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WBB Game Day Central: UNC Asheville

February 26, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Iva Ilic scored a team-high 16 points during Liberty's first meeting with Asheville, Jan. 21 at Kimmel Arena.

Iva Ilic scored a team-high 16 points during Liberty's first meeting with Asheville, Jan. 21 at Kimmel Arena.

Game Day Central

Liberty's Game Notes

Game Time:
7 p.m.

Official Tipoff:
7:05 p.m.

TV Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – TV
WFFP 
ESPN3
Big South Network
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Mike Tilley
Color Commentator: Kelley Deyo

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

Today's Game
Liberty (12-15, 11-5 Big South) will open the final week of the regular season with a rematch of the 2016 Big South Women's Basketball Championship title game against UNC Asheville (13-14, 7-9 Big South) at the Vines Center. Monday's contest is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff as the Lady Flames seek to avenge a 64-54 setback suffered at Asheville on Jan. 21.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty is currently tied with High Point for third place in the Big South standings at 11-5 with two games remaining. Both teams sit two games behind co-leaders Campbell and Radford. The Lady Flames have clinched a first-round bye for the 2017 Big South Women's Basketball Championship.

2) Liberty has won eight straight home games, including all seven of its Big South home tilts in 2016-17. The Lady Flames have also won nine consecutive home meetings with Asheville and are 27-2 all-time when facing the Bulldogs in Lynchburg.

3) The Lady Flames will look to snap a three-game losing streak against Asheville, dating back to last season. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will try to sweep the two-game regular-season series from Liberty for the first time in program history.

4) Seven-time Big South Freshman of the Week Keyen Green is coming off of her eighth double-double and fifth 20-point outing of the season, Saturday at Winthrop. She tied her career high with 26 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Green was limited to nine points and five boards during the Jan. 21 matchup with Asheville.

5) Iva Ilic, who scored a team-high 16 points at Asheville on Jan. 21, has recorded back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts entering Monday's matchup.

Liberty vs. UNC Asheville at a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 52-11.
Current Streak: UNC Asheville has won three consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 27-2.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty has won nine consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: UNC Asheville 64, Liberty 54 (Jan. 21, 2017 at Asheville)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Liberty 71, UNC Asheville 53 (Jan. 4, 2016)
Liberty's Last Series Victory: Liberty 71, UNC Asheville 53 (Jan. 4, 2016 at Liberty)
Asheville's Last Series Victory at Liberty: Asheville 54, Liberty 51 (Feb. 24, 2007)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 415-156 (18th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. UNC Asheville: 37-5

UNC Asheville Head Coach: Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick
Overall Record (Seasons): 61-91 (Fifth Season)
Record at UNC Asheville (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 4-7

Notes and Anecdotes
• UNC Asheville raced out to an 18-4 lead, setting the tone for a 64-54 victory over Liberty, Jan. 21 at Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs' Chatori Major scored 10 of her game-high 19 points during that game-opening surge. Iva Ilic led the Lady Flames with 16 points.

• Asheville has won three straight meetings with Liberty, highlighted by the Bulldogs' 64-62 double overtime victory in the 2016 Big South Women's Basketball Championship title game. Asheville will attempt to become just the fifth Big South team to sweep the two-game regular-season series from the Lady Flames during Carey Green's 18 seasons as head coach and the only team to do so this year. The Bulldogs have never swept the regular-season series from Liberty in program history.

• Liberty has won eight straight home games overall and nine consecutive home meetings with Asheville. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs enter Lynchburg on a four-game road losing skid.

• Fatigue could be a factor on Monday, as Asheville lost a 76-73 double overtime game at Radford on Saturday. Four Bulldogs played 38+ minutes, led by Chatori Major with 46.

• The defending Big South champion Bulldogs have lost senior starters Ja'Da Brayboy and Tianna Knuckles to season-ending injuries.

