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Lady Flames to Meet Unbeaten James Madison
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The Liberty Lady Flames (6-1, 0-0 Big South) will attempt to continue their best start in 10 years with a matchup against unbeaten in-state rival James Madison (6-0, 0-0 CAA), Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. Liberty will look for its first-ever win over the Dukes and its fifth-consecutive triumph overall. The contest will be JMU's first trip to the Vines Center.
The Last Time Out
Liberty scored early and often during Friday's home opener against Division II Virginia Union. When all was said and done, the Lady Flames came out on top, 100-29, reaching triple digits for the first time since Dec. 13, 1997. Liberty shot a team and Vines Center-record 64.6 percent from the field and sank 11 three-pointers. Moriah Frazee shot 8-for-8 from the floor, on her way to a game-high 18 points.
Scouting James Madison
James Madison returns only one starter, 6-2 senior guard Tamera Young, from last year's squad, which went 27-6 and played in the NCAA Tournament. However, the Dukes have started the 2007-08 season with six-consecutive wins. The team's biggest win so far has been an 80-55 blowout victory over George Washington, ranked No. 14 nationally at the time.
Young has started her senior year well, averaging 19.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Freshman Dawn Evans has made an immediate impact, as the 5-7 guard is contributing 15.0 ppg, 4.5 apg and shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
The Dukes have been winning comfortably, with an 11-point triumph over Wake Forest marking the team's narrowest margin of victory. JMU has also been controlling the boards and is averaging over 25 offensive caroms per game.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 191-65 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.746) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season.
Kenny Brooks, who picked up his 100th career win on Nov. 13 at Bucknell, is 104-52 in his sixth season at James Madison. He has led the Dukes to consecutive 20-win seasons and garnered the 2006-07 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year award.
Liberty vs. James Madison All-Time Series
James Madison leads series, 3-0
11/25/85 A L 48-94
2/2/91 A L 56-81
11/29/06 A L 64-74
Liberty entered the JMU Convocation Center with a 5-0 record on Nov. 29, 2006, but left as the Dukes' 15th-straight victim on their home court. James Madison, leading by a single point at the half (31-30), broke the game open in the final minutes and recorded a 74-64 decision.
Senior center Meredith Alexis (28 points, 11 rebounds) and junior guard Tamera Young (16 points, 10 rebounds) both put together double-doubles for James Madison. Senior Michelle Parker came off the Liberty bench for 13 points and five caroms, while sophomore Megan Frazee chipped in with 12 points and six boards.
Liberty Versus the CAA
Liberty is 21-55 all-time versus current members of the CAA. The Lady Flames are 0-1 versus Delaware, 0-2 versus Drexel, 1-11 versus George Mason, 0-3 versus James Madison, 0-1 versus Old Dominion, 4-5 versus Towson, 9-21 versus VCU and 7-11 versus William & Mary.
Last season, the Lady Flames split their two meetings against CAA opponents, winning 61-56 at George Mason on Nov. 14 and falling by a 74-64 count at James Madison, 15 days later.
In 2007-08, Liberty will meet the same two teams, as both visit the Vines Center. The Lady Flames tangle with JMU tonight and will square off with George Mason on Jan. 15.
Triple Digits Inside the Furnace
Liberty's 100-29 victory over Virginia Union on Friday marked the Lady Flames' first 100-point game since a 103-61 triumph over Cedarville, Dec. 13, 1997 at the Vines Center. It was the Lady Flames' first 100-point output since Carey Green took over as head coach, prior to the 1999-200 season. In fact, Green's Liberty teams, which have been built around rebounding and defense, have only gone over the 90-point plateau seven times in his nine seasons.
Record in December
Liberty is 69-97 all-time in December contests, while Carey Green is 25-28 during the year's final month. Last season, the Lady Flames were only able to win one of seven December outings.
In 2007-08, Liberty is scheduled to play six contests in December. The month's first three games will be played at the Vines Center, while the Lady Flames will return to the road for the final three tilts.
Liberty in the NCAA Rankings
Liberty is ranked in the top 25 nationally in five statistical categories. The Lady Flames are sixth in field goal percentage defense (.311), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.409), 14th in scoring margin (+20.3), 16th in rebounding margin (+11.0) and 24th in field goal percentage (.464).
Competing with the Commonwealth
Liberty is slated to play seven teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia during the 2007-08 season. The Lady Flames are 1-1 versus in-state foes so far, defeating Virginia Union (Nov. 30) and losing at Virginia Tech (Nov. 19). Tonight, Liberty will square off with its third Virginia opponent, James Madison.
Later in the season, Liberty will meet Richmond (Jan. 5), George Mason (Jan. 15) and Radford twice (Feb. 6 and March 7). A year ago, the Lady Flames were victorious in six of 10 games against Commonwealth opposition.
Tracking a Pair of Milestones
Through 52 career games, Megan Frazee has tossed in 914 points, for an average of 17.6 points per contest. If she continues at her current scoring rate, Frazee is in line to become Liberty's 11th all-time 1,000-point scorer during the Lady Flames' second game of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic in Las Vegas, on Dec. 21. She is currently 11th on the school's all-time scoring list.
Frazee is also nearing 500 rebounds. She has pulled down 466 boards in her career, good for an average of 9.0 rpg. Frazee is on pace to collect her 500th board on Dec. 20, against Ball State in the opening game of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic. She would become the 19th member of Liberty's 500-rebound club and the sixth Lady Flame ever to post 1,000 points and 500 caroms in her career.
Junior Megan Frazee has scored in double figures in each of her last 19 games, dating back to the 2006-07 season. This is the longest such streak of her career and the longest by a Liberty player since Katie Feenstra scored 10 or more points in the first 26 games of the 2003-04 campaign.
Frazee has only scored nine or fewer points on four occasions at Liberty, and the Ohioan has never done so in consecutive outings.
Miss Consistency, Part 2
Senior Courtney Watkins is giving her team regular scoring punch from the backcourt this season. She is third on the team with 10.4 ppg and has posted five double-digit scoring efforts in seven games. It has truly been a breakthrough season for Watkins, who had scored 10 or more points only 10 times in 95 career outings, prior to this season.
Watkins has also been efficient with her shooting opportunities this season. She is currently posting career-high marks for both field goal percentage (.538) and three-point field goal percentage (.526).
Rewriting the Record Book
Liberty set or tied a number of records during its 100-29 victory over Virginia Union on Friday. Here is a look at some of the most notable accomplishments from the contest:
-- The Lady Flames' field goal percentage (.646, 42-65) set new team and Vines Center single-game records.
-- Liberty's 11 three-pointers equaled the most the Lady Flames have ever made in a game at the Vines Center.
-- Liberty's 33 assists set a program NCAA Division I record.
-- Moriah Frazee went 8-for-8 from the field to establish a new Vines Center record for single-game field goal percentage.
-- Liberty's 100 points marked the eighth time in program history the Lady Flames have scored in triple digits.
The Lady Flames' 6-1 start is their best since the 1997-98 squad won its first 28 games of the year. Below is a list of Liberty's all-time best openings to a season.
1997-98: 28-0 (Final Record: 28-1)
1996-97: 8-1 (Final Record: 22-8)
1983-84: 7-1 (Final Record: 13-11)
1975-76: 7-1 (Final Record: 7-1)
2007-08: 6-1 (Final Record: ??)