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Liberty to Host UNC Asheville on Senior Night
Liberty (18-9, 12-2 Big South) will welcome UNC Asheville (12-15, 5-9 Big South) to the Vines Center Friday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night. The trio of Kittery Maine, Rachel McLeod and Dymond Morgan will be honored prior to tipoff.
Liberty will attempt to bounce back from a 54-51 setback at Charleston Southern. The Monday evening loss snapped the Lady Flames' nine-game winning streak and string of 28 consecutive wins over the Lady Buccaneers.
Meanwhile, UNC Asheville has won back-to-back games entering Friday's tilt. Most recently, the Bulldogs posted a 66-61 victory at Winthrop on Monday.
A victory by the Lady Flames over the Bulldogs or a Radford loss at High Point will enable Liberty to clinch the No. 1 seed for next weekend's Big South Women's Basketball Championship.
Liberty has won seven straight meetings with UNC Asheville and 30 of the last 31, bolstering its advantage in the all-time head-to-head series to 41-7.
The Flames have been dominant during their current seven-game winning streak versus the Bulldogs, winning by an average of 25.4 ppg.
UNC Asheville's most recent win over Liberty spoiled the Lady Flames' Senior Night festivities on Feb. 24, 2007 and helped kick-start the Bulldogs' run toward the Big South championship. The visitors, led by Amanda Elder's 13 points, notched a 54-51 victory. Megan Frazee posted 20 points and 14 rebounds in defeat.
Asheville led Liberty by a 29-27 score at halftime of the teams' meeting at the Justice Center on Jan. 9. However, the Lady Flames held the home team to 15 second-half points, coming back for a 61-44 win in a game moved up one day due to approaching snow in the Asheville area.
Avery Warley's double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) sparked the Lady Flames, while Breaira Barksdale highlighted the Bulldogs' effort with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
UNC Asheville, led by the quartet of Kendall Shepard, Lindsey Montgomery, Lindsey Thompson and Kelli Riles, tops the Big South in scoring at 68.8 ppg. The Bulldogs have scored 70 or more points five times in conference play.
On the other side of the court, Liberty paces the Big South in both scoring defense (53.8 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.347). The Lady Flames have held 10 straight opponents to 57 points or fewer.
Friday's game will feature the Big South's top three rebounders. Warley leads the conference with 10.7 rpg, while the Asheville duo of Riles (10.2 rpg) and Montgomery (8.7 rpg) rank second and third, respectively.
The contest also includes the top three rebounders in the Big South Conference from the 2009-10 season. Last year, Montgomery was the conference's top rebounder at 10.1 rpg. Liberty teammates Warley (8.5 rpg) and Devon Brown (8.2 rpg) nailed down the next two spots.