Tolu Omotola is shown here blocking a Radford shot attempt during last year's contest at the Dedmon Center. That day, Omotola scored a career-high 19 points during a 66-50 win over the Highlanders.
Game Day Central Page Complete Game Notes Video Streaming Coverage: Big South Network
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Broadcast - Tip-Off 4:30 p.m. at Radford Broadcasting Station: The Light (90.9 FM WWMC) Today's Game Liberty (5-6) will tip off defense of its Big South Conference regular-season title Saturday at 4:30 p.m., when the Lady Flames travel across the Commonwealth to face Radford (6-5).
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines 1) Saturday's game will be the 2011-12 Big South Conference opener for both Liberty and Radford, who are expected to be two of the conference's top women's basketball teams this season. Last year, Liberty won the conference regular-season title at 14-2, while Radford tied Gardner-Webb for second place at 11-5. This season, the Lady Flames have been picked as the conference favorite, while the Highlanders came in third in the Big South preseason poll.
2) Liberty will look for its 11th victory in its last 12 Big South openers in an uncommon conference-opening matchup with Radford. The Lady Flames have not tipped off their Big South slate against the Highlanders since Jan. 13, 2004. That day, Liberty posted a 63-45 win inside the Dedmon Center to mark the beginning of a 14-0 run through the 2003-04 Big South regular-season slate.
3) Liberty has faced Radford more often than any other opponent in program history, with Saturday's matchup marking the 56th meeting between the Commonwealth foes. The Lady Flames are 31-24 all-time against Radford, after going 30-4 in their last 34 contests versus the Highlanders.
4) The Lady Flames have been successful at the Dedmon Center in recent years, winning their last four games at Radford by an average of 16.5 ppg.
5) Liberty redshirt senior Avery Warley needs 13 rebounds to break Katie Feenstra's program record of 1,033 career boards. Warley has traditionally fared well against Radford, with three career double-doubles against the Highlanders. Last season, she averaged 16.5 ppg and 13.5 rpg in two meetings with Radford. Liberty vs. Radford At a Glance Series History Series Record: Liberty leads, 31-24. Current Streak: Liberty won the last meeting. Radford's Last Victory: Radford 62, Liberty 53 (Jan. 17, 2011 at Liberty) Series Record at Radford: Radford leads, 13-12. Current Streak at Radford: Liberty has won four straight meetings. Radford's Last Victory at Radford: Radford 77, Liberty 54 (March 3, 2007) Last Meeting: Liberty 66, Radford 50 (Feb. 19, 2011 at Radford) Last Meeting at Radford: Same
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 291-100 (13th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Radford: 24-4
Radford Head Coach: Tajama Abraham Ngongba Overall Record (Seasons): 36-61 (Fourth Season) Record at Radford (Seasons): Same Record vs. Liberty: 1-6
Notes and Anecdotes -- Radford is the Lady Flames' most commonly-faced opponent in program history, as Saturday's game will mark the teams' 56th meeting.
-- Liberty is 30-4 in its last 34 matchups with the Highlanders, after Radford won 20 of the first 21 contests between the Commonwealth foes.
-- The Lady Flames have been victorious in four consecutive trips to the Dedmon Center, winning the games by an average of 16.5 ppg.
-- Saturday's game will be just the third time Liberty and Radford have ever faced off before the calendar flips to January and the first time since Dec. 10, 1991. That day, the Lady Flames played their first-ever Big South Conference game and came away a 77-70 loser to the Highlanders inside the Dedmon Center.
-- This is the first time Liberty has opened its Big South Conference slate with a contest against Radford since the 2003-04 campaign. The Lady Flames tipped off a perfect 14-0 conference ledger with a 63-45 win at Radford on Jan. 13, 2004.
-- Liberty and Radford both played UNC Greensboro and Virginia during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Both teams defeated the Spartans and lost to the Cavaliers.
-- Liberty and Radford have combined to win 22 of 25 Big South Tournament titles all-time. Liberty vs. the Big South Record vs. Current Conference Members: 252-75 Carey Green's Record vs. Current Conference Members: 170-17 Current Streak: Liberty lost its last meeting. Last Meeting: Gardner-Webb 67, Liberty 66 (March 13, 2011 at High Point) Liberty's Last Victory: Liberty 76, High Point 55 (March 12, 2011 at High Point) Liberty in Big South Openers All-Time Record in Big South Openers: 14-6 Record Breakdown: 6-2 (Home), 8-4 (Away) Carey Green's Record in Big South Openers: 10-2 Record Breakdown: 5-1 (Home), 5-1 (Away) Current Streak: Liberty won its Big South opener in 2010-11 and has won 10 of its last 11 conference openers. Last Year's Big South Opener: Liberty 68, High Point 60 (Jan. 3, 2011 at High Point) Liberty's Last Loss in a Big South Opener: Gardner-Webb 70, Liberty 65 (Jan. 2, 2010 at Gardner-Webb) Notes: This is the third straight year and the fifth year out of the past six that Liberty has opened Big South Conference play away from home.
