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Lady Flames Host Radford on Senior Night

March 6, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Egle Smigelskaite is one of three Liberty seniors who will be recognized prior to tip-off of Friday evening's game.

Egle Smigelskaite is one of three Liberty seniors who will be recognized prior to tip-off of Friday evening's game.

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The Game
The Liberty Lady Flames (25-3, 10-1 Big South) will bring the 2007-08 regular season to a close Friday evening, when in-state rival Radford (21-9, 8-3 Big South) visits the Vines Center. Lady Flame seniors Allyson Fasnacht, Egle Smigelskaite and Courtney Watkins will be honored before the game, which will pit the top two seeds for the Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship. Liberty will look to close out an unbeaten season at the Vines Center.

The Last Time Out
Liberty took the lead for good with a 10-0 run, spanning the first and second half, last Saturday at UNC Asheville. The Lady Flames went on to hold off the Bulldogs for a 60-46 decision. Megan Frazee notched 19 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds, helping Liberty wrap up its 10th Big South regular-season title in 11 years.

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. Saturday's game will also be televised by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).

Scouting Radford
Radford has posted consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1986-87 and 1987-88 campaigns. A key to the Highlanders' success has been a pesky defense. Radford is No. 7 nationally with 12.8 steals per game and ranks No. 9 with 5.8 blocks per contest.

The Highlanders are on the longest current winning streak in the Big South Conference, four games. Last Saturday, Radford defeated Winthrop by a 67-54 margin at the Dedmon Center, to lock up the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. The Highlanders feature the current Big South Player of the Week, 5-8 junior guard Johnette Walker. She averaged 16.5 points per game during Radford's pair of victories last week.

Walker is one of five Highlanders averaging between 10.2 and 12.2 points per contest on the season. All five Radford starters are scoring in double figures, paced by 6-3 senior center Kelli Darden's 12.2 ppg. Darden also leads the squad in rebounds per game (8.5) and is No. 9 in the nation with 2.8 blocks per outing.

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 210-67 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.758) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season. Green is 16-3 versus the Highlanders during his career.

Jeri Porter, a 1991 Liberty alumnus, is 91-82 in her sixth season at Radford. She is 155-125 in 10 total seasons as a collegiate head coach, after starting out with four campaigns at North Alabama. Porter is 2-11 coaching against her alma mater, for whom she scored 717 points in two years, ranking 26th on the Lady Flames' all-time scoring list.

Liberty-Radford Series Notes
The all-time head-to-head series between Liberty and Radford is knotted up at 23 wins apiece. The Lady Flames have outscored the Highlanders by a slim, 14-point margin all-time, 2,979 to 2,965. However, the teams have never played an overtime contest.

Liberty was victorious in the squads' first matchup this year, on Feb. 6 at the Dedmon Center. Megan Frazee tallied 20 of her 26 points and 12 of her 18 rebounds after halftime, sparking the visiting Lady Flames to a 63-50 win. Liberty outrebounded Radford by a 30-8 margin during the second half.

Frazee has flourished against the Highlanders in four career meetings. The Liberty junior has recorded three double-doubles against Radford and is averaging 22.5 ppg and 13.5 rpg in the quartet of games.
Liberty was won 13-straight contests against Radford at the Vines Center. The Highlanders' last victory in Lynchburg came on Feb. 3, 1996, by a 73-54 score.

Closing with a Flourish
Saturday's game will be the 11th-straight season Liberty has met Radford in its last regular-season contest. The Lady Flames are 9-1 in the intrastate match-ups, with the lone loss coming by a 77-54 margin, last season at Radford's Dedmon Center. Seven of Liberty's nine wins during the run have come by double digits.

Liberty is just 15-17 in regular-season finales during program history, though.

Regular-Season Champions
For the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, the Liberty women's basketball team has won the Big South Conference regular-season title. The Lady Flames clinched the outright league championship on March 1 at UNC Asheville, as a 60-46 victory improved Liberty's conference mark to 10-1.

