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Liberty to Open 2008 With Visit by Richmond

January 3, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Courtney Watkins leads the Big South Conference with her .455 three-point field goal percentage.

Courtney Watkins leads the Big South Conference with her .455 three-point field goal percentage.

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The Game
The Liberty Lady Flames (11-2, 0-0 Big South) will attempt to open 2008 with a victory, when they welcome in-state foe Richmond (7-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10) to the Vines Center, Saturday at 7 p.m. Liberty will attempt to claim its first win against the Spiders since Dec. 4, 1999, Carey Green's fourth game as Liberty's head coach.

The Last Time Out
Megan Frazee reached the 1,000-point milestone and Liberty outrebounded No. 4 North Carolina last Sunday in Chapel Hill, but the Tar Heels snapped the Lady Flames' nine-game winning streak with an 88-67 decision. LaToya Pringle paced North Carolina with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Frazee finished with 18 points and 12 boards before fouling out, while sister Molly Frazee tallied all of her 13 points during the second half.

Scouting Richmond
The Richmond Spiders of the Atlantic 10 Conference bring a .500 (7-7) record to the Vines Center after dropping consecutive games versus Top 15 teams. Richmond lost at No. 5 Maryland, 89-59, on Dec. 29 and fell to No. 14 Notre Dame, 84-59, on Wednesday. The Spiders' record includes consecutive road wins at William & Mary and UNLV in November.

Christina Campion, a 6-0 forward, is the Spiders' only active senior and has recorded over 1,100 career points. Fellow upperclassman Johanna McKnight, a 5-9 junior guard, paces the team with 13.7 ppg and 2.5 spg. Freshman guard Brittani Shells follows closely behind, at 13.2 ppg.

Richmond has a tie to Liberty, as third-year assistant coach Chris Carroll worked on Carey Green's coaching staff for four seasons (2001-05).

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 196-66 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.748) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season.

Michael Shafer is 33-41 in his third season as Richmond's head coach. He came to the Spiders from Georgia, where he spent 11 years as an assistant under head coach Andy Landers.

Liberty-Richmond Series Notes
Liberty won its first meeting with Richmond, prevailing by a 65-57 count on Feb. 12, 1980 in Lynchburg. However, the Spiders have dominated the series ever since, owning a 19-2 overall advantage, including a 9-1 mark in games played at Liberty.

The Lady Flames' only other victory over Richmond came in the opening round of the Spiders' Wachovia Women's Invitational, on Dec. 4, 1999 at the Robins Center. Sharon Wilkerson's 30 points led the way in Liberty's 94-75 triumph, in which all five Lady Flame starters reached double figures. Sister Sarah Wilkerson added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists, as Liberty shot 53.4 percent (39-of-73) from the field. Candice Edwards' 20 points led Richmond's attack.

Richmond defeated Liberty by 20 points, 65-45, in the team's most recent matchup, Nov. 23, 2004 at the Vines Center. Playing without senior center Katie Feenstra, the Lady Flames shot only 32.7 percent (16-of-49) from the floor and failed to post a double-digit scorer. Rima Margeviciute's eight points paced all Liberty players. Meanwhile, the Spiders shot 50.9 percent (27-of-53), including eight three pointers. Saona Chapman hit six triples on her way to a game-high 24-point effort.

Liberty Versus the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Lady Flames own a 5-22 record versus the 14 current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference. All but six of Liberty's matchups have been against Richmond, against whom the Lady Flames are 2-19. The Lady Flames have also played George Washington (1-2), Rhode Island (1-0), UMass (0-1) and Xavier (1-0).

Liberty is 1-0 against Atlantic 10 opposition this season. The Lady Flames came back to defeat defending Atlantic 10 Champion Xavier, 61-56, in the National City Xavier Invitational title game on Nov. 25.

There's No Place Like Home
Tonight's game versus Richmond will be Liberty's first home contest in three weeks and only the Lady Flames' fifth game out of their first 14 to be played at the Vines Center. Eight of the next 12 Liberty contests will be home games.

Liberty is 4-0 at home so far this season and has won its quartet of games by an average of 33.0 ppg. The Lady Flames have scored 75 or more points during three out of four home games and are averaging 80.3 ppg at the Vines Center this year.

Record in January
Liberty is 140-105 all-time during the month of January. Head Coach Carey Green has gone 56-8 during the year's first month in his eight-plus years with the Lady Flames, including a perfect 9-0 January in 2002-03.

Last season, the Lady Flames won six out of seven January tilts. Liberty will open the 2008 calendar year with seven January games, including four home contests. The Lady Flames played only four home games during November and December, combined.

Win No. 200 is on the Horizon
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is closing in on a milestone. He has compiled 196 victories during his first eight-plus seasons with the Lady Flames, leaving him just four wins shy of 200. Green would become the first women's basketball coach in Liberty and Big South Conference history to reach the milestone.

If the Lady Flames win their next four games, Green will capture victory No. 200 in Liberty's Big South opener at Charleston Southern, Jan. 19. If not, Green's next opportunities will come at his alma mater, Coastal Carolina (Jan. 21) and at home versus Presbyterian (Jan. 26).

Competing with the Commonwealth
Liberty is slated to play seven games against teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia during the 2007-08 season. The Lady Flames are 2-1 versus in-state foes so far, defeating Virginia Union (Nov. 30) and James Madison (Dec. 4) and losing at Virginia Tech (Nov. 19).

Tonight, Liberty will meet Richmond (Jan. 5). Later on this season, the Lady Flames are scheduled to play 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.

Reaching a Pair of Milestones
Junior Megan Frazee has reached career milestones in each of Liberty's last two games. She became the 19th Lady Flame ever to pull down 500 rebounds, Dec. 21 at UNLV. Frazee then scored career point No. 1,000 at No. 4 North Carolina, Dec. 30. The guard/forward is the 11th member of Liberty's 1,000-point club and is the third fastest to reach the mark, doing so in her 58th career game.

Frazee is the sixth Lady Flame to top both 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. Katie Feenstra, Elena Kisseleva, Sharon Snodgrass, Pam Wilder and Sharon Wilkerson are the other members of this exclusive club.

Outrebounding the Best
Liberty has played two of the nation's top four squads in rebounding margin this season, North Carolina (second) and James Madison (fourth). The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle both times, edging the Tar Heels on the glass, 42-39, and outrebounding the Dukes by a 41-38 margin.