Kutztown on Monday.

• The 1993-94 season was the last time Liberty played games in New Jersey prior to this weekend, as the Lady Flames competed in the 1993 Saint Peter's Tournament (Dec. 29-30).

A Look Back at Liberty's 72-56 Win at Kutztown
• Nine different Lady Flames scored four or more points, leading to Liberty's first win of 2013-14, a 72-56 victory at Kutztown on Monday.

• It marked Liberty's first road game against a non-Division I opponent since Jan. 6, 1994, when the Lady Flames played at Cedarville of the NAIA.

• Liberty took control of the game with a 20-5 surge late in the first half.

• The Lady Flames made a season-high eight three-pointers and made 80 percent (12-of-15) of their free throw attempts.

• Liberty won the rebounding battle by a 52-29 count and doubled up the Golden Bears in points in the paint (32-16).

• A season-high 12 players saw action for the Lady Flames, who enjoyed a 20-3 edge in bench points.

Ashley Rininger led all players with 16 points and completed her fourth consecutive double-double with 10 rebounds.

• Starting guards Sadalia Ellis and Emily Frazier added 10 points apiece. Frazier added a season-high seven assists, while Ellis came up with a team-best three steals, equaling her career high.

• Catherine Kearney also matched a career high, grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with her seven points.

Mickayla Sanders made a three-pointer for the fifth consecutive game to start her collegiate career, hitting three of them during the second half for nine points.

Jaymee Fisher-Davis scored her first five points of the season.

Moriah Begin and Ellee Rollins each saw their first playing time of 2013-14. For Begin, it marked the freshman's collegiate debut.

Stellar Sophomores
• Liberty's five sophomores (Katelyn Adams, Sadalia Ellis, Jaymee Fisher-Davis, Catherine Kearney and Ashley Rininger) are playing a key role for the Lady Flames during the early stages of the 2013-14 season.

• The sophomores are scoring 64.1 percent of Liberty's points thus far, averaging 39.6 points per game.

• The duo of Ashley Rininger and Sadalia Ellis is leading the way, as both players have improved significantly upon their numbers from 2012-13. Rininger is averaging a team-high 14.8 ppg this season, after scoring 6.9 ppg a year ago. Meanwhile, Ellis is posting 10.0 ppg, after averaging 3.4 ppg with a season-high of 10 points as a freshman.

Bombs Away!
• 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 5.6 three-pointers made per contest.

• Freshman Mickayla Sanders is leading the way, shooting 11-of-29 (37.9 percent) from behind the arc during the first five games of her collegiate career. Sanders is the first Lady Flame since Devon Brown during her freshman season of 2009-10 to make 11 or more triples in the season's first five games.