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LU Begins Road Swing at Winston-Salem State
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Liberty (2-6, 0-0 Big South) will close out the calendar year 2008 with four straight contests away from the Vines Center. The road stretch begins Saturday, with the Lady Flames' first-ever game at Winston-Salem State (0-8, 0-0 MEAC). Tip-off at the C.E. Gaines Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.
What to Watch
Coming off a 92-68 home victory over Saint Paul's on Dec. 13, Liberty is seeking its first back-to-back wins of the 2008-09 season. Meanwhile, homestanding Winston-Salem State will try for its first victory of the year. The Rams, who have not played since Dec. 6, are 0-8.
Liberty is attempting to continue its 26-game winning streak against MEAC opponents. The Lady Flames have not lost to a MEAC foe since Feb. 15, 1996, when Liberty dropped a 44-43 decision to North Carolina A&T.
Lady Flames On The Air
All Lady Flames basketball games may be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." Jamie Hall, celebrating his 15th year of broadcasting Lady Flames basketball, will once again be handling the courtside play-by-play duties for most road games. Josh Wood will serve as the primary commentator for home contests and will provide color analysis on the road.
Scouting Winston-Salem State
The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams are in the fourth year of a five-year transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I. They are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), but are not yet eligible to compete for the conference title.
The Lady Rams are seeking their first triumph of the 2008-09 campaign, after openign the season with eight consecutive setbacks. Winston-Salem State has faced one other Big South team this year. Gardner-Webb posted a 64-55 triumph at Winston-Salem State's C.E. Gaines Center on Dec. 4.
Four of the Lady Rams' regular starters are sophomores, and second-year players lead the team in both points and rebounds. Rene Rector, a 5-6 sophomore guard, is Winston-Salem State's only player averaging double figures, with 10.0 ppg. Classmate Vontisha Woods, a 6-0 forward, is posting 9.1 ppg and a team-high 8.4 rpg.
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 215-74 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.744) ranked 10th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.
Dee Stokes is 11-54 in her third season as Winston-Salem State's head coach. Stokes is familiar with the Big South Conference, as she served as an assistant coach at Winthrop for two seasons, prior to her current tenure at Winston-Salem State. Stokes was East Carolina's head coach for four years and owns a career coaching record of 61-106.
Liberty-Winston-Salem State Series Notes
Saturday's game will be the first-ever hardwood meeting between Liberty and Winston-Salem State.
Liberty Versus the MEAC
Liberty is 28-19 all-time versus the current MEAC membership, and the Lady Flames have won 26 consecutive games against MEAC opposition. North Carolina A&T, who Liberty will face on Dec. 29 in the opening round of the Hokie Hardwood Classic, was the last MEAC squad to beat the Lady Flames. The Aggies edged the Lady Flames, 44-43, Feb. 15, 1996 at the Vines Center.
Liberty is 3-1 all-time against Bethune-Cookman, 5-11 against Hampton, 3-3 against Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1-0 against Morgan State, 7-0 against Norfolk State, 5-3 against North Carolina A&T and 4-1 against South Carolina State.
Liberty On the Road
Liberty is in search of its first road victory of the 2008-09 season, after losing its initial two road contests of the year (at Western Carolina & at James Madison). The Lady Flames are 1-4 in their last five road games, dating back to last season. Prior to Liberty's recent struggles away from the Vines Center, the Lady Flames had been victorious in 24 of their last 30 road games.
6 x 10
Six Lady Flames reached double figures in the scoring column during Liberty's 92-68 triumph over Saint Paul's on Saturday. Freshman Kylee Beecher led the way with 18 points, followed by Moriah Frazee (16 points), Avery Warley (13), Danika Dale (12), Kittery Maine (12) and Amber Mays (10).
Liberty had not featured six double-digit scorers in the same game since Jan. 19, 1987, when Pam Wilder (25 points), Pam Stanfield (14), Harriett Blair (12), Saundra Bridges (11), Annetta Paraham (11) and Sharon Freet (10) accomplished the feat for the Lady Flames. Their efforts helped Liberty claim a 98-83 home win over Ferrum.
None of Liberty's double-figure scorers from Saturday's contest were born on Jan. 19, 1987. Moriah Frazee was born a little more than two months later, on March 29.
