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Lady Flames Travel to James Madison Tuesday
Game Day Central
The Liberty Lady Flames (1-4, 0-0 Big South) will play their fifth consecutive game away from the Vines Center Tuesday at 7 p.m., when they travel to James Madison (2-2, 0-0 CAA) for a Commonwealth battle. The contest will match up two of Virginia's best college women's basketball teams, who combined to win 52 games last season.
What to Watch
Liberty is aiming to snap a three-game losing streak and will also look to break a recent trend versus James Madison. The two teams have met each of the past two seasons, with the home team winning each time. The Dukes have been tough to beat at the JMU Convocation Center in recent seasons, winning 47 of their last 50 home games.
The Lady Flames will attempt to become the first team this season to slow down James Madison sophomore guard Dawn Evans. The nation's leading scorer has tallied at least 25 points in each game this year and is currently averaging 30.8 points per contest.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans of the Lady Flames will have numerous ways to follow the team's progress, even if they cannot make it to the JMU Convocation Center Tuesday evening.
The Liberty-James Madison tilt will be video streamed over the Internet, via the MadiZone. Fans wishing to view the video streaming will be required to pay a small fee, which will allow them to watch Tuesday's contest. For more information, click here.
The game will also be broadcast over the radio, on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." Jamie Hall will do play-by-play and Josh Wood will provide color analysis. The radio broadcast will also be available, free of charge, on the Internet. For more information, click here.
Finally, live stats will be available for Tuesday's tilt, courtesy of JMU's Sports Media Relations office. Click here to view them.
Scouting James Madison
The James Madison Dukes, picked to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), enter Tuesday's contest with a 2-2 record. They are 1-0 at home, defeating Big South opponent Radford by an 85-61 score in both teams' season opener.
The Dukes graduated three starters from last season's 24-10 squad, including Tamera Young, the first-round draft pick of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. Dawn Evans, a 5-7 sophomore guard, has picked up the slack and then some. She is averaging 30.8 ppg and has already connected on 20 three-pointers. Evans scored 37 points versus Boston College and 33 against No. 11 Maryland.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his 10th season with the Lady Flames, and has led his team to eight Big South titles. A four-time Big South Coach of the Year, Green owns a 214-72 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 10th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset. Green is 1-1 versus James Madison in his head coaching career.
Kenny Brooks is 124-64 in his seventh season as head women's basketball coach at his alma mater. He has coached the Dukes to postseason appearances in each of the las three seasons, and JMU is 75-23 during the stretch. James Madison's 2006-07 squad went 27-6, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Brooks owns a 1-1 coaching mark against Liberty.
Liberty-James Madison Series Notes
Liberty picked up its first-ever win against James Madison last season, but the Dukes own a 3-1 edge in the Commonwealth rivals' head-to-head series. James Madison is 3-0 versus the Lady Flames in Harrisonburg, picking up a 94-48 win on Nov. 25, 1985, an 81-56 decision on Feb. 2, 1991 and a 74-64 triumph on Nov. 29, 2006. Liberty's lone victory over JMU came by a 79-66 margin, Dec. 4, 2007 at the Vines Center.
Last season, all five Liberty starters reached double figures in the scoring column versus James Madison, led by Megan Frazee's 20 points and 12 rebounds. Sister Moriah Frazee added 17 points and six caroms. Tamera Young paced JMU's attack with 20 points and 11 boards, while Dawn Evans chipped in with 15 tallies but made just one of her 12 three-point tries.
Liberty Versus the Colonial Athletic Association
The Lady Flames own a 23-57 (.288) all-time record against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Liberty is 0-1 versus CAA opponents this year, dropping its season opener to VCU by a 59-57 score. Last season, the Lady Flames went 2-1 versus CAA foes, defeating George Mason and James Madison and falling to Old Dominion.
Liberty is 0-1 all-time against Delaware, 0-2 against Drexel, 2-11 against George Mason, 1-3 against James Madison, 0-2 against Old Dominion, 4-5 against Towson, 9-22 against VCU and 7-11 against William & Mary.
All-Time Record in December
After going 1-4 during the month of November, the Lady Flames are hoping for a better December. Liberty is 74-98 all-time during the calendar year's final month, including 30-29 under head coach Carey Green.
Last season, the Lady Flames won five of six games in December, including a home victory over James Madison and the UNLV Lady Rebel Christmas Classic title. Liberty's lone loss for the month came at No. 4 North Carolina.
Competing with the Commonwealth
Tuesday's game at James Madison is Liberty's second of five scheduled contests versus teams hailing from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Lady Flames, who lost their season opener to VCU, will also face St. Paul's (Dec. 13) and Radford twice (Feb. 2 and March 6). A year ago, the Lady Flames went 7-2 against Commonwealth opposition.
Junior point guard Amber Mays was voted to the all-tournament team at last weekend's GW Thanksgiving Classic, after a pair of stellar performances for the Lady Flames in the nation's capital.
Mays opened her weekend with an eight-point, four-assist outing versus Hartford on Nov. 28. She then came back with a career-high 14-point effort against South Alabama the following day, sinking six of her seven field goal attempts.
Mays capped the weekend by celebrating her 20th birthday on Sunday (Nov. 30).
Freshman guard Brittany Campbell had scored only five collegiate points, before a memorable weekend at the GW Thanksgiving Classic. She hit double figures in the scoring column both days, notching a career-best 11 points against Hartford and 10 markers versus South Alabama.
Campbell's 11 points against Hartford paced all players, making her the first freshman to lead Liberty in scoring since Moriah Frazee had 11 points against DePaul in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament (March 18, 2006).
Liberty could play as many as 10 tournament contests in 2008-09, not counting a possible NCAA Tournament appearance at season's end. The Lady Flames already competed in the Preseason WNIT and GW Thanksgiving Classic. They are still scheduled to participate in the Hokie Hardwood Classic (Dec. 29-30) and the Big South Women's Basketball Championship (March 13-15).
Tuesday's game against James Madison will actually be Liberty's first non-tournament contest of the year, after the Lady Flames opened up 1-4 in the Preseason WNIT and GW Thanksgiving Classic.
Dial Three Digits for Long Distance
Liberty has made only six total three-pointers in the first five games of the season. However, the Lady Flames have been able to continue a long-standing streak. The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in a school-record 108 straight games, a run which began on Feb. 26, 2005.
None of the current Lady Flames were in college when the streak began. Freshman Brittany Campbell, who kept the streak alive with a pair of triples at the GW Thanksgiving Classic, was a freshman at Brookville High School when the streak began.
On paper, Liberty's 2008-09 schedule appeared to be one of the most difficult in program history. So far, it is living up to expectations. The Lady Flames' first five opponents (VCU, UC Riverside, Western Carolina, Hartford and South Alabama) are a combined 17-11 on the year.