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WBB Game Day Central: Navy Classic

November 19, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Danika Dale and the Lady Flames will play a pair of games at the Navy Classic, Friday and Saturday.

Danika Dale and the Lady Flames will play a pair of games at the Navy Classic, Friday and Saturday.

Complete Tournament Notes (PDF format)

Live Video for Liberty-Navy Game

Live WWMC Radio Broadcasts

Live Stats for Liberty-Navy game

Navy Women's Basketball Webpage

Tulane Women's Basketball Webpage

Loyola (Md.) Women's Basketball Webpage

The Games
After winning a pair of home games to tip off the 2009-10 season, the Liberty Lady Flames (2-0, 0-0 Big South) will take to the road for the first time this year. The first of two regular-season tournaments on this year's schedule, the Navy Classic, will be contested at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md., Friday and Saturday. Interestingly, all four participating teams enter the event with unbeaten records.

Liberty will open the tournament Friday at 4:45 p.m., with the Lady Flames' first-ever contest against Tulane (1-0, 0-0 Conference USA). The other two participants, Loyola (Md.) (2-0, 0-0 MAAC) and host Navy (3-0, 0-0 Patriot), will follow with the second semifinal at 7. The two losing teams will face off Saturday at 4:45 p.m., with the championship game following at 7 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.

Scouting Tulane
The Tulane Green Wave return three starters from last year's team, which went 18-14 and finished sixth in the final Conference USA standings. Highlighting the returnees is 6-1 junior forward Brittany Lindsey, Tulane's leading scorer in 2008-09 at 11.8 ppg. Brett Benzio, a 6-3 sophomore, averaged a team-high 9.3 rpg as a freshman, ranking second nationally among rookies.

Tulane opened the 2009-10 campaign with a convincing 86-52 home win over Louisiana-Monroe last Friday. Chassity Brown, a 5-7 senior guard, paced the Green Wave with 22 points, while Benzio crafted a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds). Four of Tulane's starters reached double figures in the scoring column, with 5-10 senior guard Indira Kaljo (15 points) and Lindsey (14 points) joining Brown and Benzio.

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 239-77 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.756) ranked ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.

Lisa Stockton is beginning her 16th season as Tulane's head coach and her 19th season overall as a collegiate head coach. She is 301-155 with the Green Wave and 364-182 overall. Stockton has led Tulane to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1995-2003) and was tabbed 2006-07 Conference USA Coach of the Year.

Liberty-Tulane Series Notes
Friday's game will be the first-ever matchup between Liberty and Tulane on the basketball hardwood.

Liberty Versus Conference USA
Liberty is 3-4 versus the current Conference USA members. However, the Lady Flames have won three straight games against C-USA foes. LU is 1-0 against Houston, 0-3 against Marshall, 1-0 against SMU, 1-0 against Southern Miss and 0-1 against UCF.

Liberty's most recent game versus a Conference USA opponent was a neutral matchup with Houston at the 2007 National City Xavier Invitational. Both Megan (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Moriah Frazee (16 points, 11 rebounds) tallied double-doubles during the Lady Flames' 70-61 triumph at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Big (Not So) Easy
Tulane hails from New Orleans, La., a city nicknamed "The Big Easy." The last time Liberty matched up with a team from New Orleans, the contest was anything but easy, and turned into one of the most memorable games in program history.

The Lady Flames trailed homestanding New Orleans, 73-71, with just 4.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Jan. 5, 1998. Sharon Wilkerson then nailed a game-winning three-pointer as the buzzer sounded, giving Liberty a dramatic, 74-73 win and keeping the Lady Flames unbeaten. Liberty later entered the 1998 NCAA Tournament with a 28-0 record.

Scouting Loyola (Md.)
The Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds won only 10 games a season ago, and were picked to finish seventh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). However, the Greyhounds have tipped off the 2009-10 campaign with back-to-back wins over La Salle and Army.

