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WBB Game Day Central: Lafayette

November 25, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Kylee Beecher and the 4-0 Lady Flames will play a non-conference contest at Lafayette Saturday at 1 p.m.

Kylee Beecher and the 4-0 Lady Flames will play a non-conference contest at Lafayette Saturday at 1 p.m.

Complete Game Notes (PDF format)

Live Video Streaming (Lafayette Sports Network)

Live WWMC Radio Broadcast

Live Stats

Lafayette Women's Basketball Webpage

The Game
The Liberty Lady Flames (4-0, 0-0 Big South) will play their second straight road game against a Patriot League opponent, Saturday at 1 p.m. Liberty will travel to Lafayette (1-4, 0-0 Patriot) for its first-ever matchup against the Leopards, a team which is trying to snap a three-game losing streak.

Last Time Out
Liberty won the Navy Classic championship on Nov. 21, after coming back from a 20-4 deficit to defeat host Navy. Championship Game All-Star Devon Brown scored 14 of her game-high 19 points during the second half for the Lady Flames, and also added 11 rebounds and five steals.

On Deck
Liberty will return to the Vines Center for its next two games. The quick homestand begins Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., with a contest against undefeated Commonwealth foe James Madison.

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 Lafayette
The 1-4 Lafayette Leopards enter Saturday's contest on a three-game losing streak, after dropping a 58-38 home decision to St. Bonaventure Tuesday. Lafayette's lone victory this season was a 58-55 win at Monmouth on Nov. 16.

LaKeisha Wright, a 5-11 junior guard/forward, leads the Leopards with 10.0 ppg. Amanda Smith, a 6-3 senior center, pulls down a team-best 4.4 rpg.

Last season, Lafayette finished 10-22 but made an improbable run to the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament as the No. 7 seed. However, archrival Lehigh defeated the Leopards in the title contest, 64-56.

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 241-77 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.758) ranked ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.

Tammy Smith is 42-163 in her ninth season as Lafayette's head coach. In 17 total years as a collegiate head coach, which also includes eight seasons at Muhlenberg, Smith's record is 165-253.

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

Liberty Versus the Patriot League
After defeating Navy in the championship game of the Navy Classic on Nov. 21, the Lady Flames improved to 6-8 all-time versus current members of the Patriot League.

Liberty is 4-4 all-time against American, the newest conference member, and 2-4 versus Navy.

Meeting at Last
Liberty has never faced Lafayette in women's basketball, but the Lady Flames have competed at the same tournament as the Leopards three times in the last seven seasons.

On Dec. 29-30, 2003, the Lady Flames traveled to the Kirby Sports Center for the Lafayette Holiday Tournament. Liberty won the tournament title, but did not face the host Leopards at the event. The Lady Flames' victories came against Loyola (Md.) and Cornell.

Last season, Liberty and Lafayette were a part of the same four-team Preseason WNIT consolation bracket at Western Carolina, Nov. 21-22, 2008. However, the Lady Flames and Leopards did not meet, because Liberty defeated UC Riverside in its opening contest, while Lafayette fell to Western Carolina.

The Lady Flames and Leopards were both part of the 2008 Hokie Hardwood Classic as well, at Virginia Tech's Cassell Coliseum, Dec. 29-30. Liberty won the tournament title, after defeating the other two tournament participants, North Carolina A&T and Virginia Tech.

Tournament Success
Liberty's Navy Classic championship was the Lady Flames' fourth regular-season tournament title in the last three seasons. The Lady Flames have also captured the National City Xavier Invitational, UNLV Lady Rebel Christmas Classic and Hokie Hardwood Classic championships in recent years.

Welcome Back to the Keystone State
Saturday's game will be the Lady Flames' first contest in Pennsylvania since the 2004 NCAA Tournament. That year, the Lady Flames played Georgia at Temple's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, March 20, 2004. The Bulldogs defeated Liberty in the first round, 78-53.

Nifty in November
Liberty is 62-37 all-time during the month of November, and the Lady Flames have gone 27-19 during the year's 11th month with Carey Green as head coach. Last season, the Lady Flames struggled during the opening month of the season, going 1-4. Liberty's lone November win in 2008-09 was notable, as a 45-44, buzzer-beating triumph over UC Riverside on Nov. 21 marked the first Preseason WNIT victory in program history.

In 2009-10, the Lady Flames are 4-0 in November. If Liberty defeats Lafayette on Saturday, it will wrap up the Lady Flames' first unbeaten November since 2002-03. That season, Liberty went 3-0 during the month, including a 77-69 overtime win over No. 25 Virginia at the Vines Center on Nov. 26, 2002.

First Since Frazee
After averaging 21.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg during Liberty's 3-0 week, Devon Brown was honored as Big South Player of the Week on Tuesday. She became the first Lady Flames freshman to win the award since Megan Frazee captured it twice during her rookie season (Dec. 5, 2005 & Jan. 16, 2006).

Battling the Unbeatens
Liberty has opened the 2009-10 season by facing four consecutive unbeaten teams, including Winston-Salem State, UNC Greensboro, Tulane and 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 four games, Liberty has outscored its opponents by the wide margin of 138-52 in the paint.

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 one of the top 50 rebounders in program history, just four games into her sophomore season. She ranks No. 49 all-time, with 289 rebounds.

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 a Big South-leading average of 11.8 steals, through the year's first four games.

As expected, senior point guard Amber Mays is the Lady Flames' chief thief so far, with 13 steals. She recorded a team-high 68 steals a year ago. Mays is also getting considerable assistance from Devon Brown (9 steals) and Danika Dale (7).

Setting the Tone Early
Liberty shut down its first three opponents at the defensive end, immediately from the opening tipoff. During the first 10 minutes of each game, the Lady Flames only yielded a total of five made field goals. This defensive pressure enabled Liberty to start the game with a 13-0 lead over Winston-Salem State, a 16-4 advantage against UNC Greensboro, and a 24-4 lead versus Tulane.

Furious Comeback
The Lady Flames fell behind Navy, 20-4, 7:56 into the Navy Classic championship game on Nov. 21. Liberty then outscored the host Midshipmen, 51-23, during the remainder of the game to claim an improbable 55-43 victory.

Making Them When it Counts
Liberty ranks only sixth in the Big South Conference with a .608 team free throw percentage. However, the Lady Flames came through in the clutch against Navy on Nov. 21. Hanging onto a five-point lead with one minute remaining, Devon Brown and Amber Mays combined to sink seven-of-nine free throws to seal Liberty's 55-43 victory.