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WBB Game Day Central: Charleston Southern
Liberty (9-15, 8-5 Big South) will play host to Charleston Southern (14-10, 8-5 Big South) on Friday for the Lady Flames' annual Play4Kay game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Vines Center as the Lady Flames look to complete a regular-season sweep of the Buccaneers. Liberty opened Big South play with an 81-72 victory at CSU on Jan. 3.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty has suffered back-to-back losses, falling from a tie for first place in the Big South standings to a tie for fourth with Charleston Southern and Presbyterian. The Lady Flames hope to avoid their first three-game Big South losing streak since the 1995-96 season.
2) Liberty brings several lengthy winning streaks into Friday's contest. The Lady Flames have won seven straight home games, 13 straight matchups with Charleston Southern and 22 consecutive home meetings with the Buccaneers.
3) Three-point shooting has been a good barometer for Liberty's success this season, as the Lady Flames are shooting 39.5 percent from beyond the arc during victories and 24.3 percent during losses. Liberty tied a program record with 12 three-pointers in its win at CSU on Jan. 3, but is shooting just 9.4 percent (3-of-32) from three-point range during its current two-game losing skid.
4) Lela Sellers will look to recapture the form which saw her set career highs for points (21) and three-pointers (4) at Charleston Southern on Jan. 3.
5) Keyen Green, the first Lady Flame ever to win six Big South Freshman of the Week honors, recorded one of her seven double-doubles during her first meeting with CSU. Green finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots.
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern at a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 56-6.
Current Streak: Liberty has won 13 consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 27-2.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty has won 22 consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 81, Charleston Southern 72 (Jan. 3, 2017 at CSU)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Liberty 51, Charleston Southern 40 (Dec. 5, 2015)
CSU's Last Series Victory: Charleston Southern 54, Liberty 51 (Feb. 28, 2011 at CSU)
CSU's Last Series Victory at Liberty: Charleston So. 65, Liberty 64 (Jan. 20, 1996)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 412-156 (18th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Charleston Southern: 39-1
Charleston Southern Head Coach: Fred Applin
Overall Record (Seasons): 62-114 (Seventh Season)
Record at Charleston Southern (Seasons): 49-94 (Fifth Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 1-11
Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty opened Big South play with an 81-72 win at Charleston Southern on Jan. 3, tying the program record with 12 three-pointers. Lela Sellers hit four of those triples as part of a career-high 21-point effort. Rachel Burns led all players with 22 points for CSU.
• Liberty is the only visting Big South team to win at the Buc Dome this season, as the Buccaneers are 6-1 in conference home games but just 2-4 on the road. Similarly, the Lady Flames are 6-0 in Big South home games but 2-5 away from the Vines Center.
• At 8-5, Liberty and CSU are part of a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big South standings, along with Presbyterian. The three teams are two games out of first place with five contests remaining.
• Charleston Southern needs one more victory for its first 15-win season since the 2011-12 Buccaneers went 17-15.
• Liberty has won 13 straight meetings with Charleston Southern overall and 22 consecutive matchups inside the Vines Center. CSU's last victory over the Lady Flames in Lynchburg was a 65-64 triumph on Jan. 20, 1996.
• Nine days earlier (Jan. 11, 1996), Charleston Southern Head Coach Fred Applin earned a 73-64 victory over Liberty as Hampton's head coach for his lone victory over the Lady Flames in 12 tries.
On This Date
Liberty is 7-3 all-time on Feb. 17, but 0-1 against Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames lost a 72-63 decision at CSU on Feb. 17, 1996. Chrissy Kelly scored a game-high 20 points for the Buccaneers, while Angie McDaniel (11 points, 10 rebounds) recorded a double-double for the Lady Flames.
Liberty has lost back-to-back Big South games for just the fourth time during Carey Green's 18 seasons as head coach. Two of those occasions have come this season, as the Lady Flames previously lost at UNC Asheville on Jan. 21 and Radford on Jan. 24.
The Lady Flames have never lost three straight Big South outings under Green's direction and their most recent three-game Big South losing streak came during the 1995-96 season.
3s are Key
During its nine victories, Liberty is making 7.6 three-pointers per game at a 39.5 percent clip. In its 15 losses, Liberty is hitting 4.5 triples per game and shooting 24.3 percent.
