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WBB Game Day Central: Gardner-Webb

January 25, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sadalia Ellis scored a team-high 12 points during Liberty's 61-57 setback at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 2.

Sadalia Ellis scored a team-high 12 points during Liberty's 61-57 setback at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 2.

Game Day Central Page

Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes

Game Time:
7 p.m.

Official Tipoff:
7:02 p.m.

TV Coverage:
ESPN3
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Evan Lepler
Color Commentator: Kelley Deyo

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

Today's Game
Liberty (10-8, 7-2 Big South) will play host to Gardner-Webb (13-6, 7-2 Big South) Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a battle of Big South co-leaders at the Vines Center. Gardner-Webb won the teams' first meeting this season, 61-57, on Dec. 2 in Boiling Springs, N.C.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) It will be a "Super Tuesday" in Big South women's basketball, with two head-to-head matchups between the conference's four co-leaders. In addition to the Liberty-Gardner-Webb clash, Presbyterian will travel to UNC Asheville on Tuesday.

2) Liberty and Gardner-Webb are two of the hottest teams in the Big South right now. The Lady Flames have won three straight games and are 7-1 in their last eight outings, while the Runnin' Bulldogs are riding a six-game winning streak. Liberty has won four straight meetings with Gardner-Webb at the Vines Center and 17 straight home games versus Big South opponents.

3) Gardner-Webb will try to become the fourth Big South team to sweep the two-game regular-season series from Liberty during Carey Green's 17 seasons as head coach. Gardner-Webb previously accomplished the feat in 2009-10.

4) 10 of the 18 all-time meetings between Liberty and Gardner-Webb have been decided by 10 points or fewer, including three of the last four matchups. 

5) Catherine Kearney continues to step up in the absence of injured teammate Ashley Rininger. She scored 20 points at Longwood on Sunday and is averaging 15.5 ppg in the last eight games with Rininger out of the lineup.

Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb At a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 14-4.
Current Streak: Gardner-Webb won the most recent meeting.
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 5-1.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty has won four consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Gardner-Webb 61, Liberty 57 (Dec. 2, 2015 at Gardner-Webb)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Liberty 56, Gardner-Webb 47 (Dec. 13, 2014)
Liberty's Last Series Victory: Liberty 61, Gardner-Webb 48 (Feb. 5, 2015 at GWU)
Gardner-Webb's Last Series Victory at Liberty: GWU 59, Liberty 56 (Feb. 8, 2010)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 393-136 (17th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Gardner-Webb: 14-4

Gardner-Webb Head Coach: Rick Reeves
Overall Record (Seasons): 446-418 (30th Season) 
Record at Gardner-Webb (Seasons): 179-180 (12th Season) 
Record vs. Liberty: 4-14

Notes and Anecdotes
• Gardner-Webb defeated Liberty, 61-57, in both teams' Big South opener, Dec. 2 in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Runnin' Bulldogs forced 31 turnovers by the Lady Flames in a game which saw nine ties and 13 lead changes. Candace Brown scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter for Gardner-Webb. Sadalia Ellis tallied all 12 of her team-leading points after halftime for the Lady Flames.

• On Tuesday, the Runnin' Bulldogs will attempt to join Gardner-Webb (2009-10) and High Point (2006-07 and 2013-14) as the only Big South teams to sweep the two-game regular-season series from the Lady Flames in Carey Green's 17 seasons at Liberty.

• Gardner-Webb is currently riding a six-game winning streak, which has lifted the Runnin' Bulldogs into a share of the Big South lead.

• The quartet of Olivia Parker, Candace Brown, Alexus Hill and Tierra Huntsman has combined for 78.2 percent of Gardner-Webb's points this season.

• 10 of the 18 all-time meetings between Liberty and Gardner-Webb have been decided by 10 points or fewer, including three of the last four matchups. 

• Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves previously served as Liberty's head coach for nine seasons (1990-91 through 1998-99), leading the Lady Flames to their first three Big South Conference titles (1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons).

On This Date
Liberty is 7-2 all-time on Jan. 26, including 5-0 in Big South games.

