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Lady Flames Head to High Point Saturday
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Game Day Central
The Liberty Lady Flames (23-2, 8-0 Big South) will open a three-game conference road swing Saturday at 7 p.m., at High Point (12-13, 4-5 Big South). Liberty will look to complete its first season sweep of the Panthers since 2003-04 and extend its overall winning streak to 13. High Point has won each of the teams' last two meetings at the Millis Athletic Center.
The Last Time Out
Liberty set program and Vines Center records by shooting 67.3 percent (33-of-49) from the field against Charleston Southern on Monday. The Lady Flames' stellar marksmanship, which also included 10 three-pointers, paced the squad to a 99-42 rout of the Lady Buccaneers. It was the most points Liberty has ever scored against a Big South opponent and marked the Lady Flames' third 90-point game of the season. Megan Frazee led the way with 21 points and a career-best seven assists.
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 High Point
High Point is arguably the youngest team in the Big South Conference, as five of the Panthers' top six scorers are freshmen. The squad has captured half of the 14 Big South Freshman of the Week honors this season, with four different rookies earning the honor.
Despite the team's youth, High Point currently sits fourth in the conference standings, at 4-5. The Panthers have quickly taken a liking to the Millis Center, going 9-3 at home, including a Feb. 12 win over Radford.
Mackenzie Maier, a 6-3 forward, has excelled in recent weeks. She is posting 14.7 ppg and 5.9 rpg in conference action and has won three of the last four Big South Freshman of the Week distinctions. Freshman guards Jurica Hargraves (10.7 ppg) and LaTeisha Dean (10.0 ppg) are also averaging double figures in scoring for the season.
High Point has dropped its last two decisions, including a 79-63 home setback to defending conference champion UNC Asheville on Wednesday. Maier notched her first career double-double, tallying 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 208-66 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.759) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season. Green is 16-5 against High Point in his career.
Tooey Loy owns a career record of 112-88 and is in his seventh year as head coach of his alma mater. Loy has won two of the last three Big South Coach of the Year honors, winning the award in 2005 and 2007. He is 4-11 versus the Lady Flames.
Liberty-High Point Series Notes
Liberty leads the all-time head-to-head series with High Point by a 20-8 margin, but the Panthers have been victorious in four of the last seven meetings. High Point, which swept the season series from Liberty a season ago, has dealt Carey Green five of his 12 losses to Big South competition.
The Lady Flames shot just 37.3 percent, but put four players in double figures against the Panthers, Jan. 29 at the Vines Center. Liberty was able to pull out a 76-57 triumph in its Big South home opener. Sisters Megan (22 points) and Moriah Frazee (career-high 20 points) both eclipsed the 20-point barrier for Liberty, while Rebecca Lightfoot posted her first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). LaTeisha Dean sparked the Panthers' attack with 17 points.
Katie Ralls' jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining lifted High Point to a 64-62 overtime victory over Liberty last season at the Millis Center, on Jan. 20, 2007.
Record-Setting Night at the Vines
Liberty scorched the Vines Center nets, Monday evening against Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames shot 67.3 percent (33-of-49) from the field, breaking the program and Vines Center field goal percentage records.
Lady Flame shooters were at their finest before the intermission, connecting on 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) field goals and draining 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) three-pointers.
Liberty's 99 points were the most the team has ever scored in a Big South game.
Fabulous in February
Liberty has won 84 of its last 88 games played during the month of February, dating back to the 1997 Big South Championship. The only teams to defeat the Lady Flames during February since then are High Point (three times) and UNC Asheville (one time).
Liberty owns a 165-120 all-time mark during the year's second month, including a 65-4 record under Carey Green's direction. The Lady Flames, 6-2 in February a year ago, have seven February contests on the schedule in 2007-08. They have opened the month with a 5-0 record.
