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Liberty Women's Hoops to Open 2007-08 Season Tuesday at UNC Greensboro
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The Liberty Lady Flames (0-0, 0-0 Big South) open the 2007-08 season with a road game at UNC Greensboro (0-1, 0-0 Southern). Liberty is looking for its fourth-consecutive season-opening victory, while the Spartans are hoping to rebound from a 74-29 setback to No. 25 N.C. State in their first game on Sunday. Tip-off at Fleming Gym is set for 7 p.m.
The Last Time Out
Radford's Kelli Darden hit a bank shot as the buzzer sounded, giving the Highlanders a 57-55 win over the Lady Flames in the semifinals of the 2007 Big South Women's Basketball Championship, on March 9. The setback snapped Liberty's string of 10-straight Big South Championships and ended the Lady Flames' year at 19-12.
Lady Flames On The Air
All Lady Flames basketball games can be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." Jamie Hall, who is celebrating his 14th year of broadcasting Lady Flames basketball, will once again be handling the courtside play-by-play duties for most road games. Jerod Brooks will serve as the primary commentator for home games.
Scouting UNC Greensboro
Ten letterwinners and a pair of starters return from UNC Greensboro's 2006-07 squad, which went 20-10. The Spartans have been picked to finish fourth in the 10-team Southern Conference's preseason poll. Additionally, 5-5 senior point guard Kristen Boone was included on the preseason all-conference team. Last season, Boone averaged 10.9 ppg, 4.0 apg and 3.0 spg.
UNC Greensboro opened its season on Sunday, with a 74-29 loss at No. 25 N.C. State. The Spartans' 29 points set a record for fewest points in program history. Senior forward Brittany Frazier paced the visitors with five points versus the Wolfpack.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 185-64 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.743) ranks 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.
Lynne Agee, in her 27th season at UNC Greensboro, is listed in the NCAA record book as well. She ranks 13th among active coaches with her 559 career victories in 30 seasons on the bench. She is 513-234 at UNCG and 559-257 overall.
All-Time Series Record
UNC Greensboro leads, 14-4
2/18/87 A L 75-87
2/16/88 H W 96-90
2/16/89 H W 95-86
1/23/92 A L 72-79
2/27/92 H L 47-67
12/1/92 H L 48-50
2/23/93 A L 52-77
1/14/94 A W 67-61
2/18/94 H L 59-64
2/14/95 H L 57-67
3/2/95 A L 54-74
1/9/96 A L 63-84
1/30/96 H L 55-76
3/7/96 N L 40-84
1/28/97 A L 64-80
2/20/97 H L 70-86
3/1/97 H W 89-82
12/30/06 N L 59-67
Recent Matchups with UNC Greensboro
Liberty and UNC Greensboro squared off a year ago, in the consolation game of the Maryland Terrapin Classic, on Dec. 30 in College Park, Md. The Lady Flames held a 36-33 lead at the break, but the Spartans came back to claim a 67-59 win. Jasmine Byrd paced the victors with 21 points, while Liberty's Moriah Frazee posted her second-highest output of the season, 17 points. UNCG outrebounded Liberty, 52-40.
The Lady Flames' most recent triumph over the Spartans was a memorable one. Liberty defeated UNC Greensboro, 89-82 on March 1, 1997 at the Vines Center, to win its first-ever Big South Tournament title. Liberty trailed by 13 points in the second half, but Elena Kisseleva came through with 32 points and 14 boards, helping Liberty pull off the upset.
Liberty Versus the Southern Conference
The Lady Flames own a 25-30 record (.455) all-time versus current members of the Southern Conference. Liberty is 0-2 versus Appalachian State, 2-1 versus College of Charleston, 2-0 versus Davidson, 11-3 versus Elon, 0-1 versus Furman, 0-2 versus Georgia Southern, 4-14 versus UNCG, 3-7 versus Western Carolina and 3-0 versus Wofford.
Liberty's last win against a Southern Conference opponent came on Feb. 22, 2003, when the Lady Flames claimed a 74-66 win at Elon. The Phoenix were members of the Big South Conference at the time.
Just for Starters
Liberty has won three-consecutive season openers and four of its last five lid-lifters. Under Carey Green, the Lady Flames are 4-4 in their first game of the season. The Lady Flames are 4-0 under Green when they start the season at home and are 0-4 when they open up away from the Vines Center.