Amber Mays filled the stat sheet for the Lady Flames during last Saturday's 92-68 victory against Saint Paul's. The junior totaled 10 points versus the Lady Tigers and tallied new career highs for assists (8), rebounds (6) and steals (5). In the process, Mays became the first Lady Flame to score in double figures while also recording at least five assists, five rebounds and five steals in the same game since Carey Green became head coach in 1999-2000.
The last time a Liberty player recorded a 10-5-5-5 stat line came on Feb. 18, 1999 at the Vines Center. Sharon Wilkerson posted 17 points, five assists, seven boards and five steals in a 74-53 triumph over UNC Asheville.
Down But Not Out
Liberty is 2-6 to start the season for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, which was Carey Green's second season as head coach. That year, the Lady Flames won only two of their first 11 contests, during November and December. Liberty then rebounded to go 16-2 in the next 18 games, after the calendar flipped to 2001, winning the Big South title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Freshman post player Kylee Beecher enjoyed the best game of her young collegiate career, last Saturday against Saint Paul's. She paced the Lady Flames with a career-high 18 points, matching the Roanoke, Va., native's point total from her first six appearances. Beecher also contributed six rebounds and a career-best five assists to Liberty's 92-68 win.
As a result, Beecher was tabbed Big South Women's Basketball Freshman of the Week on Dec. 15. She became Liberty's first Big South Freshman of the Week since current Lady Flame senior Moriah Frazee won the award on Feb. 20, 2006.
Dial Three Digits for Long Distance
The Lady Flames have been able to continue a long-standing streak, so far this season. The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in a school-record 111 straight games, a run which began on Feb. 26, 2005. None of the current Lady Flames were in college when the streak began.
Moriah Frazee kept the streak going against Saint Paul's last Saturday with her second multiple three-pointer contest in her last three outings.
Lighting Up the Scoreboard
Liberty's 92-point outburst against Saint Paul's last Saturday was the ninth time the Lady Flames have scored 90 or more points in Carey Green's 10 seasons as head coach. Liberty is 9-0 when reaching the 90-point mark under Green's direction.
Start Me Up
Head coach Carey Green used only four different starting lineups in Liberty's 32 games last season. The most common starting five consisted of Allyson Fasnacht, Courtney Watkins, Megan Frazee, Rebecca Lightfoot and Moriah Frazee. The unit went 18-2 in their 20 games as a starting unit.
The Lady Flames' most successful grouping, which won all six games in 2007-08, featured Fasnacht, Watkins, Megan Frazee, Molly Frazee and Moriah Frazee.
This year, Liberty has already used four different starting lineups in the first eight games of the season. Moriah Frazee, Rachel Hammond and Avery Warley have been the only three Lady Flames to start all eight contests.
The Container is Half Full
Liberty connected on a season-high 55.7 percent (34-of-61) of its field goal attempts against Saint Paul's last Saturday, leading to a 92-68 victory.
The Lady Flames went 9-0 last season when shooting 50 percent or higher. Liberty is now 50-0 in such contests under head coach Carey Green.
Anything You Can Do ...
Last season, Megan Frazee became the 11th player in program history to score 1,000 career points, eclipsing the magical mark at North Carolina on Dec. 30, 2007. This year, she could get some company from within her own family. Sister Moriah Frazee enters the Winston-Salem State contest with 920 points, leaving her 80 shy of 1,000.
If Frazee scores at her current season average of 12.0 points per contest, she is due to hit the milestone on Jan. 13, during the Lady Flames' home contest against East Tennessee State.
Frazee is also climbing Liberty's career rebounding chart. She currently ranks 21st in program history with 491 boards, leaving her three behind Helen Gomes for the 20th spot. The senior also needs nine caroms to become the 20th player in Liberty history to nab 500 career rebounds.
The Frazees would not be the first sister duo to score over 1,000 points at Liberty. Sharon and Sarah Wilkerson, who graduated in 2000, totaled 1,733 and 1,331 points, respectively.
A Career Afternoon
Five Lady Flames set new career scoring highs against Saint Paul's last Saturday, including Kylee Beecher (18 points), Avery Warley (13), Danika Dale (12), Kittery Maine (12) and Jessica Nelson (5).
Of the 14 players on Liberty's active roster, 13 have now enjoyed a double-digit scoring game during their career. The only exception is Nelson, who got halfway there during her collegiate basketball debut against Saint Paul's.