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WBB Game Day Central: Winthrop

February 23, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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WBB Game Day Central: Winthrop

Game Day Central

Liberty's Game Notes

Game Time:
1 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

Today's Game
Liberty (11-15, 10-5 Big South) will play its final road game of the 2016-17 regular season at Winthrop (2-25, 1-14 Big South) on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum as the Lady Flames aim for a season sweep of the Eagles. Liberty notched an 80-51 home win over Winthrop on Jan. 28.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty is currently tied with High Point for third place in the Big South standings at 10-5 with three games remaining. Both teams sit two games behind co-leaders Campbell and Radford. If Liberty wins on Saturday, the Lady Flames will clinch a first-round bye for the Big South Women's Basketball Championship.

2) Liberty, which is just 3-12 away from the Vines Center this season, will attempt to record back-to-back road victories for the first time in 2016-17. The Lady Flames are 3-2 in their last five visits to Rock Hill.

3) Lady Flames post player Keyen Green has tied the conference record with seven Big South Freshman of the Week honors this season. Winthrop senior Erica Williams also won the award seven times as a freshman in 2013-14 and currently leads the conference in scoring at 15.5 ppg.

4) Freshman Ola Makurat scored a career-high 15 points during Liberty's first meeting with Winthrop. The Poland native is averaging 9.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg over her last two outings.

5) Freshmen will likely be featured prominently during Saturday's matinee. For the season, freshmen are scoring 59 percent of Liberty's points (led by Keyen Green's 11.9 ppg) and 45.7 percent of Winthrop's tallies (led by Danyael Goodhope's 8.5 ppg).

Liberty vs. Winthrop at a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 50-10.
Current Streak: Liberty has won four consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Winthrop: Liberty leads, 19-8.
Current Streak at Winthrop: Liberty won the most recent meeting.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 80, Winthrop 51 (Jan. 28, 2017 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Winthrop: Liberty 59, Winthrop 42 (March 1, 2016)
Winthrop's Last Series Victory: Winthrop 63, Liberty 58 (Jan. 20, 2015 at Winthrop)
Winthrop's Last Series Victory at Home: Same

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 414-156 (18th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Winthrop: 36-4

Winthrop Head Coach: Kevin Cook
Overall Record (Seasons): 115-141 (Ninth Season) 
Record at Winthrop (Seasons): 68-85 (Fifth Season) 
Record vs. Liberty: 2-8

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty posted an 80-51 victory over Winthrop, Jan. 28 at the Vines Center. Ola Makurat scored eight of her career-high 15 points during the Lady Flames' 24-3 run to start the second half. Erica Williams paced Winthrop with 22 points and 10 rebounds, but the Eagles committed 26 turnovers.

• The Lady Flames are 19-8 all-time at Winthrop. However, the Lady Flames have lost two of their last five visits to Rock Hill and one of their victories required overtime.

• Winthrop is led by senior forward Erica Williams. She leads the Big South with 15.5 ppg this season. For her career, Williams has tallied 1,692 points and needs eight more points to move into second place on the Eagles' career scoring list. By comparison, Liberty's 15 current players have totaled 1,874 career points. Williams has performed well against the Lady Flames during her career, averaging 19.3 ppg and posting four 20-point games in seven meetings with Liberty.

• Winthrop and Liberty are two of the youngest teams in the Big South. Freshmen have scored 45.7 percent of the Eagles' points and 59 percent of the Lady Flames' points in 2016-17. Liberty's Keyen Green (11.9 ppg) and Winthrop's Danyael Goodhope (8.5 ppg) are the conference's top two scorers among freshmen.

• Winthrop Head Coach Kevin Cook has been suspended since Jan. 25. In his absence, Lynette Woodard is serving as the Eagles' acting head coach.

On This Date
Liberty is 8-2 all-time on Feb. 25, including a current winning streak of seven games on the date. 

The Lady Flames are 2-0 in Feb. 25 meetings with Winthrop, including a 67-61 victory in Rock Hill on Feb. 25, 1994 and a 53-35 triumph in Lynchburg on Feb. 25, 2003.

Road Warriors
Saturday's game closes out a stretch which has seen Liberty play four out of five contests away from Lynchburg and will mark the team's final road game of the regular season. 

The Lady Flames are just 3-12 away from the Vines Center in 2016-17, but are coming off of a road victory at Longwood on Tuesday. Liberty will be seeking its first back-to-back road wins of the season on Saturday.

Liberty is 3-2 in its last five visits to the Winthrop Coliseum, with one of the Lady Flames' victories requiring overtime.

Streaks Summarized
Liberty's 71-38 triumph at Longwood on Tuesday marked its 10th Big South win of the season, giving the Lady Flames 18 consecutive seasons with 10+ conference victories. High Point owns the next longest active streak among Big South members, as the Panthers have recorded double-digit conference wins for six straight years.

Currently 11-15, the Lady Flames need to keep winning games in order to record their 21st consecutive winning season.

Liberty has won four straight matchups with Winthrop.

