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Liberty to Meet UNC Asheville in BSC Opener

March 5, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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No. 1 seed Liberty will open the 2012 Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship Friday at noon, with a matchup against No. 8 seed UNC Asheville in High Point, N.C.

2012 Big South Women's Basketball Championship Bracket

For the 13th time in the last 15 seasons, Liberty has earned the No. 1 seed for this weekend's Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Flames will square off with No. 8 seed UNC Asheville in the tournament's opening game, Friday at noon inside the Millis Center in High Point, N.C.

Liberty, which is 21-8 overall, set a new Big South record for conference victories with a 16-2 mark in league action. The Lady Flames have won the Big South Championship title 11 out of the 12 previous times they have been the No. 1 seed. The only exception came last season, when Gardner-Webb edged Liberty by a 67-66 score in the championship game.

If Liberty defeats Asheville (7-22, 3-15 Big South), it will face the winner of Friday's second quarterfinal between No. 4 seed Campbell and No. 5 seed Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames' semifinal contest would be played Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with the championship game set for Sunday at 4 p.m. All seven tournament tilts will be played at High Point's Millis Center, for the fourth consecutive season.

Liberty is 5-0 all-time against UNC Asheville at the Big South Championship, but the Lady Flames and Bulldogs have not faced one another in the tournament since March 12, 2005. That day, Liberty posted an 88-41 victory over Asheville in the title game at the Vines Center, propelling the Lady Flames to a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

The Lady Flames went 2-0 against the Bulldogs this season, notching a 78-56 victory in Asheville on Jan. 28 and recording an 84-53 home win on Feb. 27. Those contests were both part of Asheville's current 11-game losing streak. Liberty, which has won 10 straight head-to-head meetings with the Bulldogs, is now 44-7 all-time against Asheville.

Tournament host High Point claimed the No. 2 seed with a 13-5 Big South record, while Winthrop followed closely at No. 3, finishing 12-6 in conference play. In its first season back in the Big South Conference, Campbell went 11-7 in conference games to earn the No. 4 seed.

Charleston Southern and Radford ended up with matching 9-9 Big South marks, with the Buccaneers owning the tiebreaker. So, Charleston Southern will be the No. 5 seed and Radford will enter the tournament at No. 6.

Coastal Carolina garnered the No. 7 seed with its 6-12 conference record. UNC Asheville and defending Big South champion Gardner-Webb both notched 3-15 Big South records, but Asheville earned the tournament's eighth and final seed after a tiebreaker was applied.

Liberty fans will have several ways to follow all of the tournament action, if they are unable to make it to the Millis Center. Friday's quarterfinal games will be video streamed via the Big South Network. The semifinals and finals will be televised on both ESPN3 and SportSouth. Finally, Jamie Hall will  broadcast each of Liberty's contests on 90.9 FM "The Light." The radio call will also be streamed on both LibertyFlames.com and www.thelightonline.com.

The complete 2012 Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's Basketball Championship schedule is as follows:

Quarterfinals – Friday, March 9 (at Millis Center, High Point, N.C.)
Game 1: No. 1 Liberty vs. No. 8 UNC Asheville, Noon
Game 2: No. 4 Campbell vs. No. 5 Charleston Southern, 2 p.m.
Game 3: No. 2 High Point vs. No. 7 Coastal Carolina, 5:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 3 Winthrop vs. No. 6 Radford, 7:30 p.m.

Semifinals – Saturday, March 10 (at Millis Center, High Point, N.C.)
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1:30 p.m. (TV: ESPN3, SportSouth)
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 3:30 p.m. (TV: ESPN3, SportSouth)

Championship Game – Sunday, March 11 (at Millis Center, High Point, N.C.)
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 4 p.m. (TV: ESPN3, SportSouth)