Down But Not Out
Liberty has erased double-digit deficits to win each of its last two games, rallying from 12 points down at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 19 and 10 points behind at Longwood on Sunday.

The Lady Flames also recovered from an eight-point deficit to defeat Elon on Nov. 16.

Liberty is 3-8 when trailing at halftime but a perfect 6-0 when leading after 20 minutes.

Shaking Things Up
Head Coach Carey Green has used eight different starting lineups during this season's first 18 games. The Lady Flames have eclipsed the number of starting lineups they used during the entire 2014-15 season (7), and 11 different players have started this year.

A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 72-67 Victory at Longwood
• Liberty was able to recover from a 10-point first-half deficit during Sunday afternoon's contest at Longwood, thanks in large part to its starting post players, Catherine Kearney (20 points) and Katelyn Adams (11 points, 12 rebounds).

• The Lady Flames survived a wild final minute to post a 72-67 victory inside Willett Hall.

• Kearney (8-8) and Adams (5-5) made all 13 of their field goal attempts, helping the Lady Flames shoot 55.1 percent (27-of-49) from the field and enjoy a 38-10 advantage inside the paint.

Mickayla Sanders chipped in 15 points and Liberty made 9-of-10 free throw attempts during the final 2:29 of the Lady Flames' third straight win and seventh victory in their last eight outings. 

•  The Lancers hit a season-high 11 three-pointers on the afternoon and scored 11 points during the final 47.3 seconds, trimming a 15-point deficit to five.

• Kearney's 20-point game was her fourth of the season. She is the first Lady Flame to take seven or more field goals without a miss since Avery Warley went 8-for-8 from the field at North Carolina A&T on Nov. 18, 2011.

• Adams' double-double was her second of the season and the 11th of her career.

Player Trends
#1 Mickayla Sanders

• Has hit a three-pointer in six straight games

#2 Candice Leatherwood
• Hit five-of-six free throws during the final 2:29 of Sunday's victory at Longwood. Leatherwood has attempted more free throws during the final 5:00 of games than any other Lady Flame this season, going 16-of-24 for 66.7 percent in those end-of-game situations.

#3 Sadalia Ellis
• Only a 24.4 percent three-point shooter for her career, Ellis has made 47.8 percent (11-of-23) of her triples during the seven games since Christmas break

#10 Jaymee Fisher-Davis
• Had made just one of her 17 three-point tries during the previous four games, before going 11-for-22 during the last five outings

#21 Mikal Johnson
• Nearing a pair of career milestones, as she is six points shy of 500 and eight three-pointers away from 100

#23 Brooke Alexander
• Has recorded a 23-to-8 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last six games

#30 KK Barbour
• Scored a season-high seven points on Sunday at Longwood, while also setting new season highs for assists (3) and steals (3)

#34 Katelyn Adams
• Shot 5-of-5 from the field on her way to her second double-double of the season (11 points, 12 rebounds) and the 11th of her career, Sunday at Longwood

• Adams is averaging 11.2 rpg during her last five meetings with Gardner-Webb.

• Adams has tallied six or more rebounds in 14 of 18 games in 2015-16, including six 10+-rebound efforts. She leads the team in rebounding and ranks third in the Big South.

#44 Catherine Kearney
• Made all eight of her field goal attempts at Longwood on Sunday on her way to her fourth 20-point game of the season, moving onto Liberty's career top 50 scorers list. Kearney became the first Lady Flame since Avery Warley on Nov. 18, 2011 to make at least eight field goals in a game without missing a shot.

• Needs two boards to become the 27th Lady Flame to grab 500 career rebounds

• During the eight games since Ashley Rininger's injury, Kearney is averaging 15.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 1.5 bpg while shooting 66.2 percent (49-of-74) from the field and 81.3 percent (26-of-32) from the foul line

• Has hit 19 of her last 21 free throw attempts (90.5 percent)

#55 Ashley Rininger
• Suffered a knee injury at Duke on Dec. 17 which is expected to sideline her for 4-6 weeks. Rininger was in uniform at Longwood on Sunday for the first time since her injury but did not play.