No Longer a Liability at the Line
Liberty shot just 55 percent (11-of-20) from the foul line during its Jan. 28 meeting with Winthrop, falling to 60.1 percent on the season. That ranked No. 334 of 345 NCAA Division I teams at the time.

During their last seven games, the Lady Flames have shot 77.5 percent at the line, led by Ola Makurat (8-of-8), KK Barbour (13-of-15) and Audrey Rettstatt (13-of-15).

A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 71-38 Win at Longwood on Tuesday
• Liberty set the tone for a strong defensive effort, keeping Longwood scoreless for the first 9:21 of Tuesday night's matchup at Willett Hall. The Lady Flames went on to post a 71-38 victory, equaling the fewest points they have allowed this season.

• Liberty limited the Lancers to 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the field and 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from three-point range. Meanwhile, Iva Ilic (12 points) paced four Lady Flames who scored between nine and 12 points on the night. 

• The Lady Flames also enjoyed a +30 (48-18) rebound margin and accumulated 21 second-chance points. 

Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 15 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU, at PC, at HPU), Iva Ilic (vs. PC, at Asheville, vs. Radford, at Longwood), KK Barbour (at GWU), Sheana Vega (vs. Longwood), Audrey Rettstatt (at Radford, vs. CSU), Ola Makurat (vs. Winthrop) and Nene Johnson (at Campbell).

Block Party
Liberty has blocked 58 shots in its last 10 games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference with 4.6 bpg on the season. Keyen Green (1.3 bpg) and Ola Makurat (1.1 bpg) are leading the way during the last 10 contests.

3s are Key
During its 11 victories, Liberty is making 7.2 three-pointers per game at a 38.2 percent clip. In its 15 losses, Liberty is hitting 4.5 triples per game and shooting 24.3 percent.

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, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, Green has tied the conference record with her seven Freshman of the Week honors.

For the season, Green has recorded seven double-doubles and four 20-point outings. She also ranks No. 6 nationally among freshmen with her 7.9 rpg.

Fantastic Freshmen
Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 11.9 ppg. Four of the team's top five scorers on the year are freshmen.

Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded 20 of 26 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds nine times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 6 nationally with 17.7 offensive boards per game and No. 12 with a +9.1 rebound margin.

The Container is Half Full
The Lady Flames are 107-1 under head coach Carey Green when making at least 50 percent of their field goals, including 2-0 this season. Liberty has won the last 34 times it has shot 50 percent or better, since an 83-77 loss to Kentucky in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 20, 2010).

The Container is Half Empty
Liberty has held 25 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 123 games have connected on at least half of their field goal attempts against the Lady Flames.

Player Trends
#3 Nene Johnson

• Leads the team and is tied for seventh in the Big South with 2.9 apg, while also pacing the Lady Flames in steals (1.3 spg)

• Has recorded at least one steal in 13 of the 15 Big South contests and is averaging a team-high 1.6 spg during conference games

• Averaging 9.5 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play

• 25 of her 66 free throw attempts this season have come during the final five minutes of games. She is shooting 72 percent (18-of-25) from the line in those situations.

#4 Tatyana Crowder
• Matched her career high of six points during a home win over Winthrop (Jan. 28)

• Posted her fourth six-point game of the season, Tuesday at Longwood

#10 Kierra Johnson-Graham
• Averaging 9.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg over her last three games, while shooting 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the field

• Has connected on 23 of her last 30 free throw attempts (76.7 percent) over the last 12 games

#12 Audrey Rettstatt
• Has scored more than twice as many points this season (143) than she did in her first three years combined (60)

#20 Sheana Vega
• Tallied eight points in only 10 minutes against Winthrop on Jan. 28

#21 Keyen Green
• Seven-time Big South Freshman of the Week (Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6, Feb. 13 & Feb. 20), which is the most Big South Freshman of the Week honors in program history and tied for the overall conference record 

• Ranks No. 6 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (7.9 rpg) 

• Tops the Big South in offensive rebounding (3.7 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.6) 

• Shooting 82.1 percent (23-of-28) at the free throw line during the last seven games, including a current streak of 10 makes in a row

• The first Liberty freshman to grab 200+ rebounds since Ashley Rininger in 2012-13

#24 Iva Ilic
• Leads the team and ranks first among Big South freshmen with 35 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.

• Paced the Lady Flames with 12 points at Longwood on Tuesday, including 10 in the third quarter

#30 KK Barbour
• Hit 10 straight free throws between Jan. 10-21 and is shooting a team-best 73.9 percent from the line this season (among players averaging at least one attempt per game)

• Had not made a three-pointer during her first 33 career appearances, but is 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 17 games

#35 Ola Makurat
• Posted a team-high and career-high 15 points versus Winthrop on Jan. 28, while also sharing the team lead with seven rebounds

• Nearly notched her second straight double-double on Tuesday, finishing with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds at Longwood

• Has hit eight consecutive free throws since her last miss on Jan. 10, boosting her percentage to 77.3