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WBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb
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Broadcast - Tip-Off
7 p.m. at Gardner-Webb
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Liberty (12-7, 7-1 Big South) will complete its first circuit through the 2011-12 Big South Conference schedule Monday at 7 p.m., with a contest at Gardner-Webb (2-16, 1-7 Big South). The two teams will be squaring off for the first time since Gardner-Webb edged Liberty in the 2011 Big South Championship title contest, 67-66.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Monday's contest will be a rematch of the last three Big South Championship title games. Liberty and Gardner-Webb have squared off for the Big South title each season since the Runnin' Bulldogs joined the conference for the 2008-09 campaign. Gardner-Webb is the reigning Big South champion, after Liberty had edged the Runnin' Bulldogs in the previous two title games.
2) Monday will mark the 10th all-time meeting between Liberty and Gardner-Webb. Six of the previous nine matchups have been decided by five points or fewer, including all three meetings in the Big South Championship title game.
3) Monday's game will be the 999th contest in the history of Liberty women's basketball. Liberty head coach Carey Green and Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves have combined to coach the last 655 (including Monday) games in program history, dating back to the start of the 1990-91 season.
4) Avery Warley enters the game with 1,105 career boards, needing 23 rebounds to pass former Charleston Southern standout Kate Sanford as the Big South's all-time leading rebounder. Warley has posted five career double-doubles against Gardner-Webb, including three last season.
5) Devon Brown has been at her best during Liberty's current six-game winning streak, averaging 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. She has positive memories of playing against Gardner-Webb, after hitting the game-winning shot against the Runnin' Bulldogs in the 2010 Big South Championship title tilt.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 6-3.
Current Streak: Gardner-Webb won the most recent meeting.
Liberty's Last Victory: Liberty 56, Gardner-Webb 51 (Feb. 12, 2011 at Liberty)
Series Record at Gardner-Webb: Liberty leads, 2-1.
Current Streak at Gardner-Webb: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Gardner-Webb's Last Victory at Home: Gardner-Webb 70, Liberty 65 (Jan. 2, 2010)
Last Meeting: Gardner-Webb 67, Liberty 66 (March 13, 2011 at High Point)
Last Meeting at Gardner-Webb: Liberty 68, Gardner-Webb 56 (Jan. 31, 2011)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 298-101 (13th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Gardner-Webb: 6-3
Gardner-Webb Head Coach: Rick Reeves
Overall Record (Seasons): 387-354 (26th Season)
Record at Gardner-Webb (Seasons): 120-116 (Eighth Season)
Record vs. Liberty: 3-6
Notes and Anecdotes
-- Monday's game will be a rematch of the last three Big South Championship title contests. Gardner-Webb is the reigning Big South champion, after Liberty had defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs in the title tilt each of the previous two seasons.
-- Monday will mark just the 10th all-time meeting between Liberty and Gardner-Webb, but the two teams have already fashioned a competitive rivalry with one another. In addition to squaring off in three consecutive Big South Championship title games, six of the teams' nine head-to-head matchups have been decided by five points or fewer.
-- Monday's contest will be the 999th game in Liberty women's basketball history. The two opposing head coaches (Carey Green and Rick Reeves) have combined to coach the last 665 (including Monday) Lady Flames contests, dating back to the start of the 1990-91 season.
-- Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves served as head coach at Liberty for nine seasons (1990-91 through 1998-99), guiding the Lady Flames to 136 victories and three Big South Conference titles.
-- Avery Warley has traditionally played well against Gardner-Webb, recording five double-doubles in nine career contests against the Runnin' Bulldogs, including all three matchups last season.
Recipe for Success
-- Liberty enters Monday's game with a season-best six-game winning streak. The following are a few keys to the Lady Flames' recent success.
-- Liberty has won all six games by 15 or more points, posting an average margin of victory of 24.7 ppg (77.0 to 52.3).