Miriam McKenzie, a 5-10 sophomore guard, entered the year with a career-high of only 11 points. She has scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, to lead Loyola in each of its first two games. She completed a double-double with 10 boards against Army.

Kaitlin Grant, the Greyhounds' only senior, chips in with 17.5 ppg. She is a 6-0 guard and was named to the MAAC preseason all-conference roster.

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 239-77 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.756) ranked ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset. Green is 3-0 all-time versus Loyola (Md.).

Joe Logan, a 1996 Loyola graduate, is 63-59 in his fifth season as his alma mater's head coach. He guided the Greyhounds to 38 wins during his first two years at the helm and was recognized as the 2006-07 MAAC Coach of the Year.

Liberty-Loyola (Md.) Series Notes
Liberty is 3-0 all-time versus Loyola, with all three meetings coming in the span of 25 months, between December 2003 and January 2006. The Lady Flames won the trio of matchups by an average of 8.7 ppg.

Most recently, the Greyhounds visited the Vines Center on Jan. 10, 2006. The Lady Flames' Megan Frazee led all players in both points (24) and rebounds (13), notching the eighth double-double of her freshman season.

This is the second time Liberty and Loyola are competing in the same tournament at a Patriot League gymnasium. On Dec. 29, 2003, the two teams faced off for the first time in the opening round of the Lafayette Holiday Tournament, with the Lady Flames coming out on top, 70-62. The following day, Liberty edged Cornell by a 65-63 margin to claim the tournament title.

Liberty Versus the MAAC
Liberty has played nine games against the current members of the MAAC, going 5-4. The Lady Flames are 1-1 against Canisius, 3-0 against Loyola (Md.), 0-1 against Manhattan, 0-1 against Marist and 1-1 against St. Peter's.

Liberty's most recent MAAC contest came during the opening round of the 2006 Terrapin Classic at Maryland's Comcast Center. Marist, which has won four consecutive MAAC titles, defeated the Lady Flames, 76-43, that afternoon. The Red Foxes shot exactly 50 percent (24-of-48) from the field and are still the last team to make half of their shots against the Lady Flames.

Scouting Navy
At 3-0, the Navy Midshipmen are off to their best start to a season since the 1997-98 team opened the year with five consecutive victories. Included among Navy's victories is a 70-67 overtime win over Big South Conference co-favorite High Point, Nov. 13 at the Elon Phoenix Classic.

Four Midshipmen are averaging 10 or more points per game, including Cassie Consedine (14.3 ppg), Jasmine Pitts (12.7 ppg), Angela Myers (11.3 ppg) and K.C. Gordon (10.7 ppg). Consedine, a 6-3 junior center, also leads Navy with 8.3 rpg. Pitts, a 5-6 guard, was named the initial Patriot League Rookie of the Week this season.

No lead has been safe against Navy this season. The Midshipmen erased a 23-point first-half deficit to beat Elon 68-61 on Nov. 14 and came back from eight points down in the second half, Nov. 16 at Ohio in a 55-51 victory.

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 239-77 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.756) ranked ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.

Navy is coached by Stefanie Pemper, who is 19-15 in her second year on the Midshipmen bench. Last season, the Midshipmen enjoyed a nine-win improvement from the 2007-08 campaign under Pemper's guidance. She opened her coaching career with 10 seasons at Bowdoin, going 235-48 with the Polar Bears.

Liberty-Navy Series Notes
Navy owns a 4-1 edge in the all-time head-to-head series against Liberty, which has been dormant since the 1995-96 campaign. That year, the Midshipmen recorded a 55-47 win at the Vines Center on Dec. 2, 1995 in the championship game of the Lady Flames Classic.

Liberty has lost four straight games to Navy, since posting a 90-86 overtime win in Annapolis on Dec. 9, 1983. The victory came during a 7-1 start to the 1983-84 season under head coach Linda Farver.

Liberty Versus the Patriot League
Liberty has played only eight games against current Patriot League members, and all eight outings have come against the conference's newest member, American. The Lady Flames and Eagles are 4-4 against one another.

