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WBB Game Day Central: Radford
Broadcast - Tip-Off:
3 p.m. at Radford
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
Big South Network
Liberty (3-3) will travel across the Commonwealth on Saturday to face long-time rival Radford (3-2), as the Lady Flames open defense of their Big South regular-season title. The game, set for a 3 p.m. tipoff inside the Dedmon Center, will mark the Big South opener for both squads.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Saturday's matinee will open the 18-game Big South Conference schedule for both Liberty and Radford. December 1 is the earliest in a calendar year that the Lady Flames have ever played a Big South game in their 22 years as a conference member.
2) Liberty will look to continue its string of success in Big South lid-lifters. The Lady Flames have won 11 of their last 12 conference openers, including a 76-68 victory at Radford on Dec. 31, 2011.
3) Saturday will mark the 58th time Liberty has faced Radford in women's basketball, making it the most often played rivalry in program history for the Lady Flames. Liberty has had the upper hand in recent years, going 32-4 in its last 36 meetings with the Highlanders.
4) Liberty is in search of its first road victory of 2012-13, as the Lady Flames currently stand at 0-3 away from the Vines Center. Liberty has recorded victories each of the last five times it has faced Radford at the Dedmon Center.
5) The game will provide a perimeter matchup between Big South preseason all-conference members Devon Brown of Liberty and Da'Naria Erwin Spencer of Radford.
Liberty vs. Radford At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 33-24.
Current Streak: Liberty has won the last three meetings.
Series Record at Radford: Tied, 13-13.
Current Streak at Radford: Liberty has won the last five meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 72, Radford 66 (March 2, 2012 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Radford: Liberty 76, Radford 68 (Dec. 31, 2011)
Radford's Last Series Victory: Radford 62, Liberty 53 (Jan. 17, 2011 at Liberty)
Radford's Last Home Victory over Liberty: Radford 77, Liberty 54 (March 3, 2007)
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 313-106 (14th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Radford: 26-4
Radford Head Coach: Tajama Abraham Ngongba
Overall Record (Seasons): 49-73 (Fifth Season)
Record at Radford (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 1-8
Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty has played Radford more often than any other opponent in program history. Saturday's game will be the 58th all-time meeting between the Commonwealth rivals.
• The Lady Flames are 32-4 in their last 36 matchups against the Highlanders, including five straight victories at the Dedmon Center. Those five road wins have come by an average of 14.8 ppg.
• Liberty and Radford have combined to win 23 of the 26 Big South Championship titles in conference history, with the Lady Flames winning 14 and the Highlanders claiming nine championships.
• This is the second straight season Liberty will open Big South Conference play with a game at Radford in December. Last year, the Lady Flames came away with a 76-68 victory at Radford on Dec. 31, 2011.
• Liberty and Radford have both defeated UNCG this season. The Highlanders recorded a 76-64 triumph at UNCG on Nov. 13, while the Lady Flames defeated the Spartans by a 76-56 count, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center.
• Big South preseason all-conference honorees Devon Brown of Liberty and Da'Naria Erwin Spencer of Radford will match up on Saturday. Last year, Brown averaged 20.5 ppg against Radford, while Erwin Spencer posted 19.5 ppg versus the Lady Flames.
Liberty vs. the Big South
Record vs. Current Conference Members: 284-92
Carey Green's Record vs. Current Conference Members: 194-19
Current Streak: Liberty has won its last seven meetings.
Liberty's Last Loss: Winthrop 71, Liberty 69 (Feb. 18, 2012 at Winthrop)
Liberty in Big South Openers
All-Time Record in Big South Openers: 15-6
Record Breakdown: 6-2 (Home), 9-4 (Away)
Carey Green's Record in Big South Openers: 11-2
Record Breakdown: 5-1 (Home), 6-1 (Away)
Current Streak: Liberty has won its last two Big South openers and 11 of its last 12 conference openers.
Last Year's Big South Opener: Liberty 76, Radford 68 (Dec. 31, 2011 at Radford)
Liberty's Last Loss in a Big South Opener: Gardner-Webb 70, Liberty 65 (Jan. 2, 2010 at Gardner-Webb)
Notes: This is the fourth straight year and the sixth year out of the past seven that Liberty has opened Big South Conference play away from home.
• Liberty is 2-1 against Radford in Big South openers. The Lady Flames lost at Radford, 77-70, on Dec. 10, 1991, posted a 63-45 road win on Jan. 13, 2004 and notched a 76-68 victory at the Dedmon Center on Dec. 31, 2011.
• Saturday's game will mark the earliest in the calendar year Liberty has ever played a Big South Conference game in its 22 years as a conference member.
Come Home to the Commonwealth
Liberty, which spent Thanksgiving week in Texas, is now staying within the Commonwealth of Virginia for the next month, before a Dec. 29 contest at Winthrop. The Lady Flames have five home games and road tilts at Radford, James Madison and VCU scheduled during the span. Liberty will play 20 of its 29 regular-season games in Virginia this season.
• Saturday's tilt will be the first of seven games Liberty is scheduled to play against Virginia teams this season.
A Look Back at Liberty's Win Over UNCG
• Led by the redshirt senior duo of Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola, Liberty got back on the winning track with a 76-56 victory over UNCG, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center.
• Brown scored 11 of her 16 points during the game's first seven minutes, helping Liberty jump out to a lead it never relinquished.
• Omotola tallied 17 of her season-best 21 points during the second half. She also completed her second career double-double with 10 rebounds and tied her career high with three blocked shots. Omotola shot 8-of-8 from the field during the second half and made nine consecutive field goal attempts to end the game.
• After allowing two straight opponents (Texas A&M and Baylor) to outrebound them and shoot over 50 percent from the field, Liberty returned to its usual strong rebounding and defensive ways. The Lady Flames outrebounded the Spartans by 19 boards (55-36) and held UNCG to 32.3 percent (21-of-65) field goal shooting.
• Liberty improved to 3-0 at home this season and has now won 11 consecutive games at the Vines Center.
• The Lady Flames recorded a season-best 21 assists on their 29 made field goals, paced by five helpers from freshman Sadalia Ellis.
• Fellow freshman Ashley Rininger notched her first career double-digit rebounding performance, collecting 10 boards off the bench.
• Liberty scored 21 bench points, with 17 of the tallies being recorded by freshmen.
The redshirt senior pairing of Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola has provided Liberty with a strong 1-2 punch so far this season.
• Omotola was named Big South Player of the Week on Nov. 19, with Brown earning the same honor one week later. It was the first time Liberty teammates have been tabbed Big South Player of the Week consecutively since Jan. 26 (Avery Warley) and Feb. 2 (Brown), 2010.
• Omotola and Brown were at it again during Tuesday's victory over UNCG, combining for 37 points and 16 rebounds. For the year, they average a combined 27.0 ppg and 11.8 rpg.
Speed Limit 65
Liberty has scored 65 or more points in all three of its victories this season, continuing a recent trend.
• The Lady Flames have won 10 straight games when reaching the 65-point mark, dating back to last season. Liberty is also 19-1 the last 20 times it has tallied 65 or more points.
On Saturday, Liberty will seek its first road victory of the 2012-13 season. The Lady Flames have dropped four straight road tilts since an 81-73 win at High Point in the Big South Championship title game on March 11, 2012.
• Liberty's four road setbacks since then have come at Notre Dame (2012 NCAA national runner-up), Duquesne (2012 Postseason WNIT qualifier), Texas A&M (2011 NCAA national champion) and Baylor (2012 NCAA national champion).
• Liberty has played well in Big South road games in recent years, going 34-5 in conference contests away from the Vines Center since the start of the 2007-08 season.