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Lady Flames Set for Saturday Visit to Winthrop
Game Day Central
Liberty (11-8, 5-1 Big South) will open a weekend conference road swing Saturday at 7 p.m., with a contest at Winthrop (9-9, 3-3 Big South). The Lady Flames will be in search of their sixth consecutive victory over the Lady Eagles.
In their most recent trip to the Winthrop Coliseum (Feb. 15, 2010), Liberty set a program record for fewest points allowed in a 52-18 win over Winthrop.
The Lady Flames, winners of seven of their last eight games, will attempt to keep pace with Radford and Gardner-Webb, the Big South Conference's other two one-loss teams.
Winthrop, which is 7-3 in its last 10 games, dealt Radford its lone Big South Conference setback this season. The Lady Eagles posted a 65-55 home win over the Highlanders on Jan 15.
Liberty is 39-7 all-time versus Winthrop, including five straight victories by the Lady Flames. Liberty has won 30 of its last 31 meetings with the Eagles and is 12-1 in its last 13 visits to Winthrop.
Saturday's game could be a defensive struggle. Liberty allows only 56.3 ppg, while Winthrop yields 56.2 ppg and ranks No. 16 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.345). The Lady Eagles have held 13 straight opponents under the 70-point mark.
Meanwhile, The Lady Flames have held Winthrop to 59 or fewer points in 21 straight games. The last time the Eagles scored 60 points against Liberty was Jan. 19, 2002, when the Lady Flames posted a 74-64 victory at the Winthrop Coliseum.
Saturday's game features a matchup between the reigning Big South Player of the Week (Liberty's Avery Warley) and Big South Freshman of the Week (Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan).
Warley won the award for the second time this season, after averaging 14.5 ppg and 14.5 rpg during victories over Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina. She has notched five straight double-doubles, making her the first Lady Flame to do so since Katie Feenstra had five in a row between Feb. 19 and March 5, 2005.
McClanahan has now won the Big South Freshman of the Week honor five times this season. The 5-8 guard paces the Lady Eagles in scoring (13.7 ppg), assists (3.7 apg) and steals (2.5 spg). She is scoring 16.5 ppg in conference games.