The Lady Flames' last game against a Patriot League foe was a 73-42 decision over American, Jan. 2, 2007 at the Vines Center. Megan Frazee paced Liberty's balanced attack with 13 points, and the Lady Flames shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor.

Liberty will play inside a Patriot League facility for the second weekend in a row, when the Lady Flames travel to Lafayette on Nov. 28 for their first-ever meeting with the Leopards.

First Road Trip
This weekend, Liberty will venture away from Lynchburg for the first time this season, after opening the year with a pair of home games at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames have won their first road/neutral contest of the season in each of the past three years, including a 61-56 triumph at George Mason (11/14/06), a 62-44 win at UNC Greensboro (11/13/07) and a 45-44 Preseason WNIT win over UC Riverside at Western Carolina (11/21/08).

Memorable Encore
Devon Brown backed up her stellar season-opening performance with another 26-point outing, Tuesday versus UNC Greensboro. The Waynesboro, Va., native led all players in both points and rebounds (9), helping the Lady Flames claim a 60-42 victory over the Spartans.

Brown's 52 points are the most any Lady Flame has ever scored in her first two career games. The record previously belonged to the program's all-time leading scorer, Elena Kisseleva. She notched 49 points in her first two Liberty contests to begin the 1996-97 season.

Battling the Unbeatens
Tulane (1-0) will be the third consecutive unbeaten team Liberty has faced to start the season, following Winston-Salem State (0-0) and UNC Greensboro (1-0). If the Lady Flames defeat the Green Wave, they will then face either undefeated Loyola or Navy.

Painting a Masterpiece
Last season, Liberty regularly controlled the area around the basket, outscoring 29 of 33 opponents in the "points in the paint" statistical category.

This year, the Lady Flames are off to an outstanding start in racking up "points in the paint" once again. Through two games, Liberty has outscored its opponents by the wide margin of 78-22 in the paint.

Same Number, New Face
It may take a few games for Liberty fans to get used to seeing a new player wearing the No. 40 uniform, after Megan Frazee donned the number for the last four seasons. Among many other accomplishments and accolades, Frazee graduated as the No. 2 scorer (1,883 points) and No. 3 rebounder (951 rebounds) in program history, leaving some very big shoes to fill.

Liberty's new No. 40, Devon Brown, has worn the number proudly so far. The redshirt freshman from Waynesboro, Va., has scored 26 points in each of her first two collegiate games and is also averaging 8.0 rebounds per outing.

Windex Warley
Avery Warley immediately endeared herself to head coach Carey Green last season as a redshirt freshman, by virtue of her exceptional rebounding ability. The Washington, D.C., native finished her rookie season with 256 rebounds, which ranks second among freshmen in program history (behind Cheri Yates' 267 rebounds in 1988-89). Warley is already just 16 boards away from becoming one of the top 50 career rebounders ever at Liberty, after tallying 16 rebounds in her first two games as a redshirt sophomore.

Wanted for Theft
The Lady Flames ranked only sixth in the Big South Conference in steals during the 2008-09 season, averaging 7.9 steals per contest. This season, an active, aggressive Liberty defense has produced an average of 14.5 steals, through the year's first two games.

As expected, senior point guard Amber Mays is the Lady Flames' chief thief so far, with 10 steals. She recorded a team-high 68 steals a year ago. Mays is also getting considerable assistance from freshman LaKendra Washington (6 steals) and sophomore Danika Dale (5 steals).

Setting the Tone Early
Liberty has put the clamps on its first two opponents at the defensive end, immediately from the opening tipoff. During the first 10 minutes of each game, the Lady Flames have only yielded a total of three made field goals. This defensive pressure enabled Liberty to start the game with a 13-0 lead over Winston-Salem State and a 16-4 advantage against UNC Greensboro.

Tournament Hardware
The Lady Flames have thrived in regular-season tournaments during the last two seasons, winning titles at Xavier and UNLV in 2007-08 and Virginia Tech last season.