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WBB Game Day Central: Winthrop
Provided by the Flames Sports Network
Broadcast - Tip-Off
1 p.m. at Winthrop
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Liberty (17-7, 12-1 Big South) will begin its final road trip of the 2011-12 regular season Saturday at 1 p.m., when the Lady Flames play at Winthrop (13-11, 7-5 Big South). The Lady Flames will aim for a season sweep of the Eagles, after posting a 74-49 victory at the Vines Center on Jan. 23.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Winthrop ranks third in the Big South for scoring, at 70.1 ppg. However, the Eagles will be challenged by Liberty's defense on Saturday. The Lady Flames have held Winthrop below the 60-point mark in 24 straight head-to-head matchups. Liberty has also limited the Eagles to an average of 25.5 ppg the last two times the teams have squared off at the Winthrop Colisuem.
2) The Lady Flames will look to continue a string of road success, which has seen the team go 7-0 in Big South road tilts this season. Liberty has been victorious in 13 of its last 14 visits to the Winthrop Coliseum.
3) Liberty and Winthrop are two of the hotter teams in the Big South Conference in recent weeks. The Lady Flames have won a season-best 11 straight games, while the Eagles have won three of their last four outings.
4) Some of the nation's statistical leaders will be featured on Saturday. Winthrop's Diana Choibekova tops the nation in three-point field goals per game, while backcourt mate Dequesha McClanahan ranks No. 4 in assists. Meanwhile, Liberty center Avery Warley ranks No. 6 nationally in rebounds.
5) The point guard matchup should be interesting to watch, as Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan is the reigning Big South Player of the Week and Liberty's Reagan Miller is this week's Big South Freshman of the Week. During the teams' first matchup of the season on Jan. 23, both players dished out eight assists. However, McClanahan outscored Miller, 20-5, on the night.
Liberty vs. Winthrop At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 42-7.
Current Streak: Liberty has won the last eight meetings.
Winthrop's Last Victory: Winthrop 56, Liberty 52 (Feb. 27, 2008 at Winthrop)
Series Record at Winthrop: Liberty leads, 16-6.
Current Streak at Winthrop: Liberty has won the last three meetings.
Winthrop's Last Victory at Home: Winthrop 56, Liberty 52 (Feb. 27, 2008)
Last Meeting: Liberty 74, Winthrop 49 (Jan. 23, 2012 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Winthrop: Liberty 70, Winthrop 33 (Jan. 29, 2011)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 303-101 (13th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Winthrop: 28-1
Winthrop Head Coach: Marlene Stollings
Overall Record (Seasons): 13-11 (First Season)
Record at Winthrop (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-1
Notes and Anecdotes
-- Saturday's game matches up two of the hottest teams in the Big South. Liberty has won 11 straight contests to take over first place in the conference. Winthrop now sits in fourth place, one-half game out of third, after winning two straight games and three of its last four outings.
-- Winthrop ranks third in the Big South in scoring, at 70.1 ppg. However, the Eagles have failed to reach the 60-point mark in each of their last 24 meetings with the Lady Flames. The last time Winthrop scored 60 points against Liberty came in a 74-64 loss to the Lady Flames at the Winthrop Coliseum on Jan. 19, 2002.
-- During Liberty's last two visits to the Winthrop Coliseum, the Lady Flames have outscored the Eagles by an average of 35.5 ppg (average score of 61.0-25.5).
-- Three players ranking among the NCAA's national statistical leaders will be in action on Saturday. Winthrop's Diana Choibekova leads the nation in three-pointers made per game (4.0/game) while teammate Dequesha McClanahan ranks fourth in assists (7.4 apg). Liberty's Avery Warley sits No. 6 in rebounding (11.5 rpg).
-- Both teams' point guards earned Big South Conference honors this past week. Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan was tabbed Big South Player of the Week, after averaging 26.5 ppg during the Eagles' two wins. The Lady Flames' Reagan Miller was named Big South Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.
Where Does This Streak Stand?
-- Liberty has won a season-best 11 straight games.
-- The streak is tied for the 10th-longest winning streak in program history, along with an 11-game run spanning Feb. 3-March 4, 2000, during the tail end of Carey Green's first season as Liberty's head coach.
