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Lady Flames Open Four-Game Homestand Saturday
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The Liberty Lady Flames (10-7, 4-0 Big South), who took over first place in the Big South Conference standings Monday night, open a four-game homestand, Saturday at 2 p.m. Charleston Southern (7-10, 1-3 Big South), the Big South's highest scoring team, will visit the Vines Center.
What to Watch
The Lady Flames will be playing their first game in sole possession of first place in the Big South this season. Liberty is the lone remaining unbeaten team in conference play, at 4-0.
Liberty will attempt to extend a number of streaks Saturday. The Lady Flames have won seven games in a row overall, 14 straight January contests, 22 straight matchups with Charleston Southern and 34 consecutive January home games.
Liberty senior Moriah Frazee stands just five points shy of the 1,000-point plateau. She would become the 12th Lady Flame to reach the milestone.
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 commentator for home contests and will provide color analysis on the road.
Lady Flames On TV
For the sixth season in a row, the Flames Television Network (FTN) plans to broadcast all 12 home women's basketball games. FTN's regular announcing team will consist of Ray Jones on play-by-play and Jamie Hall on color.
Scouting Charleston Southern
The Charleston Southern Lady Buccaneers are just one win shy of matching their victory total from the 2007-08 season, despite featuring only one senior and battling various injuries throughout the year.
The Lady Buccaneers' lone senior, 5-8 guard Pam Tolbert, has starred for the team of late. Tolbert, a Preseason All-Big South selection, has paced the team in scoring in nine of the last 10 contests and tops the Big South scoring list at 16.4 ppg.
Charleston Southern relies heavily on three-point shooting, and the Lady Buccaneers rank No. 8 nationally with 7.9 three-pointers per contest. Spearheading the outside barrage is 5-10 junior guard Kelsey Wasmer, who sits third in the nation with 52 made triples.
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 223-75 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 20-0 all-time against Charleston Southern.
Julie Goodenough is 25-52 in her third season at Charleston Southern and 236-167 in her 15th overall season as a collegiate head coach. Previous to her time with the Lady Buccaneers, Goodenough was Oklahoma State's head coach for three seasons (2003-05). She is 0-4 all-time versus Liberty.
Liberty-Charleston Southern Series Notes
Liberty has won its last 22 meetings with Charleston Southern, by an average of 25 points per contest, enabling the Lady Flames to build a 37-5 advantage in the teams' all-time head-to-head series.
Last season, the Lady Flames defeated the Lady Buccaneers by a 99-42 score in the teams' meeting at the Vines Center, on Feb. 18, 2008. Liberty, led by Megan Frazee's 21 points, shot a program-record 67.3 percent (33-of-49) from the field.
Charleston Southern's last victory against Liberty was a 66-60 triumph at CSU on Jan. 18, 1999. The only time the Lady Buccaneers have ever won at the Vines Center came on Jan. 20, 1996, by the score of 65-64.
New Year's Resolution
Liberty owns a 152-105 all-time record in January contests, after winning its first five contests of 2009. Head coach Carey Green has gone 68-8 with the Lady Flames during the year's opening month, including a 7-0 January last season.
The Lady Flames have won 34 straight home games during the month of January. Liberty has not lost a January contest at the Vines Center since Jan. 13, 2000, when Elon dealt the Lady Flames a 77-72 setback.
Liberty has won 14 consecutive January contests overall, since a 64-62 overtime loss at High Point on Jan. 20, 2007.
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 Charleston Southern contest with 995 points, leaving her only five points shy of 1,000.
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.
It is believed that Liberty would be first NCAA Division I women's basketball program ever to boast multiple sets of sisters who scored over 1,000 points. Moreover, the Wilkersons were twins and the Frazees are triplets.
Recipe For Success
Liberty has won seven consecutive games, and the following are a few keys the Lady Flames' success.
-- All seven opponents have been held below 60 points.
-- All seven opponents have shot below 40 percent from the field.
-- Liberty has outrebounded six of seven opponents by 14 boards or more.
-- Megan Frazee has averaged 19.1 ppg and 9.6 rpg.
-- Avery Warley has boosted her production to 9.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 2.0 bpg.
-- The Lady Flames' starting backcourt of Amber Mays and Rachel Hammond has posted 46 assists, 32 steals and only 30 turnovers.
Ice Water Flows Through Her Veins
Sophomore Rachel McLeod has been a clutch free throw shooter for the Lady Flames this season. Most recently, she drilled four consecutive charity tosses during the final minute of Liberty's 59-49 win at Presbyterian on Jan. 17.
