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WBB Game Day Central: UNC Greensboro

November 16, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Danika Dale enjoyed a solid season opener versus Winston-Salem State, which included career highs for both rebounds (7) and blocked shots (2).

Danika Dale enjoyed a solid season opener versus Winston-Salem State, which included career highs for both rebounds (7) and blocked shots (2).

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UNC Greensboro Women's Basketball Webpage

The Game
The Liberty Lady Flames (1-0, 0-0 Big South) will face their second opponent from North Carolina's Piedmont Triad in five days, Tuesday at 7 p.m., when UNC Greensboro (1-0, 0-0 Southern) visits the Vines Center. It will be the Spartans' first game at Liberty since the 1997 Big South Championship title game, which saw the Lady Flames claim their first of 12 Big South championships.

Last Time Out
Liberty opened the 2009-10 campaign with an impressive 71-26 win over Winston-Salem State, Friday evening at the Vines Center. Redshirt freshman Devon Brown tallied 26 points and seven rebounds in her collegiate debut, and the Lady Flames converted 32 WSSU turnovers into 35 points.

On Deck
Liberty will travel to Annapolis, Md., for this weekend's Navy Classic. The Lady Flames will face Tulane in the tournament's opening contest, Friday at 4:45 p.m.

Lady Flames On The Air
All Lady Flames basketball games may be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." Jamie Hall, celebrating his 16th year of broadcasting Lady Flames basketball, will once again be handling the courtside play-by-play duties for road games. Nick Pierce and Josh Wood will serve as the primary commentators for home contests.

Lady Flames On TV
For the seventh season in a row, the Flames Sports Network (FSN) plans to broadcast all 15 home women's basketball games. FSN's regular announcing team will consist of Ray Jones on play-by-play and Jamie Hall on color.

Scouting UNC Greensboro
The UNC Greensboro Spartans return four starters from last year's team, which finished 13-18. Highlighting the returnees are 5-7 senior guard Lakiah Hyson and 5-9 junior guard Monique Floyd. Hyson was the Spartans' second-leading scorer in 2008-09, averaging 10.5 ppg. Meanwhile, Floyd was honored as the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Like Liberty, UNC Greensboro defeated a MEAC opponent in its season opener. The Spartans put four players in double figures during their 85-68 home triumph over Morgan State on Saturday. Amanda Leigh's 18 points and four triples paced the UNCG attack, while Floyd chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

UNC Greensboro's tallest player, 6-4 redshirt junior center Agne Girstautaite, may be a familiar face to Lynchburg-area basketball fans. She played high school basketball at Holy Cross Regional School in Lynchburg.

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his 11th season with the Lady Flames, and has led his team to nine Big South titles. A five-time Big South Coach of the Year, Green owns a 238-77 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.756) ranks ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset. Green is 1-1 all-time versus UNC Greensboro.

Lynne Agee, beginning her 29th season as UNC Greensboro's head coach, is listed among the national leaders in several categories. Her career coaching record of 580-298 ranks Agee No. 12 among active NCAA Division I coaches in wins. Agee is 16-6 coaching against Liberty, including a 14-5 record at UNCG and a 2-1 mark as Roanoke College's head coach.

Liberty-UNC Greensboro Series Notes
Tuesday's game will be the 20th all-time meeting between former Big South rivals, Liberty and UNC Greensboro. The Spartans own a 14-5 advantage in the head-to-head series and a 6-3 edge in games contested at Liberty.

The Lady Flames took the teams' most recent meeting by a 62-44 score, Nov. 13, 2007 at UNC Greensboro. Molly Frazee's career-high 17 points helped Liberty win its season opener. Gini Grimsley was the lone Spartan to reach double figures, ending up with 10 points.

Liberty Versus the Southern Conference
Liberty has played 58 games against the current members of the Southern Conference, going 27-31. The Lady Flames are 0-2 versus Appalachian State, 2-1 versus College of Charleston, 2-0 versus Davidson, 11-3 versus Elon, 0-1 versus Furman, 0-2 versus Georgia Southern, 1-0 versus Samford, 5-14 versus UNC Greensboro, 3-8 versus Western Carolina and 3-0 versus Wofford.

The Lady Flames could meet a second Southern Conference foe this season on Dec. 29, with Samford entered in Virginia's Marriott Cavalier Classic.

This Brings Back Memories
Tuesday's contest will be the first time UNC Greensboro has played at the Vines Center since March 1, 1997, one of the most memorable days in Liberty women's basketball history. A crowd of 2,319 at the Vines Center saw the Lady Flames upset the top-seeded Spartans, 89-82, in that day's Big South Championship title game. The come-from-behind victory began a string of 10 straight conference titles for the Lady Flames.

Memorable Debut
Redshirt freshman Devon Brown was among four Lady Flames who made their collegiate debuts during Liberty's 71-26 win over Winston-Salem State on Friday. Brown led Liberty with 26 points and added seven rebounds. Her point total was notable for several reasons.

-- It was the most points a Lady Flame has scored in her collegiate debut since Elena Kisseleva scored 30 points against Bluefield on Nov. 23, 1996.

-- It marked the first time since Feb. 26, 1976 that a Liberty player has matched or exceeded the opponent's score. That day, Trena Criss (33 points) outscored Roanoke College (22) by herself.

-- It was the most points scored by any Liberty player other than Katie Feenstra or Megan Frazee since Dec. 4, 2004. That day, Kristal Tharp racked up 26 points in the Lady Flames' 77-56 victory over No. 17 Kansas State.

Clamping Down on Defense
Liberty limited Winston-Salem State to 26 points during Friday's season-opening victory. It was the fewest points scored by a Lady Flames opponent since a 79-26 win over Winthrop on Feb. 28, 2005. Liberty has now held four teams below the 30-point mark in 11 seasons under Carey Green.

Tar Heel State Tests
Tuesday's game against UNC Greensboro will be the second of nine contests Liberty plays against teams hailing from North Carolina this season. The Lady Flames, 1-0 against Tar Heel State foes in 2009-10, are also slated to face Gardner-Webb (twice), High Point (twice), North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central and UNC Asheville (twice).

In 2008-09, the Lady Flames were 8-2 versus teams from the state directly to their south, highlighted by a win over Gardner-Webb in the Big South Championship title game.

International Flavor
Freshman Jelena Antic hails from Skopje, Macedonia and sophomore Tolu Omotola was born in London, England, giving Liberty international players on its roster for the 16th consecutive season. The last time the Lady Flames' roster consisted solely of American-born players was the 1993-94 campaign. Every Carey Green-coached team at Liberty has featured at least one international player.

Corralling the Caroms
Liberty has ranked among the nation's top five teams in rebounding margin for six consecutive seasons, including a No. 2 listing in 2008-09. Even though two of the top three rebounders from last year's squad graduated, the Lady Flames got off to a strong start on Friday.

Liberty won the rebounding battle against Winston-Salem State, 39-25, with a trio of players grabbing seven or more boards. Avery Warley paced the Lady Flames with nine rebounds, while Devon Brown and Danika Dale hauled in seven apiece.

Dale Delivers
Liberty head coach Carey Green remarked several times during the preseason that Danika Dale was one of the most improved players on his roster. The 6-1 sophomore from Fort Hood, Texas certainly justified his claim versus Winston-Salem State on Friday.

Dale played the most minutes of any Lady Flames reserve (23), contributing six points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots. Her rebound and blocked shot totals both set new career highs.