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Liberty to Play WNIT Consolation Game at Drake, Friday

November 14, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Ola Makurat and the Lady Flames will play a Preseason WNIT consolation game at Drake, Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Ola Makurat and the Lady Flames will play a Preseason WNIT consolation game at Drake, Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Liberty will wrap up its stay in the 2017 Preseason WNIT with a consolation game at Drake on Friday, tournament officials announced this evening. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. Eastern at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Liberty (1-1) and Drake (1-1) will be meeting on the hardwood for the first time. Like the Lady Flames, the Bulldogs won their Preseason WNIT opener on Friday (77-73 vs. Milwaukee) before losing their second-round game on Sunday (110-77 at No. 11/11 Oregon).

The Lady Flames tipped off the 2017-18 season with a 63-55 win at Old Dominion on Friday before falling 74-50 at No. 24/23 Michigan Sunday afternoon. With a victory at Drake, Liberty would match its best-ever Preseason WNIT record. Liberty finished 2-1 during the 2012 tournament.

Drake will provide a formidable challenge for the Lady Flames, as the Bulldogs are receiving votes in both Top 25 polls and are listed No. 3 in the CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25. Last season, Drake went 28-5 and earned a No. 10 seed in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007.

Liberty has only faced one Missouri Valley Conference opponent in program history. The Lady Flames lost their 2010-11 season opener to Creighton by a 40-35 score, Nov. 12, 2010 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. Liberty is also scheduled to host new conference member Valparaiso at the Vines Center on Dec. 2.

The Lady Flames' only previous visit to Iowa came on Dec. 8-9, 2000, when the team played in the Pella Corporation Cyclone Classic in Ames. Liberty went 0-2 at the event, falling to Texas-Pan American and host Iowa State.

Two current Lady Flames have ties to the Hawkeye State. Sophomore Lela Sellers graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, while junior Melis Ucar spent the last two years at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.