-- Through games played on Feb. 14, Liberty is tied with Miami (Fla.) for the 10th-longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I women's basketball.
-- This is the Lady Flames' longest winning streak since the team notched 18 straight victories between Dec. 29, 2008 and March 6, 2009.
At the Top of Their Game
-- Saturday's game will feature three players who rank among the NCAA statistical leaders and could break Big South single-season records this season.
-- Liberty's Avery Warley ranks No. 6 nationally in rebounds per game (11.5 rpg). She has pulled down 270 boards for the season, leaving her 94 rebounds shy of breaking her own Big South single-season mark of 363, set last season.
-- Winthrop's Diana Choibekova is the national leader in three-pointers made per game (4.0/game). With 95 triples on the season, she needs 13 to break the conference record of 107 three-pointers, set by Charleston Southern's Katie Tull a season ago.
-- The Eagles' Dequesha McClanahan ranks No. 4 in the nation for assists (7.4 apg) and has tallied 176 helpers this season. She needs 32 assists to break the Big South single-season record of 207, which Radford's Stephanie Howard has held since 1988-89.
A Look Back at Liberty's Win Over Coastal Carolina on Monday
-- Liberty defeated Coastal Carolina 66-54 Monday evening at the Vines Center, extending its winning streak to 11 games.
-- It was the Lady Flames' 38th straight win in the head-to-head series against the Chanticleers. That is tied for the third-longest active winning streak by an NCAA Division I women's basketball team against a single opponent, along with Tennessee versus Alabama.
-- The game was tied 43-43 with 12:28 remaining, before the Lady Flames broke things open with a 16-3 run.
-- Liberty shot its lowest field goal percentage in a Big South game this season, 33.9 percent (19-of-56). However, the Lady Flames overcame their field goal shooting struggles by getting to the foul line.
-- Liberty outscored Coastal Carolina by 20 points from the free throw line, 24-4, and shot 75 percent from the charity stripe.
-- The Lady Flames limited the Chanticleers to 38.2 percent (21-of-55) field goal shooting, marking the 46th straight game Liberty's opponent has shot below 50 percent.
-- Liberty won the rebounding battle, 45-30, and committed a season-low 12 turnovers.
-- Devon Brown led all players in both points (season-high 27) and rebounds (10) for her second double-double in a row. She made 14 of 15 free throws, including her last nine in a row to close out the game. Brown's career-high 14 made free throws were the most by any Lady Flame since Elena Kisseleva had 15 against South Carolina State on Dec. 15, 1997.
-- Tolu Omotola reached double figures in the scoring column for the third consecutive game, after tallying 10 of her 14 points after halftime.
-- Avery Warley was held without a field goal for the first time since Nov. 17, 2009 against UNCG but did block a game-high three shots.
-- Liberty has played well in road Big South Conference matchups in recent years, going 83-10 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 7-0 in conference road games in 2011-12.
-- If Liberty can win its games at Winthrop and Presbyterian College on this road trip, the Lady Flames would finish with an unbeaten Big South road record for the first time since the 2004-05 Liberty squad went 7-0 in conference road tilts.
Keeping Good Company
-- Liberty Head Coach Carey Green's squads have traditionally rebounded well and played strong defense. This year's edition of the Lady Flames are no different, as they rank No. 1 nationally in rebound margin (+15.6) and No. 5 in field goal percentage defense (.334).
-- Only two other teams in the nation rank in the top 10 in both of those categories, No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Connecticut.
Spreading the Wealth
During the Lady Flames' last seven games, eight of the team's 10 active players have scored in double figures at least once, and Jasmine Gardner nearly reached double digits at Gardner-Webb on Jan. 30 with eight points.
It's Been a While ...
-- Liberty has not allowed Winthrop to score 60 points since a 74-64 Lady Flames victory at the Winthrop Coliseum on Jan. 19, 2002.
-- That same day, the New England Patriots defeated the Oakland Raiders in the now-famous "Tuck Rule" playoff game, on their way to the Super Bowl XXXVI title. "Black Hawk Down" was opening as the nation's No. 1-grossing movie. Lady Flame Brittany Campbell was a week and a half removed from celebrating her 12th birthday.