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Lady Flames Return to Greensboro for Game at North Carolina A&T
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The Liberty Lady Flames (1-0, 0-0 Big South) and the North Carolina A&T Aggies (1-0, 0-0 MEAC) both seek a 2-0 start to the 2007-08 season, after each squad began the year with a road victory. Friday's tip-off between the Lady Flames and Aggies, meeting for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, is set for 7 p.m. at the Corbett Sports Center.
The Last Time Out
Molly Frazee scored a career-high 17 points and Liberty broke open a close game with a 13-0 run to start the second half, Tuesday evening at UNC Greensboro. As a result, the Lady Flames were able to triumph over the Spartans, 62-44, for Liberty's first road win to start a season since 1979-80.
Lady Flames On The Air
All Lady Flames basketball games can be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." (Tonight's game will be broadcast on WRVL 88.3 FM, though, due to a scheduling conflict.) 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 North Carolina A&T
All five starters return to the fold for North Carolina A&T's third-year head coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs, who saw her team go 17-13 and tie for second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2006-07. Key returnees include junior guard Amber Bland, who led the MEAC and ranked No. 20 nationally with 19.6 ppg last season, after transferring from Penn State. Ta'Wuana "Tweet" Cook, a sophomore point guard, is the reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year.
Like Liberty, the Aggies rode a strong second-half performance to victory in their season opener. North Carolina A&T actually trailed homestanding Stetson by 13 points at the break, before outscoring its host, 52-21, during the final 20 minutes of play. Brittanie Taylor-James, a second-team all-conference performer a season ago, paced teh team with 20 points.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 186-64 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.744) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.
Patricia Cage-Bibbs is 27-32 in her third season at North Carolina A&T and is nearing a milestone in her overall career as a collegiate head coach. Cage-Bibbs is 398-238 in her 23rd year on the bench. Her career includes head coaching stints at Hampton and Grambling State, her alma mater.
All-Time Series Record
Liberty leads, 4-3
12/3/93 H L 43-48
11/30/94 A L 55-72
2/15/96 H L 43-44
11/30/96 A W 72-69
11/29/97 H W 58-47
11/24/98 A W 57-43
11/23/99 H W 85-46
Liberty vs. the MEAC
The Lady Flames are 27-19 all-time when facing current Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponents. In addition to North Carolina A&T, Liberty has met Bethune Cookman (3-1), Hampton (5-11), Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-3), Morgan State (1-0), Norfolk State (7-0) and South Carolina State (4-1).
Most Recent Matchup with North Carolina A&T
Liberty head coach should remember his squad's most recent meeting with North Carolina A&T quite well. On Nov. 23, 1999, the Lady Flames hosted the Aggies at the Vines Center and jumped out to a 24-4 lead on their way to an 85-46 win. The victory served as the first of Green's 186 collegiate coaching triumphs to date. Elena Kisseleva had a game-high 15 points and Sarah Wilkerson chipped in with 13 for the Lady Flames.
Liberty and North Carolina A&T's seven all-time meetings happened in seven-straight seasons, spanning the 1993-94 campaign to the 1999-2000 season. The Aggies won the first three contests, before the Lady Flames answered with four-consecutive decisions. Liberty is 2-2 versus North Carolina A&T at the Vines Center and 2-1 in Greensboro.
Painting a Masterpiece
Liberty controlled the action in the paint during its season opener at UNC Greensboro, outscoring the host Spartans by a 36-12 margin around the basket. Much of the Lady Flames' advantage may be attributed to two factors--second-chance points and fast break points. Liberty converted 17 offensive boards into 19 second-chance points and pushed the pace for a dozen fast break points.
The Lady Flames, who have ranked among the nation's top five in rebounding margin each of the last four seasons, got off to a good start in the category for the 2007-08 campaign. Liberty hauled in 17 more rebounds (42-25) than the Spartans, Tuesday evening.
Just for Starters
Liberty has now won four-consecutive season openers and five of its last six lid-lifters. Under Carey Green, the Lady Flames are 5-4 in their first game of the season. The Lady Flames are 4-0 under Green when they start the season at home and are 1-4 when they open up away from the Vines Center.
The last time Liberty had won a season opener played away from home, prior to Tuesday, 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 52-32 all-time in November contests, including a 1-0 record during the season's opening month this season. Under head coach Carey Green, the Lady Flames have gone 17-14 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 246-282 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 are 1-0 in non-conference tilts in the 2007-08 season.
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 started together for the first time, Tuesday evening at UNC Greensboro. The starters combined for 33 points and grabbed 31 of Liberty's 42 caroms.
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 played UNC Greensboro Tuesday night and battles North Carolina A&T tonight.
Starting Fast on the Road
The Lady Flames will attempt to win their first two road games of the season for only the fifth time in program history. Previous Liberty squads to accomplish the feat include the 1983-84, 1984-85, 1997-98 and 2006-07 units. Last season, the Lady Flames won their first three games away from the Vines Center, defeating George Mason, Virginia and Binghamton.
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. In the season opener, the Frazees provided 36 points and 17 rebounds to Liberty's win over UNC Greensboro.
Tracking a Milestone
Through 46 career games, Megan Frazee has tossed in 806 points, for an average of 17.5 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 at North Carolina on Dec. 30. She is currently 17th 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-plus seasons of her Lady Flame career. Her consecutive games played streak currently sits at 96. Liberty's game against Houston on Nov. 24 would be Watkins' 100th-consecutive game played for the Lady Flames.
Juniors Molly and Moriah Frazee have played in every game since they have been a part of the Lady Flames' roster, as well. Each of them has now appeared in 63-straight contests.
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.
Long Distance Connection
The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in 72-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."