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Liberty, GWU to Meet in Big South Final Again
For the third straight season, the Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship title will be decided by a matchup between No. 1 seed Liberty (22-9) and No. 3 seed Gardner-Webb (22-10). Tipoff is slated for Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the Millis Center in High Point, N.C.
The game will be televised live on MASN, Fox College Sports Atlantic, WCWG (Greensboro) and WRTN 13.2 (Lynchburg).
At stake is the Big South Conference's automatic berth into the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, which begins on Saturday.
The last two title game tussles between Liberty and Gardner-Webb have gone right down to the wire. In 2009, the Runnin' Bulldogs made a late comeback, giving Dominique Hudson a chance to win the game with a last-second shot. However, her attempt caromed off the rim and Liberty won, 51-50.
Last season, Devon Brown scored 17 of her 24 points after halftime, including a bank shot with 4.2 seconds left which gave the Lady Flames a 68-66 triumph.
Liberty, which is 6-2 all-time against Gardner-Webb, won both regular-season meetings with the Runnin' Bulldogs this year. Led by Jelena Antic's career-high 22 points, the Lady Flames were victorious at Gardner-Webb by a 68-56 score on Jan. 31.
Less than two weeks later, Liberty posted a 56-51 home win over Gardner-Webb, thanks in large part to a 65-34 rebounding advantage. Avery Warley pulled down 20 rebounds for the Lady Flames, while Antic added 17 caroms.
Warley has been superb during Liberty's first two games of this year's Big South Championship. Most recently, she scored a career-high 28 points, to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots, keying the Lady Flames' 76-55 win over host High Point on Saturday. Her final point of the game was No. 1,000 for her career, making the redshirt junior the 13th Lady Flame ever to reach the milestone.
For the tournament, Warley is averaging 20.0 ppg, 16.0 rpg and 3.5 bpg. She is shooting 80 percent (16-of-20) from the floor and has made all eight of her foul shots.
Meanwhile, senior point guard Dominique Hudson has been the catalyst for the Runnin' Bulldogs' first two tournament wins, over UNC Asheville and Winthrop. She is posting 18.0 ppg, 8.0 apg and 4.0 rpg thus far.
Liberty is 13-0 all-time in the Big South Championship title game and 38-0 all-time in the Big South Championship when playing as the favorite according to seed.