McLeod has connected on nine of her 11 foul shot attempts during the final two minutes of games this year, good for an 81.8 percent clip.
In addition, McLeod has scored a team-high 19 of her 53 points in the final two minutes of games during the 2008-09 campaign.
Coach Green Versus the Big South
Liberty head coach Carey Green has enjoyed considerable success versus the Big South during his first nine seasons with the Lady Flames. His teams are 140-13 against Big South opponents, including 116-12 in the regular season and 24-1 in the Big South Championship.
Green has never lost to his alma mater, Coastal Carolina (21-0), or Saturday's oppponent Charleston Southern (20-0) during his time at Liberty.
Frazee Leading the Way
Megan Frazee paced the Lady Flames with 22 points during Monday's victory at UNC Asheville. The senior guard/forward has now paced the team in scoring during all nine games she has played during the 2008-09 campaign.
Dating back to last season, Frazee has led Liberty's scoring attack 17 consecutive times. The last time a different player paced the Lady Flames in points came during the team's home win over Coastal Carolina on Feb. 16, 2008. Rebecca Lightfoot's 13 points led the way versus the Chanticleers.
Turning Up the Heat in the Furnace
The 2008-09 campaign is the 17th season the Liberty University women's basketball team has called the Vines Center its full-time home. Liberty's first-ever contest at the Vines Center was an 86-74 loss to East Tennessee State, on Dec. 7, 1990, but the "Furnace" has served as a favorable venue for the Lady Flames over the years. Liberty is 181-51 (.780) all-time at the Vines Center, including 13-0 last season. The Lady Flames, 3-2 at the Vines Center in 2008-09, have 12 home games scheduled this season.
Reaching the Century Mark
Moriah Frazee's next start will be No. 100 of her career, making her the first Lady Flame with 100 starts since 2000 graduates Elena Kisseleva and Sharon Wilkerson.
Winning Streaks in Abundance
Liberty has won seven consecutive games, entering tonight's game against Charleston Southern. The winning streak is the Lady Flames' longest of the season, but such streaks are nothing new for head coach Carey Green. Liberty's current winning skein is its 10th streak of at least seven consecutive wins under Green's direction.
Wanted for Robbery
Liberty ranks only seventh in the Big South for steals, averaging 7.7 thefts per contest. However, the Lady Flames have been very active on defense in the last four contests. Liberty has averaged 11.3 spg during the stretch, tying a season high with 17 thefts versus East Tennessee State on Jan. 13.
Liberty's 17 steals on Jan. 13 was the most steals by the Lady Flames against a Division I opponent since coming up with 17 thefts against Charleston Southern on Feb. 19, 2007.
Starting guards Amber Mays and Rachel Hammond have led the way for the Lady Flames' surge in steals, as they rank fifth and seventh, respectively, on the Big South steals leaderboard.
Mays has notched 18 steals in the past four games, including a career-high eight-steal effort versus East Tennessee State on Jan. 13. Her eight steals were the most by a Lady Flame since Sharon Wilkerson recorded eight thefts at High Point on Feb. 21, 2000. Mays ties for the fifth-most steals in a single game in Liberty history.
Meanwhile, Hammond has been a consistent disruptive force on defense this season, tallying multiple steals in 11 of the first 17 games. As a result, the senior has already established a career high with 33 steals.
Clamping Down on Defense
The Lady Flames have held 68 consecutive opponents under 50 percent field goal shooting. The last Liberty foe to sink more than half of its field goal attempts was Marist, at the Maryland Terrapin Classic on Dec. 29, 2006.
Liberty is off to a good start defensively in 2008-09. Twelve of the Lady Flames' first 17 opponents, including the last seven in a row, have shot below 40 percent from the floor. Liberty leads the Big South with a .356 opponents field goal percentage.
The Lady Flames are 10-2 this season when their opponents shoot under 40 percent from the field, but 0-5 when their foes make at least 40 percent of their field goal tries.
Among the Big South's Elite
With her season-high 14 rebounds at UNC Asheville Monday night, senior Megan Frazee moved into a tie for 10th place on the Big South career rebounding list with 791 boards. She shares the spot with Denise Ford of Campbell (1986-89) and Julie Moore of UNC Greensboro (1992-96).
Less Than a Point Per Minute
UNC Asheville managed only 19 first-half points against the Lady Flames on Monday. Liberty has held four opponents to fewer than 20 points during the opening half this season, including Gardner-Webb, which scored only 14 points prior to the break on Jan. 3.