Game Day Central Page Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes Game Time: 5 p.m. Eastern Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio WQLU 90.9 FM The Light Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall Tournament At a Glance Liberty (1-6) will open a five-game road swing at the Rae & Craig Blair Memorial Tournament, Monday and Tuesday at UTSA's Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The Lady Flames' inaugural meeting with 2016 NCAA Tournament participant Central Arkansas (6-2) will come in the tournament's opening game, Monday at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Liberty will then square off against host UTSA (3-6) in the tournament finale, Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern. The Lady Flames have never matched up with the Roadrunners, although UTSA Head Coach Lubomyr Lichonczak faced Liberty 22 times as Radford's head coach (1990-91 through 2000-01).
Coming off of its first victory of the 2016-17 season, Liberty will aim to snap a five-game road/neutral losing streak. The Lady Flames will also seek their first-ever victories in Texas, as Liberty is 0-4 all-time in the Lone Star State.
Freshman Keyen Green, who has notched back-to-back double-doubles, leads the Lady Flames in points (9.3 ppg), rebounds (8.7 rpg), steals (1.1 spg) and blocks (0.6 bpg).
Liberty vs. Central Arkansas at a Glance Series History Series Record: First meeting
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 404-147 (18th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Central Arkansas: 0-0
Central Arkansas Head Coach: Sandra Rushing Overall Record (Seasons): 487-302 (28th Season) Record at Central Arkansas (Seasons): 84-47 (Fifth Season) Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes • Liberty and Central Arkansas have never squared off on the hardwood. The Sugar Bears are the second of four consecutive first-time opponents the Lady Flames are facing over the span of 19 days, also including West Liberty, UTSA and Dayton.
• Liberty will face a Southland Conference opponent for the first time since Nov. 23, 2007. That day, the Lady Flames posted a 92-52 victory over McNeese State during the National City Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio. Liberty is 3-1 all-time against Southland foes, also including a 2-0 mark against Nicholls State and an 0-1 record versus Texas-Arlington.
• The Lady Flames have never faced a team from Arkansas in women's basketball.
• Central Arkansas is coming off of a memorable season. The 2015-16 Sugar Bears won the Southland Conference Tournament title to advance to their first-ever NCAA Tournament. They finished 28-4, setting a program record for victories.
• Picked to finish second in the Southland this season, Central Arkansas is off to a 6-2 start. The Sugar Bears rank among the nation's leaders in scoring defense, allowing only 50.5 ppg. They also commit only 12.6 turnovers per outing.
• Four Sugar Bears are scoring in double figures, paced by Maggie Proffitt and Taylor Baudoin at 12.9 ppg apiece.
• In her fifth season at Central Arkansas and her 28th year as a collegiate head coach, Sandra Rushing is nearing the 500-win milestone. She enters the Rae & Craig Blair Memorial Tournament needing just 13 victories to reach 500.
• Central Arkansas basketball is perhaps best known for producing Scottie Pippen. After playing men's basketball for the Bears from 1983-87, Pippen won six NBA titles and two gold medals before being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. On This Date Liberty is 3-2 all-time on Dec. 19, including victories in each of its last two contests on the date. Ten years ago, the Lady Flames also faced a Southland Conference foe on Dec. 19, losing 58-54 to Texas-Arlington at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico.
Texas Two-Step Liberty will be playing its fifth and sixth games in Texas in program history. The Lady Flames are 0-4 all-time in the Lone Star State, going 0-2 on a pair of Texas A&M-Baylor swings (Nov. 22 & 26, 2010 and Nov. 20 & 23, 2012). Liberty is seeking its first win over a Texas-based opponent since a 70-61 triumph over Houston, Nov. 24, 2007 at the National City Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ironically, the Lady Flames do not have any Texas natives on their roster this season, for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign. Both Liberty basketball teams will be playing in Texas this week. The men's basketball squad is set to make visits to Lamar (Monday) and Houston (Wednesday). Ian McCaw, who became Liberty's Athletic Director on Nov. 28, spent 13 years (2003-16) in the same position at Baylor in Waco, Texas.
Tournament Time Six of Liberty's 11 non-conference games are part of tournaments, including the Navy Classic (Dec. 3-4, Annapolis, Md.), Rae & Craig Blair Memorial Tournament (Dec. 19-20, San Antonio, Texas) and Cavalier Classic (Dec. 28-29, Charlottesville, Va.). The Lady Flames went 0-2 at the Navy Classic earlier this month. Liberty is playing three regular-season tournaments for the first time since 2008-09 (Preseason WNIT, GW Thanksgiving Classic and Hokie Hardwood Classic). The Lady Flames' last 2-0 tournament performance came on Nov. 28 & 30, 2014, when Liberty defeated Penn State and Georgia State to win the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament title in Atlanta, Ga.
Road Warriors The Lady Flames are in the midst of a stretch of eight road/neutral games in nine outings. Liberty is 1-3 during the span thus far, with the victory coming in its lone December home game, against West Liberty (Dec. 10). 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.
Streaks Summarized Liberty's 64-38 home victory over West Liberty on Dec. 10 halted the Lady Flames' longest winless streak to start a season under Head Coach Carey Green (0-6), as well as a couple of losing skids. Liberty had lost four straight home games and eight straight contests overall, prior to defeating the Hilltoppers. At the Rae & Craig Blair Memorial Tournament, Liberty will seek its first 2016-17 victory away from Lynchburg. The Lady Flames are 0-3 away from the Vines Center this season and have lost five consecutive road/neutral tilts, dating back to last season.
A Look Back at Liberty's 64-38 Home Win Over West Liberty • Keyen Green's second straight double-double (career-high 20 points, game-high 14 rebounds) propelled Liberty to its first victory of the 2016-17 season, 64-38 over West Liberty, Dec. 10 at the Vines Center.
• The visiting Hilltoppers led for most of the first quarter and trailed by only four (29-25) with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter. Green then scored 10 of her points during a 21-2 Liberty run which broke the game open for good.
• Liberty used its considerable size advantage to great effect, dominating West Liberty in rebounding (64-31) and points in the paint (38-12).
• For the fifth straight game, Liberty both won the rebounding battle and grabbed 20 or more offensive boards (23) in the process.
What Can Green Do For You? Keyen Green headlines the Lady Flames' successful freshman class. The Big South Freshman of the Week on Dec. 5, Green leads the conference and ranks No. 3 among the nation's freshmen in rebounding at 8.7 rpg. Green has recorded double-doubles in each of her last two outings, headlined by a Big South season-high 17 rebounds at Navy (Dec. 4) and a Liberty season-best 20 points versus West Liberty (Dec. 10).
Fantastic Freshmen Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 61.5 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's 9.3 ppg. Winning the Battle of the Boards Liberty has outrebounded each of its last five opponents, grabbing 20 or more offensive rebounds in all five contests. The Lady Flames currently lead the nation with 20.3 offensive boards per game this season.
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