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Lady Flames to Host High Point on Tuesday
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For the Liberty Lady Flames (17-2, 2-0 Big South), the middle game of their three-game homestand will mark the squad's Big South home opener. Defending conference regular-season champion High Point (9-9, 1-2 Big South) will visit the Vines Center Tuesday evening, seeking its fifth win in the last seven meetings with Liberty. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames hope to extend a pair of winning streaks. Liberty, on a six-game winning skein, is 7-0 at home this season.
The Last Time Out
Presbyterian took nearly 12 minutes to record its first field goal, Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center, enabling Liberty to run out to a 29-2 lead. The Lady Flames never looked back, shooting 58.6 percent from the field in an 88-41 decision over the future conference foe. Moriah Frazee led four Lady Flames in double figures with 15 points. Rebecca Lightfoot added 12 points, six rebounds and a career-high five steals.
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.
Lady Flames On TV
For the fifth year in a row, the Flames Television Network (FTN) plans to broadcast all 13 home women's basketball games. FTN's regular announcing team consists of Ray Jones on play-by-play and Jamie Hall on color.
Scouting High Point
The High Point Panthers are coming off a season which saw them go 18-12, capture the first Big South regular-season title in program history and advance to the WNIT. Five players, including three starters, graduated from the milestone-achieving squad, leaving head coach Tooey Loy with a new-look squad this season.
Five true freshmen dot the 2007-08 High Point roster, and each of them has made an immediate impact. In fact, four of the squad's top five scorers are rookies, headed by 5-7 guard LaTeisha Dean and 5-4 guard Jurica Hargraves. Both players are averaging 10.9 points per game. Amber Manuel, a 5-11 forward, is the team's lone senior and has given her team quality play under the basket, posting 7.8 ppg and a team-best 7.6 rpg.
High Point has excelled at home, going 7-2 at the Millis Center. However, the Panthers are just 2-7 on the road. One of the road victories was an 81-70 triumph at UNC Asheville on Jan. 19, in their Big South Conference opener. Since then, High Point has dropped close decisions to Winthrop (68-67) and Radford (68-60).
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 202-66 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.754) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season. Green is 15-5 against the Panthers in his career.
Tooey Loy, a 1994 graduate of High Point, is 109-84 in his seventh season as head coach at his alma mater. He has captured Big South Coach of the Year honors in both 2005 and 2007. Loy owns a 4-10 coaching record versus Liberty.
Liberty-High Point Series Notes
High Point has enjoyed more success versus Liberty in recent years than any other conference foe. The Lady Flames lead the all-time series, 19-8, but the Panthers have won four of the teams' last six meetings. High Point has dealt Carey Green five of his 12 career losses to Big South opponents.
The Panthers swept the season series from Liberty a season ago, becoming the first Big South team to do so since UNC Greensboro in 1996-97. High Point pulled out a 64-62 home overtime decision on Jan. 20, as senior Katie Ralls hit the game-winning floater with 1.5 seconds left. High Point's Candyce Sellars led all players with 21 points.
The Panthers then defeated Liberty by a 67-61 count at the Vines Center three weeks later. Sellars hit six three-pointers and finished with 26 points. Moriah Frazee led the Lady Flames with 18 markers.
Liberty's last win against High Point came on March 11, 2006, when the Lady Flames held off the Panthers, 53-50, in the Big South Championship game.
Liberty in Big South Home Openers
Liberty is 13-4 in Big South home openers, including a current streak of seven-consecutive wins. The Lady Flames are 7-1 in their first conference home game under head coach Carey Green. His lone home-opening conference setback was a 77-72 loss to Elon in his first Big South game, Jan. 13, 2000. Liberty has never opened the home portion of its Big South slate against High Point.
Liberty is 7-0 at the Vines Center during the 2007-08 campaign, but the Lady Flames are not the only Liberty athletic team which has benefitted from the friendly confines of the Vines Center.
Liberty is unbeaten in the last 29 athletic contests played at the 17-year-old on-campus facility, since the volleyball team lost to James Madison on Sept. 18. The Liberty netters won 11-straight matches to end the year, the wrestling team tied N.C. State and the Flames men's basketball team has been victorious in its first 10 home decisions of the season.
Record in January
Liberty is 146-105 all-time during the month of January. Head Coach Carey Green has gone 62-8 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 is 6-0 during the first month of 2008 and needs one more win to complete its first unbeaten month since February 2006, when the Lady Flames went 9-0.
Out of the Gate Quickly
Liberty opened Big South play with wins at Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina on Jan. 19 and 21, marking the ninth-straight year the Lady Flames have completed the "Beach Trip" with a 2-0 record. Liberty has never lost to either the Lady Buccaneers or Chanticleers under head coach Carey Green's direction, going 39-0 against the pair of South Carolina institutions.
This is the 10th time in Liberty's 17 seasons as a Big South member the Lady Flames have started conference play with a 2-0 record. Liberty went on to win the Big South title on nine of those occasions, with the only exception coming last season.
Scorching the Nets Inside the Furnace
The Lady Flames shot 58.6 percent from the field against Presbyterian on Saturday, the fourth time in seven home games Liberty has shot over 50 percent. For the year, the Lady Flames are sinking 52.4 percent of their field goal tries at the Vines Center.
Lady Flames in Elite Company
Liberty is both shooting the ball well from the field and limiting its opponents' field goal percentage this season. The Lady Flames rank 15th nationally in field goal percentage (.466) and are seventh in field goal percentage defense (.341).
Liberty is one of five teams in the nation to rank in the top 15 in both categories, joining No. 1 Connecticut, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 6 Baylor and Utah.