• Monday will mark a homecoming for Asheville assistant Joy Tharrington. A native of Lynchburg, Tharrington served as Liberty's graduate assistant in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

On This Date
Liberty is 12-5 all-time on Feb. 27, including 3-0 against UNC Asheville. The Lady Flames posted a 76-52 victory over the Bulldogs on Feb. 27, 2002, a 94-66 triumph against Asheville on Feb. 27, 2010 and an 84-53 win over the Bulldogs on Feb. 27, 2012.

Home Sweet Home
After finishing 4-12 in road/neutral games this season, Liberty will return to the friendly confines of the Vines Center for the next two weeks. The Lady Flames will wrap up the regular season with two home games and then host the 2017 Big South Women's Basketball Championship, March 9-12.

Liberty has won eight straight home games since its last loss on Nov. 17 and is unbeaten in seven Big South home tilts.

No Longer a Liability at the Line
Liberty ranked No. 334 of 345 NCAA Division I teams with a 60.1 free throw percentage as of Jan. 28.

During their last eight games, the Lady Flames have shot 76.3 percent at the line.

A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 78-63 Win at Winthrop on Saturday
• Liberty post players Keyen Green (26 points, 12 rebounds) and KK Barbour (18 points, 10 rebounds) powered the Lady Flames past Winthrop, 78-63, Saturday afternoon at the Winthrop Coliseum.

• Barbour set a new career high for points during her second career double-double, while Green equaled her career-best scoring output as part of her eighth double-double and fifth 20-point outing of her freshman season. 

• Liberty outrebounded Winthrop, 48-30, improving to 4-12 away from the Vines Center this season with its second road victory of the week.

Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 16 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU, at PC, at HPU, at Winthrop), 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 61 shots in its last 11 games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference with 4.5 bpg on the season. Keyen Green (1.3 bpg) and Ola Makurat (1.0 bpg) are leading the way during the last 11 contests.

3s are Key
During its 12 victories, Liberty is making 7.0 three-pointers per game at a 37.5 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 eight double-doubles and five 20-point outings. She also ranks No. 6 nationally among freshmen with her 8.0 rpg.

Fantastic Freshmen
Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59.5 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 12.4 ppg. Three of the team's top four scorers on the year are freshmen.

Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded 21 of 27 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds 10 times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 6 nationally with 17.7 offensive boards per game and No. 12 with a +9.4 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 26 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 124 games have connected on at least half of their field goal attempts against the Lady Flames.

Tradition of Excellence
• Liberty has notched 18 consecutive seasons with 10+ Big South wins, including this season.

Player Trends
#3 Nene Johnson

• Leads the team and ranks 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 14 of the 16 Big South contests and is averaging a team-high 1.6 spg during conference games

• Averaging 9.1 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play

• 25 of her 68 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.

#10 Kierra Johnson-Graham
• Averaging 8.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg over her last four games, while shooting 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the field

• Has connected on 27 of her last 34 free throw attempts (79.4 percent) over the last 13 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)

#14 Lela Sellers
• Tallied eight of her 10 points during the second half at UNC Asheville on Jan. 21 and rejected a career-high four shots

#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 

• Leads the Big South and ranks No. 6 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (8.0 rpg), while also topping the conference in offensive rebounding (3.7 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.9) 

• Shooting 78.4 percent (29-of-37) at the free throw line during the last eight games

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

• Posted her eighth double-double at Winthrop on Saturday, tying her career high with 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds 

#24 Iva Ilic
• Scored a team-high 16 points at UNC Asheville on Jan. 21

• Has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in her career

• Leads the team and ranks first among Big South freshmen with 37 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.

#30 KK Barbour
• Posted her second career double-double Saturday at Winthrop, including a career-high 18 points and 10 boards

• Hit 10 straight free throws between Jan. 10-21 and is shooting a team-best 70.9 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 14-of-38 (36.8 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 18 games

#35 Ola Makurat
• Averaging 9.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg over her last three outings

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

#40 Molly Reagan
• Tied for the team lead with six rebounds at UNC Asheville on Jan. 21