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Lady Flames' Home Opener Set for Tuesday

November 15, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sophomore Jelena Antic is Liberty's leading scorer through two games, averaging 11.5 points per contest.

Sophomore Jelena Antic is Liberty's leading scorer through two games, averaging 11.5 points per contest.

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The Game

Liberty (0-2, 0-0 Big South) will tip off its 2010-11 home schedule Tuesday at 7 p.m., when Commonwealth foe Virginia Union (0-2, 0-0 CIAA) visits the Vines Center. The Lady Flames are 9-2 in home openers under Carey Green and have won all four meetings with the Panthers. This is the first of Liberty's six scheduled games versus in-state opponents this season.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Tuesday's game will be video streamed live on the Big South Network for a small fee. Please see the appropriate link at the top of this page.

Jamie Hall will broadcast the game on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." His broadcast will also be streamed over the Internet and is accessible by clicking the link at the top of this page.

Finally, live stats will be available for Tuesday's contest, with the link appearing above.

Last Time Out
Liberty dropped its second straight tight game to open the 2010-11 season, Saturday at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. College of Charleston's Tonia Gerty nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer with just 5.1 seconds remaining, lifting the Cougars to a 49-46 triumph. Jelena Antic scored a team-high 16 points in the defeat and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

A Look Ahead
The Lady Flames will wrap up a quick, two-game homestand Saturday at noon, with a matchup against Lafayette at the Vines Center. Liberty posted a 90-55 victory at Lafayette last season, in the teams' first-ever meeting on the hardwood. The contest will start a busy day of athletics on the Liberty campus, which also features a home football game against Big South foe Stony Brook at 3:30 p.m.

Scouting Virginia Union
The Virginia Union Panthers, picked to finish fifth in the CIAA North Division, opened the year with a pair of setbacks at the CIAA-WVIAC Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth City State. The Panthers fell to Glenville State (who will visit the Vines Center on Nov. 30), 102-70, and dropped a 79-62 decision to West Virginia State.

Virginia Union had players come off the bench to score 20 points in both contests. Kara Scott a, 5-7 junior forward, tallied 20 points versus Glenville State. Valentina Wheeler, a 5-8 junior guard, then posted 22 points in the West Virginia State contest.

Liberty will have a definite size advantage in Tuesday's matchup, boasting nine players who stand 6-0 or taller. Meanwhile, the Panthers have only two such players, 6-2 junior center Lillian Ike and 6-0 senior forward/center Tiffany Clarke.

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his 12th season with the Lady Flames, and has led his team to 10 Big South titles. A five-time Big South Coach of the Year, Green owns a 264-85 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 10th all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset.

Barvenia Wooten-Collier is 0-2 to start her first season as head coach at her alma mater. One of the best players in program history, Wooten-Collier led Virginia Union to the NCAA Division II national championship in 1983 and earned All-America honors. She was the head coach at Prince George's Community College in Maryland, prior to returning to Virginia Union this season.

Liberty-Virginia Union Series Notes
Liberty is 4-0 all-time versus Virginia Union, including 2-0 in home openers. The Lady Flames opened the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons with victories over the Panthers at the Vines Center. All four Liberty-Virginia Union tilts have been played in Lynchburg.

The teams' most recent meeting, Nov. 30, 2007 at the Vines Center, resulted in a 100-29 victory for the Lady Flames. It is the only game in Carey Green's 12 seasons at Liberty where the Lady Flames have reached 100 points.

Five Liberty players scored in double figures, led by Moriah Frazee's 18 points. Current Lady Flames Rachel McLeod (7 points) and Kittery Maine (4 points) saw action that day, with Maine scoring Liberty's final hoop. The Panthers were paced by Ciara Alston and Dashia Chandler, who finished with seven points apiece.

Liberty Versus the CIAA
Liberty is 7-6 versus the current members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), including a 7-0 mark since the Lady Flames became a Division I program in 1988-89. The Lady Flames are 0-1 versus Bowie State, 1-2 versus St. Paul's, 0-3 versus Virginia State, 4-0 versus Virginia Union and 2-0 versus Winston-Salem State.

Liberty's most recent matchup with a current CIAA foe came in the 2009-10 season opener. The Lady Flames recorded a 71-26 win over Winston-Salem State, not in the CIAA at the time, at the Vines Center. Devon Brown led the way with 26 points.

No Place Like Home
Liberty is 9-2 in home openers under Carey Green, including a 71-26 victory over Winston-Salem State in its first home tilt a season ago. The contest, played Nov. 13, 2009 at the Vines Center, marked a successful collegiate debut for Devon Brown. She scored 26 points, matching Winston-Salem State's total by herself.

