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Liberty Heads to CSU for Big South Lid-Lifter
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Game Day Central
The Liberty Lady Flames (14-2, 0-0 Big South) will tip off their Big South Conference schedule with the first leg of the annual "Beach Trip," a Saturday afternoon contest at Charleston Southern (5-12, 0-0 Big South). Liberty will attempt to claim its 21st-consecutive win over the Lady Buccaneers and its fourth-straight victory overall. A Lady Flames triumph would give Carey Green career coaching win No. 200.
The Last Time Out
Liberty broke open a close home matchup with George Mason with an 11-2 second-half run, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. Courtney Watkins scored the first seven points of the surge, which put the Lady Flames well on the way to their sixth-straight win at the Vines Center, a 69-54 triumph. Liberty junior Megan Frazee paced all players in both points (18) and rebounds (7) in her team's final non-conference tune-up, and moved to No. 10 on the Lady Flames' all-time scoring list.
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. Due to Hall's television responsibilities, Jerod Brooks will serve as the primary commentator for home games.
Scouting Charleston Southern
The Charleston Southern Lady Buccaneers return four letterwinners from last year's team, which finished 10-20. All four holdovers are starting for CSU this season, and have helped the squad go 4-3 at CSU Field House. The Lady Buccaneers enter conference play coming off consecutive 20-plus point victories, over Savannah State and Presbyterian.
Pam Tolbert, a 5-8 junior guard, leads CSU in points (17.2 ppg), assists (3.1 apg) and steals (2.4 spg). The second-leading Big South scorer, she totaled a game-high 27 points agaisnt Presbyterian on Tuesday, sinking 7-of-10 three-pointers. Tina DeCarvalho, a 5-11 sophomore guard, is the team leader with 6.3 rpg.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 199-66 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.751) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season. He is 18-0 against the Lady Buccaneers in his coaching career.
Julie Goodenough is 15-32 in her second season on Charleston Southern's bench. She owns a career mark of 226-147 in 14 seasons, which includes nine years at Hardin-Simmons and three campaigns at Oklahoma State. Goodenough has dropped her only two career decisions to Liberty.
Liberty-Charleston Southern Series Notes
Liberty is 35-5 all-time versus Charleston Southern and has not lost to the Lady Buccaneers since Jan. 18, 1999. The Lady Flames have triumphed in the teams' last 20 meetings, including all 18 under Carey Green's guidance.
Liberty defeated Charleston Southern twice last season, claiming a 72-39 decision on Jan. 15 in Charleston and notching a 91-40 victory on Feb. 19 in Lynchburg.
The latter triumph was Carey Green's 100th Big South coaching win, and the 91 points marked the Lady Flames' highest scoring output ever in a Big South game. Megan Frazee averaged 15.0 ppg for Liberty in last season's two meetings, while CSU's Keena Wicker notched 15.5 ppg.
Charleston Southern's most recent victory in the head-to-head series came on Jan. 18, 1999, when the Lady Buccaneers took down the Lady Flames by a 66-60 margin at CSU Field House. Katie LaRue paced the victors with 14 points, while Sharon Wilkerson's school-record eight three-pointers and 26 points went for naught.
Liberty will be facing CSU in its Big South opener for the seventh time. The Lady Flames have gone 5-1 in their previous six conference lid-lifters against Charleston Southern.
Liberty in Big South Openers
Liberty is 11-5 all-time in Big South openers and has started off its conference schedule with a win seven-consecutive times. Carey Green is 7-1 in Big South lid-lifters, with the only loss coming in his very first Big South tilt, Jan. 13, 2000 against Elon. The Phoenix handed Liberty a 77-72 defeat at the Vines Center in the contest.
Last season, the Lady Flames opened conference play on Jan. 13, at Coastal Carolina. Liberty, behind Megan Frazee's 24 points, held off a late Chanticleer rally to seal a 58-54 win.
Liberty has started its conference slate on the road on nine occasions. The Lady Flames are 6-3 in such contests, a record which includes five-straight victories.
Bouncing Back with a Win
Liberty has never lost back-to-back Big South Conference games under Carey Green's direction. In fact, the Lady Flames have not lost consecutive conference tilts since Feb. 20 & 22, 1997, when Liberty fell to UNC Greensboro and Winthrop in its last two regular-season contests.
Liberty must defeat Charleston Southern to continue the trend. The Lady Flames are coming off a 77-54 setback at Radford in the 2006-07 regular-season finale.
Win No. 200 is on the Horizon
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is one step away from a milestone. He has compiled 199 victories during his first eight-plus seasons with the Lady Flames, leaving him a single win shy of 200. Green would become the first women's basketball coach in Liberty and Big South Conference history to reach the milestone.
Green's 100th win came during the "Beach Trip," on Jan. 17, 2004 at Coastal Carolina. Liberty's head coach notched a 69-58 win over his alma mater, aided by 25 points and 11 rebounds from Katie Feenstra.
Receiving Some Recognition
Liberty received its first Top 25 vote of the season in the Dec. 10 AP Top 25 poll. The Lady Flames notched a season-high eight votes on Dec. 24 and earned two votes in the most recent poll, released on Jan. 14.
In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, Liberty garnered its first vote on Dec. 18 and received 11 votes, its most so far this season, in the Jan. 15 poll. The Lady Flames had the 35th-most votes in this week's poll.
At Home on the Road
Liberty has only played six home games out of its first 16 contests of the season. However, the Lady Flames have not minded life on the road, as evidenced by their 5-2 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).
Liberty is 74-35 in road games under Green's guidance, winning at a .679 rate. The Lady Flames have posted six-straight winning seasons on the road.
The Lady Flames' 14-2 start is their best since the 1997-98 squad won its first 28 games of the year and marks the first time Liberty has won 14 games before the start of its conference schedule. Additionally, Liberty won 11 games by the end of December for the first time in program history.