The Liberty women's basketball team (12-7, 8-2 Big South) will host High Point (12-8, 8-3 Big South) Thursday evening in a battle for first place in the Big South Conference standings. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. for the 45th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Panthers.
Liberty enters the week as the Big South leader, currently sitting one-half game ahead of both High Point and Winthrop. The Lady Flames are at the halfway mark of their 20-game Big South Conference schedule, with 10 league contests remaining.
High Point has been the Lady Flames' most competitive conference rival in recent years, as the teams have split their six head-to-head meetings since the start of the 2011-12 season. Liberty is 43-3 against all other Big South opponents during that time.
High Point, which enters the Vines Center on a four-game winning streak, notched a 75-70 home victory over Liberty on Dec. 30. Freshman standout Kaylah Keys led the way, scoring 13 of her game-high 19 points after halftime. She is averaging a Big South-best 20.2 ppg during conference play.
The Panthers will now attempt to become just the third Big South team to sweep the two-game regular-season series from Liberty during Carey Green's 15 seasons as head coach. High Point previously did so in 2006-07 and Gardner-Webb achieved the feat in 2009-10.
High Point has been victorious during its last two visits to Lynchburg, pulling out a 73-69 overtime win on Jan. 7, 2012 and recording a 71-63 triumph on Jan. 17, 2013. The Panthers are the first Big South team to record back-to-back wins at Liberty since UNCG won four straight contests at the Vines Center between 1993-94 and 1996-97.
The Panthers are under the direction of second-year head coach DeUnna Hendrix. She is 2-1 against Liberty as a coach, after going 2-0 versus the Lady Flames during her playing career at Richmond.
Redshirt sophomore post player Catherine Kearney has traditionally played well against High Point, averaging 10.5 ppg in four career matchups with the Panthers. She set career highs for both points (14) and rebounds (13) during Liberty's game at High Point earlier this season.
For more information on Thursday evening's hardwood clash, visit Liberty's Game Day Central page.
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