-- The Lady Flames have been effective at the offensive end, shooting 47.9 percent from the field and averaging 77.0 ppg.
-- Liberty has gotten to the free throw line an average of 26.8 times per game, as compared with just 9.2 times per contest for its opponents. The Lady Flames are shooting better than their season average from the line, connecting at a 70.8 percent rate.
-- Liberty has outrebounded all six opponents, by an average of 17.0 rpg.
-- Devon Brown is averaging 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest during the winning streak.
-- All five of Liberty's starters are scoring at least 7.7 ppg and are averaging a combined 60.7 ppg.
Breaking Down Brown
-- Saturday's game at UNC Asheville marked one of the best overall performances of Devon Brown's career.
-- Brown scored 18 of her 25 points in the second half, while also setting a new career high with six assists and tying her career high with five steals.
A Look Back at Liberty's Win at UNC Asheville on Saturday
-- Liberty overcame a three-point halftime deficit Saturday at UNC Asheville to post a 78-56 victory, becoming the first visiting Big South women's basketball team to win at Kimmel Arena.
-- The Lady Flames extended several streaks in the process, as Liberty has now won a season-high six straight games overall, nine straight games against Asheville and 15 consecutive road games at Asheville. Liberty has also held the Bulldogs below the 70-point mark in 36 straight head-to-head matchups.
-- Saturday's game marked the 50th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Bulldogs, with Liberty improving to 43-7 in the head-to-head series.
-- Liberty outrebounded its 46th straight opponent (48-33) and held its 41st consecutive opponent below 50 percent field goal shooting (Asheville shot 35.8 percent for the contest.)
-- The Lady Flames limited Asheville standout freshman Shonese Jones to two second-half points, after Jones had exploded for 17 first-half points.
-- By contrast, Devon Brown reeled off 18 of her game-high 25 points during the second half to spark Liberty's comeback. Brown also distributed all of her career-high six assists and came up with three of her career high-equaling five steals during the final 20 minutes.
-- Tolu Omotola also played a strong second half, scoring 10 of her 11 points after the break.
-- Avery Warley scored just seven points, halting her streak of 13 consecutive games scoring in double digits. However, she grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, becoming the second player in Big South history to reach 1,100 career boards. Warley finished the game with 1,105 career rebounds.
-- LaKendra Washington returned from injury to tally nine points and four assists.
On the Road Again
-- Liberty's Saturday game at Asheville tipped off the Lady Flames' longest stretch of consecutive road games during the 2011-12 regular season. Liberty is playing four straight contests on the road against Big South opponents based in North Carolina.
-- Beginning with Saturday's tilt, the Lady Flames are playing six out of eight contests away from the Vines Center, between Jan. 28-Feb. 20.
-- Liberty has played well in road Big South Conference matchups in recent years, going 80-10 under head coach Carey Green. The Lady Flames have never lost more than two road conference games in a season since Green took over as head coach prior to the 1999-2000 campaign.
-- The Lady Flames, who went 7-1 in Big South road tilts last season, are 4-0 in conference road games in 2011-12.
-- Avery Warley rebounded her own missed shot with 8:03 remaining in the first half of the Jan. 7 game against High Point, giving her 1,034 career boards. That broke Katie Feenstra's (2001-05) Liberty career rebounding record of 1,033 caroms.
-- Warley now has 1,105 rebounds for her career. That ranks second in Big South Conference history, 22 boards behind former Charleston Southern standout Kate Sanford's (1996-2000) conference record of 1,127 career rebounds.
Milestones on the Horizon
-- Liberty's game at Campbell on Feb. 4 will be the 1,000th contest in program history. The Lady Flames are in their 37th season of collegiate basketball, after beginning the program in 1975-76.
-- Head coach Carey Green is 298-101 in his 13th season as Liberty's head coach, leaving him two victories shy of career win No. 300.
-- If Liberty wins its next two games, Green's 300th victory would happen during the 1,000th game in program history.