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WBB Game Day Central: UNC Asheville
2 p.m. at UNC Asheville
Video Streaming Coverage:
Big South Network (Free in 2013-14)
Provided by the Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN)
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Big South-leading Liberty (11-6, 7-1 Big South) will wrap up its two-game conference road swing Saturday at 2 p.m., when the Lady Flames visit UNC Asheville (7-10, 4-4 Big South).
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Liberty will look to build upon its 77-70 overtime victory at Winthrop on Thursday, which gave the Lady Flames sole possession of first place in the Big South standings.
2) The Lady Flames will attempt to extend a number of winning streaks. Liberty has won three straight road games, five consecutive games overall, 13 straight meetings with UNC Asheville and 16 consecutive road games against the Bulldogs.
3) UNC Asheville will shoot for arguably its biggest win of a bounce-back season. After going 2-28 in 2012-13, the Bulldogs are 7-10 overall and 4-4 in Big South play this year. Asheville has won three of its last five games entering Saturday's matinee. However, the Bulldogs are just 1-5 in their last six home games at Kimmel Arena.
4) Ashley Rininger has recorded a career-best five straight double-doubles, averaging 20.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg and 1.8 bpg during the span. If she posts another double-double on Saturday, Rininger would tie fellow Ohio native Megan Frazee for the Liberty sophomore record of 13 double-doubles in a season.
5) Reagan Miller will look to continue her string of strong performances. During the Lady Flames' five-game winning streak, she is averaging 12.0 ppg and shooting 52 percent from three-point range. She played a key role in Liberty's win at Winthrop on Thursday, scoring all 17 of her points after halftime.
Liberty vs. UNC Asheville At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 47-7.
Current Streak: Liberty has won 13 consecutive meetings.
Series Record at UNC Asheville: Liberty leads, 19-5.
Current Streak at UNC Asheville: Liberty has won 16 consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 75, Asheville 43 (Feb. 21, 2013 at Asheville)
Last Meeting at UNC Asheville: Same
UNC Asheville's Last Series Victory: Asheville 54, Liberty 51 (Feb. 24, 2007 at LU)
UNC Asheville's Last Series Victory at Home: Asheville 68, Liberty 59 (Feb. 8, 1997)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 348-116 (15th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. UNC Asheville: 32-1
UNC Asheville Head Coach: Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick
Overall Record (Seasons): 9-38 (Second Season)
Record at UNC Asheville (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-2
Notes and Anecdotes
• After going 2-28 overall and 0-18 in the Big South last season, UNC Asheville is 4-4 to start conference play in 2013-14. The Bulldogs enter Saturday's game having won three of their last five games.
• Asheville features a balanced scoring attack, with its top four scorers averaging between 9.0 and 9.9 ppg, including Brittany Gwyn (9.9), Paige Love (9.9), Tianna Knuckles (9.4) and Shonese Jones (9.0).
• Like Liberty, UNC Asheville has 0 minutes played by seniors this season.
• Interestingly, the Bulldogs' leading rebounder, Paige Love (5.1 rpg), stands just 5-8.
• Liberty has more road wins this season (5) than Asheville has home victories (4). The Lady Flames have won three straight road tilts and have been victorious in each of their last 16 road games at Asheville. The Bulldogs are 1-5 in their last six home games.
• Liberty has held UNC Asheville to 69 points or fewer in 40 consecutive head-to-head meetings. The last time the Bulldogs tallied 70 points against the Lady Flames came in a 72-70 Liberty victory on Feb. 10, 1996 at the Vines Center.
• Liberty redshirt freshman Jessi Edmonds is an Asheville native and played at Carolina Day School. However, she will not suit up for Saturday's game due to injury.
At Home on the Road
Liberty has played well away from the Vines Center in recent years, posting double-digit road victories in each of the past four seasons.
• The Lady Flames are 5-3 on the road this season. They have won three straight road tilts and five of their last six.
• Liberty has won 16 straight road games against UNC Asheville.
Liberty has equaled its longest winning streak of the season at five. The following are a couple keys to the Lady Flames' current winning streak.
• Ashley Rininger has recorded five double-doubles and is averaging 20.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg and 1.8 bpg.
• Reagan Miller, who has started all five games, is posting 12.0 ppg and shooting 52 percent (13-of-25) from three-point range.
Liberty overcame a 15-point first-half deficit to win at Winthrop on Thursday, marking the third time that the Lady Flames have made a notable comeback this season. Each of the three comebacks happened away from the Vines Center.
• On Nov. 30 at Seton Hall, Liberty came back from a 21-point deficit to defeat Savannah State, 89-79.
• On Dec. 19, Liberty trailed UNCW by nine in the second half before winning, 64-55.
A Look Back at Liberty's 77-70 Overtime Win at Winthrop
• In a battle between the Big South Conference's two co-leaders, Liberty pulled out a 77-70 overtime victory over Winthrop, Thursday evening at the Winthrop Coliseum.
• Liberty won despite trailing by 15 points in the first half and despite Winthrop's Schaquilla Nunn hitting a game-tying shot at the regulation buzzer.
• The Lady Flames' first overtime game since Feb. 11, 2012 versus Charleston Southern resulted in their fifth straight win overall and third straight road victory. They also became the first visiting team to win at the Winthrop Coliseum this season.
• Liberty uncharacteristically hit just 63.6 percent (21-of-33) of its free throws on the night, but did make six of eight during overtime.
• The Lady Flames' 23 offensive rebounds led to 21 second-chance points and helped Liberty outrebound its 15th straight opponent, 57-42.
• Winthrop ended Liberty's 13-game streak of outscoring opponents in the paint, tallying 32 points to the Lady Flames' 26.
• Liberty's non-starters scored 17 points, while Winthrop's reserves finished with just three.
• Ashley Rininger's career-best fifth double-double included a team-high 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The redshirt sophomore, who went over the 500-point mark for her career, has 12 double-doubles this season and 15 for her career.
• Reagan Miller scored all 17 of her points after halftime, highlighted by three triples.
• Mickayla Sanders tallied a career-high 17 points, including a three-pointer at 4:40 of overtime which put Liberty in front for good.
• Emily Frazier totaled six points, a career-high nine rebounds, six assists and only one turnover in 35 minutes at the point guard spot. Her nine boards were the most by a Liberty point guard since March 22, 2005, when Daina Staugaitiene had nine versus DePaul in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Liberty's five sophomores (Katelyn Adams, Sadalia Ellis, Jaymee Fisher-Davis, Catherine Kearney and Ashley Rininger) are playing an important role for the Lady Flames during the 2013-14 season.
• The sophomores are scoring 56 percent of Liberty's points thus far, averaging 39.2 points per game.
• Ashley Rininger is leading the way, having improved significantly upon her numbers from 2012-13. She is averaging a team-high 16.4 ppg this season, after scoring 6.9 ppg a year ago. Rininger was named Big South Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Dec. 2 and 23.
Double-Double x 5
Ashley Rininger has recorded a career-best five consecutive double-doubles, giving her 12 this season and 15 for her career. If she posts another double-double on Saturday, it will be notable for a couple reasons.
• It would tie the program record for most double-doubles in a season by a sophomore. Megan Frazee tallied 13 double-doubles in 2006-07.
• It would give Rininger the longest streak of consecutive double-doubles by a Lady Flame since Katie Feenstra posted eight in a row between Jan. 17-Feb. 16, 2004.