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Lady Flames to Face ETSU on Tuesday
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Game Day Central
The Liberty Lady Flames (11-2, 0-0 Big South) will travel to East Tennessee State (5-7, 1-0 Atlantic Sun) Tuesday at 7 p.m., for the final road game of their 2007-08 non-conference schedule. Lady Flame senior Courtney Watkins will have the opportunity to play near her hometown of Bristol, Tenn., as the squads meet for the first time since Dec. 9, 1999.
The Last Time Out
Liberty limited visiting Richmond to a single field goal during a 14-minute stretch of the second half, and Megan Frazee scored nearly half (21) of the Lady Flames' points in a 45-38 victory over the Spiders, Saturday evening at the Vines Center. Liberty was victorious despite making just 3-of-20 (15 percent) second half field goals, as Frazee paced all players in the scoring column and added a team-high eight rebounds. The Lady Flames were victorious for the third time in 22 meetings with their in-state opponent.
Scouting East Tennessee State
The East Tennessee State Lady Bucs of the Atlantic Sun Conference went 20-12 last season, qualifying for the WNIT Tournament. Four starters return from the squad, and ETSU was picked by the media to win the Atlantic Sun title. The Lady Bucs are just 5-7 to start the 2007-08 campaign, but have won consecutive games to start the new year, including a 73-62 triumph at SEC member Alabama on Jan. 2. East Tennessee State is also 3-1 at the Memorial Center, with the lone setback coming by a 70-69 margin to perennial Southern Conference power Chattanooga on Nov. 20.
Siarre Evans, a 5-11 sophomore guard/forward, and Michele DeVault, a 5-11 senior guard/forward, were both selected to the preseason all-conference team. Evans leads the squad in both points (15.5 ppg) and rebounds (9.4 rpg), but sat out her squad's conference opener against USC Upstate on Saturday due to a foot injury. Her status is listed as day-to-day. DeVault has added a team-high 22 three-pointers and 12.9 ppg.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 197-66 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. He is 1-0 against the Lady Bucs in his coaching career.
Karen Kemp is serving as East Tennessee State's head coach for the 14th season, with a career record of 178-200. She was named the 1995 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and owns a career record of 1-1 versus Liberty.
Liberty-East Tennessee State All-Time Series
ETSU leads series, 7-3
12/6/88 H L 87-93
1/25/89 A W 78-76
12/4/89 H L 60-88
2/6/90 A L 51-87
12/7/90 H L 74-86
1/14/91 A L 60-62
1/18/92 A L 78-84
12/10/92 H W 73-62
1/6/99 A L 69-80
12/9/99 H W 74-59
Liberty-East Tennessee State Series Details
After East Tennessee State won six of its first seven meetings with Liberty, the Lady Flames have come away victorious in two of the last three contests. Liberty fashioned a 74-59 win on Dec. 9, 1999 at the Vines Center in the squads' most recent matchup. The Lady Flames' senior twins, Sharon (29 points) and Sarah (23 points) Wilkerson, combined to score 52 of Liberty's 74 points, giving Carey Green his fourth win at Liberty.
The Lady Bucs prevailed in the teams' last meeting in Johnson City, taking an 80-69 decision on Jan. 6, 1999. ETSU scorched the Memorial Center nets during the contest, sinking 12 three-pointers, which was a Liberty opponent single-game record at the time.
Liberty Versus the Atlantic Sun Conference
Liberty is 10-21 against the 12 current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Lady Flames are 7-12 all-time versus former Big South opponent Campbell, 3-7 versus East Tennessee State, 0-1 versus Mercer and 0-1 versus Stetson.
Win No. 200 is on the Horizon
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is closing in on a milestone. He has compiled 197 victories during his first eight-plus seasons with the Lady Flames, leaving him just three 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 three 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).
At Home on the Road
Liberty has only played five home games out of its first 14 contests of the season. However, the Lady Flames have not minded life on the road, as evidenced by their 4-2 road ledger. Liberty opened the year with consecutive road triumphs and later claimed tournament championships with victories at Xavier (Nov. 25) and UNLV (Dec. 21).
Road success is nothing new for Carey Green's Lady Flames, who finished 8-4 in road contests a season ago. Included in Liberty's 2006-07 road success was a Nov. 20 win at Virginia, which made the Lady Flames the first visiting team (men or women) to triumph at John Paul Jones Arena.
Liberty is 73-35 in road games under Green's guidance, winning at a .676 rate. The Lady Flames have posted six-straight winning seasons on the road.