A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 78-69 Loss at High Point on Tuesday
• High Point began the second quarter with an 18-0 run, taking the lead for good on its way to a 78-69 victory over Liberty, Tuesday evening at the Millis Center.
• Led by the freshman duo of Keyen Green (22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Kierra Johnson-Graham (11 points, 5 rebounds), Liberty cut a 19-point deficit to five on two occasions during the fourth quarter. But the High Point pair of Kaylah Keys (season-high 26 points, 6 rebounds) and Emma Bockrath (25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals) helped keep the Lady Flames at bay, combining for 15 fourth-quarter points.
Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 13 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU, at PC, at HPU), Iva Ilic (vs. PC, at Asheville, vs. Radford), KK Barbour (at GWU), Sheana Vega (vs. Longwood), Audrey Rettstatt (at Radford), Ola Makurat (vs. Winthrop) and Nene Johnson (at Campbell).
Liberty has blocked 50 shots in its last eight games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference with 4.6 bpg on the season. Ola Makurat, Keyen Green, and Lela Sellers are all averaging 1.0 bpg or more during the last eight outings.
New Year's Resolution
After averaging 54.9 ppg on 32.5 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from three-point range in 11 2016 contests, the Lady Flames have exploded for 69.5 ppg on 42 percent from the floor and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc in 2017's first 13 outings.
What Can Green Do For You?
Keyen Green headlines the Lady Flames' successful freshman class. The Big South Freshman of the Week on Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, Green leads the conference and is tied for No. 4 among the nation's freshmen in rebounding at 8.3 rpg.
For the season, Green has recorded seven double-doubles and four 20-point outings. She has become the first Lady Flame ever to win six Big South Freshman of the Week awards in a season.
Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59.7 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 12.4 ppg. Three of the team's top four scorers on the year are freshmen.
Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded 18 of 24 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds eight times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 6 nationally with 17.6 offensive boards per game and No. 20 with a +7.7 rebound margin.
The Container is Half Full
The Lady Flames are 107-1 under head coach Carey Green when making at least 50 percent of their field goals, including 2-0 this season. Liberty has won the last 34 times it has shot 50 percent or better, since an 83-77 loss to Kentucky in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 20, 2010).
The Container is Half Empty
Liberty has held 23 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 121 games have connected on at least half of their field goal attempts against the Lady Flames.
#3 Nene Johnson
• Leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big South with 3.0 apg, while also pacing the Lady Flames in steals (1.4 spg)
• Has recorded at least one steal in every Big South contest and is averaging a team-high 1.8 spg during conference games
• Averaging 9.5 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play
• Tallied 13 points at Charleston Southern (Jan. 3), all of which came before halftime
#5 Stephanie Patton
• Will celebrate her 20th birthday on Monday (Feb. 20)
#10 Kierra Johnson-Graham
• Has connected on 21 of her last 26 free throw attempts (80.8 percent) over the last 10 games
• Scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds at High Point on Tuesday, after totaling only five points during her previous five outings
#12 Audrey Rettstatt
• Has scored almost twice as many points this season (119) as she did in her first three years combined (60)
• Scored 10 points and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds during the Lady Flames' Big South-opening win at Charleston Southern (Jan. 3)
#14 Lela Sellers
• Scored a career-high 21 points at Charleston Southern (Jan. 3), 15 of which came during the second half. She made a career-high four three-pointers and connected on all five of her free throws.
#21 Keyen Green
• Six-time Big South Freshman of the Week (Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6 & Feb. 13), which is the most Big South Freshman of the Week honors in program history and one off the overall conference record of seven
• Tied for No. 4 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (8.3 rpg)
• Tops the Big South in rebounding, offensive rebounding (3.8 rpg), field goal percentage (58.4) and double-doubles (7)
• Posted a double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds) during the Jan. 3 meeting with Charleston Southern, while adding a career-high four blocked shots
• Tallied 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks at High Point on Tuesday
#24 Iva Ilic
• Leads the team and ranks first among Big South freshmen with 31 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.
#30 KK Barbour
• Hit 10 straight free throws between Jan. 10-21 and is shooting a team-best 73.9 percent from the line this season
• Had not made a three-pointer during her first 33 career appearances, but is 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 15 games
#32 Jordan Woods
• Scored a season-high four points at High Point on Tuesday