The Lady Flames have also clinched the No. 1 seed for the Big South Women's Basketball Championship, to be held at UNC Asheville's Justice Center, March 14-16. As a result, Liberty will receive a first-round bye in the tournament.

Lady Flames the No. 1 Seed for Big South Women's Basketball Championship
Liberty has claimed the No. 1 seed for the Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship, as announced Thursday. The Lady Flames will have a bye into Saturday's semifinal round. Liberty's opening game will be played at 6 p.m., Saturday evening at the Justice Center, versus the winner of Friday's first quarterfinal contest between No. 4 High Point and No. 5 Coastal Carolina.

Liberty is the No. 1 seed for the 10th time in tournament history. The Lady Flames have won the tournament title on each of the first nine occasions they have been seeded first.

In Search of Perfection
Liberty is 12-0 at the Vines Center during the 2007-08 campaign, entering its final home contest of the season. The Lady Flames will be looking to complete their home schedule with an unbeaten record for the fifth time in program history.

Liberty was 5-0 at home during its inaugural season of 1975-76, 18-0 at home in 1997-98, 13-0 at home in 2003-04 and 15-0 at home in 2005-06.

Marvelous in March
Liberty has gone 28-9 during the month of March under Carey Green, with seven of the setbacks coming in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Flames are 6-1 in the regular season, 20-1 in the Big South Championship and 2-7 in the "Big Dance" during the year's third month, under his direction. Last season, Liberty was 1-2 in March. The Lady Flames are 1-0 during March 2008.

The Lady Flames are 36-34 all-time in March contests and did not pick up their first victory in the month until the program's 13th season. Liberty's initial March triumph was an 82-69 win over Randolph-Macon on March 3, 1988.

A Tradition of Success
Lady Flame seniors Allyson Fasnacht, Egle Smigelskaite and Courtney Watkins have been a part of 95 victories in their three-plus years with the program and have won at a .772 clip. The trio is the last portion of the 2005 "Sweet 16" qualifier remaining on the Liberty roster.

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 5-1 versus in-state foes so far, defeating Virginia Union (Nov. 30), James Madison (Dec. 4), Richmond (Jan. 5), George Mason (Jan. 15) and Radford (Feb. 6) and losing at Virginia Tech (Nov. 19).

The Lady Flames are scheduled to play Radford on Saturday evening, at the Vines Center.

Scorching the Nets Inside the Furnace
The Lady Flames shot 67.3 percent from the field against Charleston Southern on Feb. 18, the sixth time in 12 home games Liberty has shot over 50 percent. For the year, the Lady Flames are sinking 50.5 percent of their field goals at the Vines Center.

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 fourth on the program's single-season wins list. If the Lady Flames defeat Radford, they will tie the 1997-98 squad for most regular-season triumphs in Liberty history.

Below are the winningest seasons in program history.
1) 28-1 (1997-98)
2T) 26-7 (2004-05)
2T) 26-4 (2002-03)
4T) 25-3 (2007-08)
4T) 25-6 (2005-06)
4T) 25-7 (2003-04)
7T) 23-8 (2001-02)
7T) 23-8 (1999-2000)
9) 22-8 (1996-97)
10) 21-8 (1998-99)

Long Distance Connection
The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in a school-record 99-straight games, a streak which began on Feb. 26, 2005. Liberty set the mark at UNLV on Dec. 21. The Lady Flames previously went 82-consecutive games with a three-pointer between Jan. 24, 1998 and Dec. 20, 2000.

Liberty has posted some of its most impressive results this season in games played on Fridays. The Lady Flames are 4-0 in Friday contests this year.

Nov. 16 - Liberty handed North Carolina A&T its only home loss of the season, 68-64.
Nov. 23 - The Lady Flames ran out to a 57-18 halftime lead against McNeese State.
Nov. 30 - Liberty scored 100 points versus Virginia Union, the first time the Lady Flames have done so since Dec. 13, 1997.
Dec. 21 - The Lady Flames edged host UNLV, 70-68, to win the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic championship.