In fact, the Lady Flames have lost the last 10 times they have started out a year on the road. The last time Liberty won a season opener played away from home was Nov. 30, 1979, when the Lady Flames claimed a 60-53 decision over Randolph-Macon Woman's College, under head coach Linda Farver.
Record in November
Liberty is 51-32 all-time in November contests, including a 5-1 record during the season's opening month in 2006-07. Under head coach Carey Green, the Lady Flames have gone 16-14 during the month.
This season, the Lady Flames will play the most November contests in program history, seven. The 2001-02 and 2006-07 Liberty squads played six November games apiece.
Liberty Versus Non-Conference Opposition
The Lady Flames own a 245-282 all-time record against non-conference competition. Liberty's best-ever season against non-conference foes came in 1997-98, when the Lady Flames went 14-1 outside the Big South. Liberty's lone non-conference setback that season came to eventual national champion Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Flames were 8-7 in non-conference tilts during the 2006-07 campaign, including a 3-2 mark on the road.
Lady Flames to Battle Wide Range of Non-Conference Foes
This season, Liberty will face teams from 11 different Division I conferences during its non-conference slate. These include the ACC (North Carolina and Virginia Tech), America East (Binghamton), the Atlantic Sun (East Tennessee State), the Atlantic-10 (Richmond and Xavier), the CAA (George Mason and James Madison), Conference USA (Houston), the MAC (Ball State), the MEAC (North Carolina A&T), the Southern (UNC Greensboro) and the Southland (McNeese State). The Lady Flames will also meet either a Mountain West (UNLV) or Ohio Valley Conference opponent in their second game at the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic, on Dec. 21.
A Tradition of Success
Liberty finished the 2006-07 season with a 19-12 record, sealing the Lady Flames' 11th-straight winning campaign. Lady Flame seniors Allyson Fasnacht, Egle Smigelskaite and Courtney Watkins have been a part of 70 victories in their three years with the program and have won at a .737 clip. The trio is the last portion of the 2005 "Sweet 16" qualifier remaining on the Liberty roster.
An Experienced Team
For the first time since the 2004-05 "Sweet 16" season, head coach Carey Green has an abundance of experience at his disposal. Nine of the 12 Lady Flames on the active roster are juniors and seniors, and eight of the nine upperclassmen have started at some point during their time at Liberty. (Only Egle Smigelskaite has not started during her career.) The Lady Flames' current players have combined to start 226 games, headed by Allyson Fasnacht's 63 starts.
Head coach Carey Green used 12 different starting lineups in 31 games, during the 2006-07 season. The most common starting five consisted of Michelle Parker, Roli-Ann Nikagbatse, Megan Frazee, Jamie Feagin and Moriah Frazee. The quintet went 4-2 on the year.
Green's most successful starting five turned out to be the one he penciled in for the season's first five games. Allyson Fasnacht, Courtney Watkins, Megan Frazee, Moriah Frazee and Karolina Piotrkiewicz went 5-0 as a starting unit, including a 75-71 triumph at Virginia.
Today's probable lineup of Allyson Fasnacht, Courtney Watkins, Megan Frazee, Rebecca Lightfoot and Moriah Frazee has never started together. However, they did start as a unit in Liberty's lone exhibition of the 2007-08 season, an 80-74 victory over Athletes in Action on Nov. 8 at the Vines Center. The starting five combined to score 62 of Liberty's points in the win.
Home Away from Home
Liberty will become very familiar with traveling south on Route 29 into North Carolina this season, as up to eight of the Lady Flames' games will be played in the Tar Heel State. Ironically, Liberty will play more games in Greensboro (two) during the month of November than it will at the Vines Center (one).
The Lady Flames open the 2007-08 season with two trips to Greensboro, N.C., in four days. Liberty plays UNC Greensboro tonight and battles North Carolina A&T on Friday evening.
A Hard Row to Hoe
Six of Liberty's 2006-07 opponents earned spots in the NCAA Tournament (George Washington, James Madison, Marist, Pittsburgh, Texas-Arlington and UNC Asheville), and this season's schedule appears to be just as difficult.