-- Liberty is 1-1 against Radford in Big South openers. The Lady Flames lost at Radford, 77-70, on Dec. 10, 1991 and posted a 63-45 road win on Jan. 13, 2004. Competing Against the Commonwealth -- Liberty is 2-4 versus Virginia opponents this season, including victories over Virginia Union and Virginia-Wise and losses to VCU, James Madison, Virginia and Richmond.
-- Saturday's game concludes a stretch of three straight contests against in-state opponents to close out the calendar year 2011. The Lady Flames previously hosted Virginia Union on Dec. 15 and traveled to Richmond on Dec. 20.
-- Liberty will not travel outside the Commonwealth of Virginia again until Jan. 14, 2012, when the Lady Flames play a Big South game at Coastal Carolina. Liberty's last game played outside its home state was a matchup against Lipscomb in the consolation contest of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament, Nov. 26 in Nashville, Tenn. A Look Back at Liberty's Loss at Richmond on Dec. 20 -- Liberty cut a 21-point second-half deficit to six, but suffered its third straight road defeat, 66-54.
-- The Lady Flames dropped to 3-20 all-time against Richmond.
-- Liberty outrebounded the Spiders by a 26-19 count after halftime, finishing with a slim 38-37 edge on the glass for the contest. The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle for the 38th straight game.
-- Liberty has now made a three-pointer in all 11 games this season and in 43 straight contests dating back to last season. However, the Lady Flames shot just 5.6 percent (1-of-18) from three-point range at Richmond.
-- The Lady Flames' 15 turnovers were just one off of their season low. Liberty had 14 turnovers against James Madison on Dec. 1.
-- Devon Brown scored 13 of her team-high 17 points during the first half. She passed Cynthia Thomson for 13th place on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 1,061 career points.
-- Meanwhile, Avery Warley tallied 13 of her 16 points after halftime, making all seven of her foul shots after the intermission. Warley catapulted Sharon Snodgrass into seventh place in program history with 1,179 career points.
-- Warley led all players with nine rebounds, giving her 1,021 boards for her career. She needs 13 more rebounds to pass Katie Feenstra for the program record and second place in Big South history.
-- Freshman Catherine Kearney posted all of her statistics (5 points & 3 rebounds) during the second half, helping to spark Liberty's comeback effort.
-- Richmond's Abby Oliver scored a game-high 23 points, including a 10-of-10 effort from the free throw line. That equaled the most foul shots a Liberty opponent has ever made in a single contest without a miss.
Let's Get It Started -- Saturday's contest marks the first time since the 1996-97 season that Liberty has played its Big South Conference opener during the month of December.
-- That year, Liberty notched a 68-67 home win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 16, 1996. Two and a half months later, the Lady Flames captured their first-ever Big South title with an 89-82 triumph over UNC Greensboro on the same court.
-- Big South Conference play begins earlier this season than it has in recent years, due to all 10 conference teams playing an 18-game conference schedule. This is only the second time (also 1993-94) that Big South women's basketball teams have played 18 conference tilts.
-- In 1993-94, Liberty tied Coastal Carolina for sixth place in the Big South regular-season standings with a 10-8 conference mark.
Early Tests -- Liberty, which was picked first in the Big South preseason poll for the 14th time in the last 15 years, will face off with two of its top projected contenders right off the bat in conference play.
-- The Lady Flames open their Big South slate at Radford (No. 3 in the preseason poll) on Saturday and then return home to face No. 2 selection High Point on Jan. 7. The Container is Half Full The Lady Flames are 1-0 this season and are now 79-1 under head coach Carey Green when making at least 50 percent of their field goals.
The Container is Half Empty -- None of Liberty's 11 opponents so far this season have shot 50 percent from the field. No. 12/14 Oklahoma came the closest, shooting 45.6 percent (26-of-57) against the Lady Flames on Nov. 25.
-- The Lady Flames have now kept 33 straight opponents from making 50 percent of their field goals. The last opposing team to do so was No. 17/17 St. John's, which posted a 52.9 (27-of-51) field goal percentage versus Liberty on Dec. 28, 2010.
-- Since the start of the 2007-08 season, only four teams have shot 50 percent against Liberty in 142 games. Milestone Watch Avery Warley is getting close to setting Liberty's career rebounding record, Katie Feenstra's total of 1,033 rebounds.
Warley's Career Rebounding Total: 1,021 rebounds Rebounds Needed to Pass Feenstra: 13 rebounds When Warley Would Break the Record at Her 2011-12 Rebounding Pace (10.9 rpg): Jan. 7, 2012 - Home game vs. High Point When Warley Would Break the Record at Her Career Rebounding Pace (9.3 rpg): Jan. 7, 2012 - Home game vs. High Point
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