Ahead at the Half
The Lady Flames have taken a lead into the locker room at halftime in 21 of 25 games this season. Liberty is outscoring opponents by an average of 11.2 points in the first half and has held eight opponents to fewer than 20 first-half points. The Lady Flames have translated halftime advantages into victories on 20 occasions, including the last 18 times in succession.
Out of the Gate Quickly
Liberty is 8-0 to open conference play for the fifth time in 17 seasons as a Big South member and for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign. The Lady Flames went on to win the Big South title on each of the previous four occasions.
The Lady Flames have been dominant in their first eight conference match-ups, outscoring opponents by an average margin of 76.5-48.9. Liberty is winning the battle of the boards, 44.1 to 27.5. The Lady Flames are additionally tallying 10.8 steals per contest.
At Home on the Road
The Lady Flames have not minded life away from Lynchburg this season, as evidenced by their 8-2 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 77-35 in road games under Green's guidance, winning at a .688 rate. The Lady Flames have posted six-straight winning seasons on the road.
Liberty's Iron Woman
Liberty senior shooting guard Courtney Watkins has yet to miss a contest, in the first three-plus seasons of her Lady Flame career. Her consecutive games played streak currently sits at 120. Liberty's contest against Houston on Nov. 24 was Watkins' 100th-consecutive game played for the Lady Flames. If she can stay healthy, she is on track to break 2007 graduate Michelle Parker's Liberty and Big South records for career games played during the Lady Flames' second contest at the Big South Women's Basketball Championship. Parker finished with 125 career games played.
Watkins sits in third place on Liberty's career games played list. Allyson Fasnacht has made 117 career appearances, and will join the program's career top five with tonight's contest.
Juniors Molly and Moriah Frazee have also played in every game since they have been a part of the Liberty roster. Each of them has appeared in 87-straight contests.
The Lady Flames are currently on a 12-game winning streak, as they have not dropped a decision since an 88-67 setback at North Carolina on Dec. 30.
Below are the Lady Flames' 10 longest winning skeins.
1) 28 games (Nov. 21, 1997 - Feb. 28, 1998)
2) 22 games (Dec. 21, 2002 - March 9, 2003)
3) 19 games (Jan. 6, 2004 - March 13, 2004)
4) 14 games (Jan. 28, 2006 - March 11, 2006)
5) 13 games (Jan. 24, 2002 - March 2, 2002)
6T) 12 games (Jan. 23, 1999 - Feb. 27, 1999)
6T) 12 games (Jan. 15, 2005 - Feb. 21, 2005)
6T) 12 games (Jan. 5, 2008 - Feb. 18, 2008)
9) 11 games (Feb. 3, 2000 - March 4, 2000)
10) 9 games (Nov. 23, 2007 - Dec. 21, 2007)
Most Wins in Program History
Liberty has recorded 10 20-win seasons, all of which have come in the last 12 years. The 1997-98 Lady Flames set a school record with 28 wins, finishing the campaign at 28-1. This year's team is tied for sixth on the program's single-season wins list.
Below are the winningest seasons in program history.
1) 28-1 (1997-98)
2T) 26-7 (2004-05)
2T) 26-4 (2002-03)
4T) 25-6 (2005-06)
4T) 25-7 (2003-04)
6T) 23-2 (2007-08)
6T) 23-8 (2001-02)
6T) 23-8 (1999-2000)
9) 22-8 (1996-97)
10) 21-8 (1998-99)
Lack of Overtime
The Lady Flames' 64-62 overtime setback at High Point on Jan. 20, 2007 marked the first time in Liberty's previous 101 contests it had to play extra time.
The Lady Flames' most recent win in overtime came on Jan. 6, 2004, when Liberty defeated American, 76-72, on the road in double overtime. No current Lady Flame has won an overtime contest in college.
Liberty's most recent overtime contest at the Vines Center was a memorable one. The Lady Flames defeated Virginia, 77-69, in overtime on Nov. 26, 2002, to claim their first-ever win over the Cavaliers.