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WBB Game Day Central: Virginia Union
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Liberty (7-4) will close out its longest homestand of the season (four games) Monday at noon, with a Commonwealth clash against Virginia Union inside the Vines Center. The unusual weekday start time is in conjunction with Liberty's Best Field Trip Ever Day. More than 2,000 area elementary and middle school students are scheduled to attend Monday's game.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines
1) Liberty is 6-0 all-time against Virginia Union, winning the six games by an average of 39.5 ppg. The Lady Flames are also unbeaten (2-0) against in-state opponents this season, with wins over Radford and James Madison.
2) Both the Lady Flames and Panthers will be looking to get back on track. Liberty saw its 13-game home winning streak snapped Saturday, with a 60-56 loss to North Carolina A&T. The Lady Flames have not lost consecutive home games since Nov. 14 and Dec. 7, 2008. Virginia Union also lost its most recent contest, 65-46 to Mount Olive, on Dec. 11.
3) The matinee will match up the reigning Big South Player of the Week (Liberty's Devon Brown) and last week's CIAA Player of the Week (Virginia Union's Ashle Freeman).
4) During Liberty's 82-37 triumph over Virginia Union on Dec. 15, 2011, the Lady Flames got to the free throw line a school-record 51 times. Liberty is shooting well from the foul line this season (72.8 percent), especially in the last five games (78.2 percent).
5) Liberty is wrapping up a string of three games in five days, after facing Bluefield State on Thursday and North Carolina A&T on Saturday. Moreover, three Lady Flames set career highs for minutes played during Saturday's contest, including Emily Frazier (38 minutes), Jasmine Gardner (31) and Sadalia Ellis (20).
Liberty vs. Virginia Union At a Glance
Series Record: Liberty leads, 6-0.
Current Streak: Liberty has won all six meetings.
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 6-0.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty has won all six meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 82, Virginia Union 37 (Dec. 15, 2011 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Same
Virginia Union's Last Series Victory: None
Virginia Union's Last Series Victory at Liberty: None
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 317-107 (14th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Virginia Union: 6-0
Virginia Union Head Coach: Barvenia Wooten-Cherry
Overall Record (Seasons): 18-41 (Third Season)
Record at Virginia Union (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-2
Notes and Anecdotes
• Ashle Freeman, a 5-6 sophomore guard, has been the Panthers' top player this season. The reigning CIAA Player of the Week, she has paced Virginia Union in scoring in all seven games this year and ranks third in the conference at 17.7 ppg.
• Liberty has been dominant in its six previous meetings with Virginia Union, winning all six contests by an average of 39.5 ppg. Each of the half-dozen contests has been played at the Vines Center.
• Last season, Liberty defeated the Panthers by an 82-37 count on Dec. 15, 2011. The Lady Flames set a program record with 51 free throw attempts (making 29 of them) and grabbed 34 offensive rebounds.
• Virginia Union, an NCAA Division II program, will be facing its second Division I opponent of the season on Monday. The Panthers lost at William & Mary by a 78-44 score on Nov. 14.
• Monday's contest will be the last game for the Panthers before an extended Christmas/New Year's break. Virginia Union will return to action on Jan. 3, when the Panthers host Winston-Salem State in the CIAA opener.
• Both of Liberty's games this week will be played against teams from Richmond. The Lady Flames will travel to VCU Thursday at 2 p.m.
Liberty vs. the CIAA
Record vs. Current Conference Members: 8-4
Carey Green's Record vs. Current Conference Members: 8-0
Current Streak: Liberty has won the last eight meetings.
Last Meeting: Liberty 82, Virginia Union 37 (Dec. 15, 2011 at Liberty)
CIAA's Last Victory: Bowie State 72, Liberty 61 (Feb. 13, 1988 at Bowie State)
Liberty had won 13 consecutive home games, prior to Saturday's 60-56 loss to North Carolina A&T. It was the Lady Flames' longest home winning streak since the team posted 13 straight wins at the Vines Center between Nov. 30, 2007 and March 7, 2008 and was tied for the fourth-longest home winning streak in program history.
• Liberty has not lost back-to-back home games since Nov. 14 and Dec. 7, 2008, when the Lady Flames fell to VCU and Auburn at the Vines Center.
Liberty is 2-0 versus Commonwealth foes this season, defeating both Radford (67-65 on Dec. 1) and James Madison (60-48 on Dec. 4) on the road.
A Look Back at Liberty's Loss to North Carolina A&T
• Led by Amber Calvin's 21 points, North Carolina A&T never trailed during Saturday's 60-56 win over Liberty at the Vines Center.
• The Aggies snapped Liberty's 13-game home winning streak and the Lady Flames' five-game overall winning skein.
• North Carolina A&T defeated the Lady Flames for the second straight season, thanks in part to a strong defensive effort. Liberty shot just 32.3 percent (20-of-62) from the field, including 8.3 percent (1-of-12) from three-point range. The Aggies also forced 22 turnovers.
• Liberty's bright spots on the final stat sheet included a 45-29 rebounding advantage, 23 offensive boards, 36 points in the paint and 88.2 percent (15-of-17) free throw shooting.
• Three Lady Flames scored in double figures, led by Devon Brown's 13 points. She added five steals, which are the most by any Lady Flame in 2012-13 and equal the redshirt senior's career high.
• Emily Frazier scored a season-high 11 points and dished out a career-best nine assists. It was the most assists by a Lady Flame since Jan. 9, 2010, when Amber Mays finished with 10 helpers versus Winthrop.
• Tolu Omotola reached double figures for the third straight game with 10 points. She also moved into 25th place on Liberty's career rebounding list, as her half-dozen boards give her 479 for her career.
• Jasmine Gardner's 11 rebounds paced all players, while Brittany Campbell established a career high with her six boards.
• Three Lady Flames set career highs for minutes played, including Frazier (38 minutes), Gardner (31) and Sadalia Ellis (20).
Fabulous at the Free Throw Line
The Lady Flames continued an impressive string of free throw shooting on Saturday against North Carolina A&T, hitting 15 of 17 foul shots for 88.2 percent.
• Liberty is now shooting 78.2 percent (86-of-110) from the line during its last five games.
• The Lady Flames have shot well on free throws late in games, making 78.2 percent (43-of-55) of their tries during the last five minutes of this season's contests. Devon Brown is a perfect 22-of-22 within the last five minutes of games in 2012-13.
• For the year, the Lady Flames' free throw percentage stands at 72.8 percent, which equals the team single-season record, set in 2007-08.
• A number of Liberty players are currently riding streaks of consecutive made free throws, led by Devon Brown's nine in a row. Other active streaks include those of Sadalia Ellis (8), Emily Frazier (7), Ashley Rininger (6), LaKendra Washington (6) and Tolu Omotola (4).
• The program record for consecutive made free throws is 22, set by Jennifer Fairfax in 1991. Brown made a run at the record earlier this season, hitting 19 straight foul shots between Dec. 1-8.