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WBB Game Day Central: Radford

December 30, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Mickayla Sanders has totaled 35 points during her last two appearances against Radford.

Mickayla Sanders has totaled 35 points during her last two appearances against Radford.

Game Day Central Page

Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes

Game Time:
2 p.m.

Video Streaming Coverage:
Big South Network

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WQLU 90.9 FM The Light
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall
Color Commentator: Joe Carmany

Today's Game
Liberty's (5-7, 2-1 Big South) first contest of 2016 will be the Lady Flames' 64th all-time meeting with long-standing Commonwealth rival Radford (5-6, 1-1 Big South). Tipoff is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Dedmon Center between two of the eight Big South teams with one or fewer conference losses at this early stage of Big South play.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty will attempt to record its first three-game winning streak of the season. The Lady Flames have won eight straight visits to the Dedmon Center and nine straight meetings with the Highlanders overall. However, Radford is 5-0 at home this season and boasts a 13-game winning streak at the Dedmon Center.

2) Both teams have been hit hard by injuries this season. Three Lady Flames are currently sidelined by knee injuries, including leading scorer Ashley Rininger, who went down at Duke on Dec. 17. One day later, Radford starting point guard Jen Falconer became the third Highlander to suffer an ACL tear this season. The Highlanders are down to nine healthy players on their roster.

3) Catherine Kearney has stepped up in a major way following Rininger's injury. After averaging 4.4 ppg during the season's first 10 games, Kearney has recorded back-to-back career highs with 20 points against Shepherd and 22 points at Campbell.

4) Mickayla Sanders, working her way back from an injury of her own, has gone off for 35 total points during her last two matchups with Radford. The last time Sanders played at the Dedmon Center (Feb. 27, 2014), she tallied a career-high 22 points.

5) The Lady Flames will look to begin another successful month of January. Liberty was 8-1 in January a year ago, improving to 114-16 in January contests under Carey Green.

Liberty vs. Radford At a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 39-24.
Current Streak: Liberty has won nine consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Radford: Liberty leads, 16-13.
Current Streak at Radford: Liberty has won eight consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 75, Radford 39 (Feb. 2, 2015 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Radford: Liberty 72, Radford 63 (Dec. 6, 2014)
Radford's Last Series Victory: Radford 62, Liberty 53 (Jan. 17, 2011 at Liberty)
Radford's Last Series Victory at Home: Radford 77, Liberty 54 (March 3, 2007)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 388-135 (17th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Radford: 32-4

Radford Head Coach: Mike McGuire
Overall Record (Seasons): 29-43 (Third Season) 
Record at Radford (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-4

Notes and Anecdotes
• Coming off of a 17-14 season which culminated with a WNIT appearance, Radford is 5-6 overall, 1-1 in Big South play to start the 2015-16 campaign. The Highlanders picked up their first conference win of the year on Tuesday with a 61-45 home victory over Coastal Carolina.

• Like Liberty, the Highlanders have been hit hard by the injury bug this season. Radford is down to nine healthy players after starting point guard Jen Falconer recently became the third Highlander (also Brittany Allen and Claudia Quevedo) to suffer a season-ending ACL injury this year.

• Radford is 5-0 at the Dedmon Center and 0-6 away from home. The Highlanders have won 13 straight home games since a 58-52 loss to West Virginia State on Dec. 18, 2014. Meanwhile, Liberty has been victorious in its last eight contests at the Dedmon Center.

• Radford is Liberty's most common opponent in program history, as Saturday's game will mark the 64th all-time meeting between the Commonwealth rivals. The Lady Flames have had the upper hand in the series in recent years, winning nine consecutive matchups and 17 of the last 18.

• Liberty graduate assistant Joyous Tharrington played two seasons at Richmond (2008-09 and 2009-10), during which time Radford head coach Mike McGuire was an assistant coach for the Spiders.

Liberty in January
All-Time Record in January:
198-113
Carey Green's Record in January: 114-16
Record This January (Games Remaining): 0-0 (8 games remaining)
Last Five January Records: 
2010-11 - 8-1
2011-12 - 7-1
2012-13 - 6-2
2013-14 - 6-2
2014-15 - 8-1

On This Date
Liberty is 7-3 all-time on Jan. 2, including 2-1 in Big South games. The Lady Flames recorded notable wins in back-to-back January 2 contests at the turn of the century, including a 69-57 victory at West Virginia in 2000 and an 81-76 triumph over Hampton in 2001. The Lady Flames trailed Hampton by 17 points at halftime before rallying to win.

Competing Against the Commonwealth
Saturday's game will be Liberty's second of five regular-season matchups with in-state opponents this season. The Lady Flames lost their first Commonwealth clash of 2015-16 by a 72-56 count at James Madison on Nov. 23.

The Lady Flames went 5-0 versus Commonwealth foes in 2014-15 and had won 10 consecutive games versus Virginia opponents prior to the setback against the Dukes.

Picking Up the Slack
Liberty has won back-to-back games since leading scorer Ashley Rininger suffered an injury at Duke on Dec. 17, thanks in large part to increased production from post players Catherine Kearney (21.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg) and Molly Reagan (7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) during the last two contests. 

Kearney was averaging 4.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg on the season, before becoming the first Lady Flame since Rininger (Jan. 16 & 18, 2014) to post consecutive 20-point games.

Reagan had not scored a collegiate point prior to the last two outings.

Shaking Things Up
Head Coach Carey Green has used seven different starting lineups during this season's first 12 games, including a different combination in six of the last seven outings. The Lady Flames have already matched the number of starting lineups they used during the entire 2014-15 season.

Ten different players have started this season, and no one has started all 12 games.


A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 62-52 Victory at Campbell
• Redshirt senior Catherine Kearney posted a career-high scoring total for the second straight game, as her 22 points led the Lady Flames to a 62-52 Big South victory at Campbell, Tuesday at Gore Arena.

• Kearney added 10 rebounds and three blocked shots for her second straight double-double and the fifth of her career.

• The Lady Flames needed all of Kearney's production to hold off a late charge by the Camels, which cut a 22-point third-quarter deficit to seven during the final period.

• Liberty closed out the calendar year 2015 with its fourth victory over Campbell during the year and its second straight win overall. 

• The Lady Flames, now 5-7 overall and 2-1 in Big South play, also got 16 points, a career-high nine rebounds, five assists and three steals from Sadalia Ellis during their first road victory since the Nov. 13 season opener at Appalachian State.

• Campbell struggled to shoot 27.3 percent (18-of-66) night from the field and 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from three-point range. Leading scorer RaeChaun Edwards managed just four points, nine below her season average.