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WBB Game Day Central: UNC Asheville

December 27, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Ashley Rininger averaged 20.5 ppg in two meetings with UNC Asheville last season.

Ashley Rininger averaged 20.5 ppg in two meetings with UNC Asheville last season.

Game Day Central Page

Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes

Game Time:
7 p.m.

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WWMC 90.9 FM The Light
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall

Today's Game
Liberty (6-5, 2-0 Big South) will return from Christmas break with a matchup at UNC Asheville (3-8, 2-0 Big South) on Tuesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. inside Kimmel Arena for a clash between two of the Big South's five remaining unbeaten teams.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty and UNC Asheville are part of a three-way tie for first place (along with High Point) in the early Big South Conference standings at 2-0. The Lady Flames are seeking their first 3-0 conference start since 2010-11, while the Bulldogs are 2-0 in the Big South for the first time since 2006-07.

2) Liberty suffered an 83-80 overtime loss during its most recent visit to Kimmel Arena, on Jan. 18, 2014. Prior to that setback, the Lady Flames had won 16 straight road games against Asheville.

3) Both teams will be looking to get back on the right track after Christmas. The Lady Flames enter Tuesday's contest riding a season-long three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have lost four of their last five outings.

4) Tuesday's game will wrap up a span where Liberty has played away from the Vines Center eight times in the last nine contests, dating back to Nov. 25.

5) Redshirt junior post player Ashley Rininger earned all-tournament team accolades at the Subway Classic after averaging 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.5 bpg against Minnesota and No. 1/1 South Carolina. She blocked a career-high six shots against the Gamecocks on Dec. 21. Rininger played well against Asheville a season ago, averaging 20.5 ppg in two meetings with the Bulldogs.

Liberty vs. UNC Asheville At a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 48-8.
Current Streak: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Series Record at UNC Asheville: Liberty leads, 19-6.
Current Streak at UNC Asheville: UNC Asheville won the most recent meeting.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 64, UNC Asheville 49 (Feb. 20, 2014 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at UNC Asheville: UNC Asheville 83, Liberty 80 (OT) (Jan. 18, 2014)
UNC Asheville's Last Series Victory: Asheville 83, Liberty 80 (OT) (Jan. 18, 2014)
Liberty's Last Series Victory at Asheville: Liberty 75, Asheville 43 (Feb. 21, 2013)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 363-126 (16th Season)
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. UNC Asheville: 33-2

UNC Asheville Head Coach: Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick
Overall Record (Seasons): 16-56 (Third Season)
Record at UNC Asheville (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 1-3

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty fell in its most recent visit to Kimmel Arena, suffering an 83-80 overtime setback to UNC Asheville on Jan. 18, 2014. The Bulldogs overcame a five-point deficit in the final 54 seconds of regulation and eventually snapped the Lady Flames' 13-game winning streak in the head-to-head series and Liberty's run of 16 straight road wins over Asheville.

• UNC Asheville is tied for first place in the Big South standings after opening conference play with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2006-07. That season, the Bulldogs captured their most recent Big South Championship title. Asheville owns conference victories over Charleston Southern and Longwood thus far.

• Both teams will be trying to get back on the right track. Liberty has lost three games in a row, while Asheville has dropped four of its last five contests.

• The Bulldogs' lone Virginia native, 6-0 center Bronaza Franklin, is the reigning Big South Freshman of the Week. She graduated from George Washington High School in Danville, located about an hour south of Lynchburg.

• Shonese Jones, a 5-2 senior guard, is Asheville's leading scorer at 10.4 ppg this season. She also tops all current Big South players with 1,141 career points.

• Asheville won 11 games last season, representing a marked improvement over its 2-28 record in 2012-13.

Unbeaten in the Big South
Liberty is off to a 2-0 start in Big South Conference play for the third consecutive season, owning victories over Radford and Gardner-Webb.

• The Lady Flames are seeking their first 3-0 conference start since 2010-11. That season, Liberty picked up its third conference win with a 61-44 triumph at Asheville on Jan. 9, 2011, on its way to the Big South regular-season title.

Welcome Back from Break
Tuesday's game will be Liberty's first contest after a nine-day Christmas break. The Lady Flames last played on Dec. 21, falling to No. 1/1 South Carolina in Minneapolis, Minn.

• Liberty has won its first game after Christmas in each of the last three seasons. All three victories have come against Big South opponents, by an average of 21.3 ppg.

A Streak to Snap
Liberty has lost three straight games, marking the Lady Flames' longest losing streak since opening the 2013-14 season at 0-4.

Feasting at the Foul Line
Liberty is shooting 81.5 percent at the free throw line during the last seven games and now leads the Big South at 76.9 percent on the season.

• Liberty's season record for free throw percentage is 72.8 percent, set in 2007-08.

• Individually, Simone Brown is shooting 90 percent and has hit 21 foul shots in a row, nearing the program record of 22. Karly Buer, who recently fashioned her own streak of 14 consecutive made free throws, sits No. 2 in the Big South at 85.4 percent.

A Look Back at Liberty's Subway Classic Losses to Minnesota and South Carolina
• Liberty's losing streak extended to three games when the Lady Flames lost to host Minnesota (74-60) and No. 1/1 South Carolina (84-44) at the Subway Classic, Dec. 20-21 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

• The Lady Flames were represented on the all-tournament team by Ashley Rininger, who averaged 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.5 bpg.

• The Dec. 20 contest was Liberty's first-ever meeting with Minnesota. Additionally, the Land of 10,000 Lakes became the 24th different state the Lady Flames have played in under head coach Carey Green.

• The South Carolina matchup was the Lady Flames' first contest against the nation's No. 1 team since a game against No. 1 Tennessee in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

• Minnesota opened the second half on a 12-0 run, while South Carolina broke the game open with a 16-0 surge, midway through the first half.

• The foul line played a key role in both games. Liberty shot 85.7 percent from the line, but only got there 14 times total. Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers and Gamecocks shot a combined 40-of-56 (71.4 percent) against the Lady Flames.

• Liberty had only been outrebounded once in 2014-15 before Minnesota and South Carolina both won the battle of the boards against the Lady Flames, by an average of 15.0 rpg.

• Karly Buer and Ashley Rininger each scored 10 points apiece in both games of the Subway Classic. Buer has now reached double figures in 10 of her first 11 outings as a Lady Flame.

Katelyn Adams averaged 5.0 rpg and 2.5 bpg in a return to her home state.

Block Party
Ashley Rininger blocked a career-high six shots against No. 1/1 South Carolina on Dec. 21. That was the most blocks by a Lady Flame since Feb. 28, 2005, when Katie Feenstra rejected six Winthrop shots. In the process, Rininger became the fifth Lady Flame ever to surpass 100 career blocked shots.

• Teammate Katelyn Adams is nearing the century mark herself, as the redshirt junior enters Tuesday's contest with 97 career rejections.

Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded eight of 11 opponents but has lost the battle of the boards in each of its last two outings. The last time the Lady Flames were outrebounded in consecutive contests was Nov. 20 and 23, 2012 against Texas A&M and Baylor.

The Container is Half Empty
Liberty has held 42 straight opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field. Purdue was the Lady Flames' most recent foe to make at least half of its field goal attempts, connecting at a 50.0 percent (26-of-52) clip during the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 24, 2013).