Eight of Liberty's nine home-opening victories under Green have come by 19 points or more. That figure includes wins over Virginia Union in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 home openers.

Turning Up the Heat in the Furnace
The 2010-11 campaign is the 19th season the Liberty women's basketball team has called the Vines Center its full-time home. The "Furnace" has served as a favorable venue for the Lady Flames over the years. Liberty is 201-53 (.791) all-time at the Vines Center, including 13-2 last season.

The Lady Flames are 109-11 in their last 120 home games, dating back to the 2001-02 season. This year, Liberty will play 11 contests inside the Vines Center.

Nifty in November
Liberty is 63-39 all-time during the month of November, and the Lady Flames have gone 28-21 during the calendar year's 11th month with Carey Green as head coach. Last season, the Lady Flames went 5-0 in November. The perfect month was highlighted by winning the Navy Classic championship.

This year, Liberty has seven November games on the schedule, including road tilts at preseason top 10 teams Texas A&M (11/22) and Baylor (11/26). The Lady Flames are 0-2 to start the month, after suffering two losses by a combined eight points at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. over the weekend.

Competing Against the Commonwealth
Tuesday's game will mark the first of Liberty's six scheduled contests versus Virginia opponents this season. Last year, the Lady Flames went 4-2 versus in-state opponents, including a trio of wins over Radford.

Liberty's other Commonwealth clashes in 2010-11 include a home game against Radford (Jan. 17) and road trips to James Madison (Dec. 5), VCU (Dec. 21), Longwood (Jan. 14) and Radford (Feb. 19).

Unfamiliar Territory
The Lady Flames are 0-2 to start the season for the first time since 2000-01, which was Carey Green's second year at the helm. Liberty has not started 0-3 since 1993-94. That year, the Lady Flames dropped seven straight contests to open the season.

Tough Time in Tight Games
Liberty lost two close games at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, falling by a 40-35 score to Creighton and dropping a 49-46 contest to College of Charleston. The Lady Flames only had four games decided by five points or fewer last season, going 2-2 in close contests. Most notably, Liberty won the 2010 Big South Championship title game by two points (70-68) over Gardner-Webb.

A Feast of Firsts
Numerous Liberty players experienced notable "firsts" against Creighton on Friday.

-- Emily Frazier and Jasmine Gardner both played their first collegiate games.

-- Tolu Omotola made her first appearance as a Lady Flame.

-- Omotola and Dymond Morgan made their first starts at Liberty.

-- Brittany Campbell returned to the court for the first time since a Dec. 2, 2008 game at James Madison.

Welcome Back
Only one player, senior point guard Amber Mays, graduated from the 2009-10 Liberty team. As a result, the Lady Flames return 87.5 percent of their scoring and 95.7 percent of their rebounding from a year ago.

Welcome Back, Part 2
Both redshirt sophomore guard/forward Brittany Campbell and redshirt junior forward/center Kittery Maine missed the entire 2009-10 campaign due to knee injuries. Campbell had not appeared in a game since Dec. 2, 2008 at James Madison, before checking in during the second half of Friday's game against Creighton.

Meanwhile, Maine's most recent contest was March 22, 2009, Liberty's NCAA Tournament first-round game versus Louisville. She has not yet made her 2010-11 season debut.

Amazing Antic
Sophomore guard/forward Jelena Antic was named to the all-tournament team at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, after averaging a team-high 11.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 3.0 spg.

Antic was at her best during the late stages of both contests. She scored Liberty's final six points against Creighton on Friday and tallied seven of the Lady Flames' last nine markers versus College of Charleston on Saturday.

Breaking the Trend
Liberty had won 28 consecutive games when holding its opponent below 50 points, prior to last weekend. Then, both Creighton and College of Charleston defeated the Lady Flames despite scoring fewer than 50 points.

Back-and-Forth Battles
Liberty's games against Creighton and College of Charleston at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational were closely contested throughout. The two games featured 17 ties and 30 lead changes and were decided by a total of eight points.

Liberty never led by more than four points in either game, but the Lady Flames never trailed by more than six.

Wanted for Theft
Last season, Liberty ranked No. 14 nationally in steals per game (11.4 spg) and tied the program record with 377 steals.

The Lady Flames have also been active on the defensive end during the first two games of the 2010-11 campaign, averaging 13.5 steals per contest. Jelena Antic and Emily Frazier were Liberty's chief thiefs, each coming up with six steals on the weekend.