Game Day Central Page Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes Game Time: 11 a.m. Official Tipoff: 11:05 a.m.
TV Coverage: Big South Network Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Mike Tilley Color Commentator: Kelley Deyo Sideline Reporter: Bailey Meador Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio WQLU 90.9 FM The Light Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall
Today's Game Liberty's (0-6) lone December home game will see the Lady Flames play host to West Liberty (1-7) for the first time in program history, Saturday at 11 a.m. inside the Vines Center. The game, which will precede the Liberty men's basketball team's 2 p.m. home matchup with Princeton, will count as an exhibition contest for West Liberty.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines 1) Coming off of four straight single-digit losses, Liberty is in search of its first win of 2016-17. The Lady Flames are looking to halt a four-game home losing streak and an eight-game overall losing skid, both of which date back to 2015-16.
2) Liberty and West Liberty combined for 49 victories last season, but both teams were hit hard by graduation and feature new-look rosters in 2016-17. As a result, the Lady Flames and Hilltoppers are a combined 1-13 to start the new year.
3) Liberty will be facing a member of the Mountain East Conference for the second straight year. Last season, the Lady Flames notched a 69-57 home win over Shepherd on Dec. 19, 2015. Catherine Kearney led the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while current Lady Flame Molly Reagan chipped in nine points and five boards.
4) Keyen Green, the Lady Flames' leading scorer (7.5 ppg) and rebounder (7.8 rpg), is the reigning Big South Freshman of the Week. She became the first Lady Flame to win the award since Ashley Rininger on Feb. 18, 2013.
5) Freshmen have played a key role for the Lady Flames in 2016-17, scoring 60.7 percent of the team's points through the first six games.
Liberty vs. West Liberty at a Glance Series History Series Record: First meeting
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 403-147 (18th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. West Liberty: 0-0
West Liberty Head Coach: Lynn Ullom Overall Record (Seasons): 525-240 (26th Season) Record at West Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes • Liberty and West Liberty have never met on the hardwood. The Hilltoppers are the first of four consecutive first-time opponents the Lady Flames will face over the next 19 days, also including Central Arkansas, UTSA and Dayton.
• The Lady Flames have faced one previous Mountain East Conference (MEC) opponent since the league began competition in 2013-14. Led by a 20-point, 13-rebound effort by Catherine Kearney, Liberty posted a 69-57 home victory over Shepherd on Dec. 19, 2015. Current Lady Flame Molly Reagan chipped in nine points, five rebounds.
• West Liberty Head Coach Lynn Ullom is in his 26th season leading the Hilltoppers. He has won the most games (525) of any college women's basketball coach in West Virginia history and has taken his team to the NCAA Division II Tournament 14 times.
• Last season's West Liberty squad set a school record for wins with its 29-5 record and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
• After graduating three All-Americans from last year's team, West Liberty is just 1-7 to start the 2016-17 campaign, including 1-3 in MEC play. The Hilltoppers have lost three games in a row and are 0-4 away from West Liberty this season. However, those marks will not change on Saturday, as the contest counts as an exhibition for the Hilltoppers.
• West Liberty relies heavily on three-point shooting, ranking No. 21 nationally in NCAA Division II with 8.9 triples per contest.
• The Hilltoppers' leading three-point threat is also their top scorer. McKenna Shives, a 5-5 junior guard, leads the team in points (12.5 ppg) and three-pointers made (26) this season. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at Gannon in Erie, Pa. Liberty Assistant Coach Andrea "Andy" Bloodworth is well-acquainted with Gannon, serving as an assistant for the Golden Knights for three years (2002-03 through 2004-05).
On This Date Liberty is 6-8 all-time on Dec. 10. The Lady Flames' most recent contest on this date resulted in a 116-65 home triumph over current Mountain East member Glenville State on Dec. 10, 2011. Liberty's 116 points set a new Vines Center single-game scoring record.
Road Warriors Saturday's game will be Liberty's only home contest between Nov. 17 and Jan. 7, as the Lady Flames are in the midst of a stretch of eight road/neutral games in nine outings. Liberty is 0-3 during the span thus far. The challenging stretch will see Liberty play games in five different states, including Indiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Last season, the Lady Flames were 10-9 in games played away from Lynchburg. It was the ninth straight year Liberty has posted a winning record in road/neutral contests.
Slow Start Liberty is 0-6 to begin the 2016-17 season and has lost eight straight games dating back to last season. This is the Lady Flames' longest losing streak since a nine-game losing streak during the 1995-96 season (Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 1996). The Lady Flames are off to their longest winless stretch to start a season under Head Coach Carey Green. The worst start in program history was 0-7, which occurred in both 1977-78 and 1993-94. Liberty is 0-3 at the Vines Center this year and has dropped four straight home games dating back to 2015-16. This is the Lady Flames' longest home skid since also losing four in a row spanning Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 1996. Liberty's last five-game home losing streak spanned the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons, the Lady Flames' first two full seasons of action at the Vines Center.
Fantastic Freshmen Keyen Green was named Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday, becoming the Lady Flames' first Big South Freshman of the Week honoree since Ashley Rininger on Feb. 18, 2013. Green paces the Lady Flames in both points (7.5 ppg) and rebounds (7.8 rpg). Fellow freshmen Iva Ilic, Kierra Johnson-Graham, Lela Sellers and Ola Makurat also rank among the Lady Flames' top six scorers this season. Freshmen have scored 60.7 percent of Liberty's points in 2016-17. Close, But Not Quite Liberty has lost each of its last four games by single digits, including a two-point loss at the buzzer at Valparaiso (Nov. 25) and a one-point setback at Navy (Dec. 4).
• This is the first time in program history that Liberty has played four straight games decided by single digits and lost all four of those contests.
• The Lady Flames have now lost each of their last six games decided by single digits, dating back to last season. Liberty is just 1-8 in its last nine single-digit outings. Winning the Battle of the Boards Liberty has outrebounded each of its last four opponents, grabbing 20 or more offensive rebounds in all four contests.
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