The Lady Flames will face a quartet of 2007 NCAA Tournament teams this season, including Final Four team North Carolina, James Madison, UNC Asheville and Xavier. Liberty has 11 regular-season games slated versus 20-win squads from a season ago. Eight of the contests against 20-win teams will be played away from the Vines Center.
Last to Start
The Lady Flames will be the last of the seven Big South women's basketball teams to open its 2007-08 season schedule. Five of the conference squads had already played by Sunday, combining for a 5-3 early-season record. UNC Asheville played its first game on Monday, against Montreat.
Triple the Trouble
Liberty sports the only set of triplets currently playing for the same NCAA Division I women's basketball team--juniors Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee. The trio plays a key role in the Lady Flames' success. Last season, the Frazees finished as Liberty's top three scorers, combining for 31 points per game.
Tracking a Milestone
Through 45 career games, Megan Frazee has tossed in 792 points, for an average of 17.6 points per contest. If she continues to score at her current rate, Frazee is in line to become Liberty's 11th all-time 1,000-point scorer on the second day of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic, in Las Vegas on Dec. 21. She is currently tied with Malynda Keck for 19th on the school's all-time scoring list.
Liberty's Iron Woman
Liberty senior shooting guard Courtney Watkins has yet to miss a game, through the first three seasons of her Lady Flame career. Her consecutive games played streak currently sits at 95, entering the 2007-08 campaign. Liberty's game against Houston on Nov. 24 would be Watkins' 100th-consecutive game played for the Lady Flames.
Back to Normal
Last season, Liberty opened the season with the exact same roster and the exact same coaching staff as the 2005-06 Lady Flames. This time around, the Lady Flames have four new faces on the roster (freshmen Kittery Maine, Rachel McLeod, Heather Smith and Avery Warley). Liberty also picked up a pair of new assistant coaches during the offseason, Alexis Sherard and Andrea "Andy" Bloodworth.
In a unique twist, though, the Lady Flames' roster is still devoid of sophomores. Liberty's 13 players include three seniors, six juniors and four freshmen.
Trio of Debuts
Lady Flame freshmen Kittery Maine, Rachel McLeod and Heather Smith are all set to make their collegiate debuts against UNC Greensboro. (Avery Warley will redshirt the 2007-08 season).
Megan Frazee was the most successful debutante of the current Lady Flames. She totaled 17 points, 10 boards, five assists, two blocks and two steals against Virginia Union, Nov. 18, 2005 at the Vines Center. Her efforts helped Liberty open the year with a comfortable, 74-49 victory.
Senior Egle Smigelskaite has changed her uniform number to No. 11, after wearing No. 23 for her first three seasons. Additionally, Kittery Maine will be the first Lady Flame ever to sport No. 43 on the hardwood.
Liberty will play its first six games away from home, before returning to the Vines Center for its Nov. 30 home opener against Virginia Union. The Lady Flames have never waited until their seventh game of the season to play their first home contest before.
The 2001-02 Liberty team played its first five contests on the road, the Lady Flames' longest previous road swing to open a season. Liberty went 2-3 to open the 2001-02 campaign.
Lack of Overtime
The Lady Flames' 64-62 overtime setback at High Point on Jan. 20, 2007 marked the first time in Liberty's last 101 contests it had to play extra time.
The Lady Flames' most recent win in overtime came on Jan. 6, 2004, when Liberty defeated American, 76-72, on the road in double overtime. No current Lady Flame has won an overtime contest in college.
Liberty's most recent overtime contest at the Vines Center was a memorable one. The Lady Flames defeated Virginia, 77-69, in overtime on Nov. 26, 2002, to claim their first-ever win over the Cavaliers.
Long Distance Connection
The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in 71-straight games, a streak which began on Jan. 26, 2005. This is Liberty's longest such streak since the Lady Flames went 82-consecutive games with a three-pointer between Jan. 24, 1998 and Dec. 20, 2000.
There is Only One
Junior guard/forward Megan Frazee has gone over the 20-point barrier 17 times during her Liberty career. However, she is the only current Lady Flame with a 20-point game to her credit. (Allyson Fasnacht and Moriah Frazee both own career highs of 19 points.)
The last time a Liberty player other than Megan Frazee scored 20 points was March 22, 2005, when Katie Feenstra totaled 29 points against DePaul, enabling the Lady Flames to reach the "Sweet 16."