Liberty will seek its fifth straight victory and its 13th consecutive home win, Thursday against Bluefield State.
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Broadcast - Tip-Off: 7:05 p.m. vs. Bluefield State Broadcasting Station: The Light (90.9 FM WWMC) Today's Game Liberty (6-3) will begin a stretch of three home games in five days Thursday at 7 p.m., with its first game against Bluefield State (2-2) since Nov. 29, 1984.
The "Starting Five" - Today's Top Storylines 1) Both Liberty and Bluefield State will hope to build upon positive recent results. The Lady Flames have won four consecutive games overall and 12 straight contests inside the Vines Center. Meanwhile, the Lady Blues are coming off of an 84-47 WVIAC victory at Ohio Valley Monday evening.
2) Each team is entering a busy stretch of its schedule. Liberty will play two home games in the next four days following Thursday's tilt. Bluefield State returns home to host the Herb Sims Classic, with games slated for Friday and Saturday.
3) This will be the seventh all-time meeting between Liberty and Bluefield State, but the first since Nov. 29, 1984. The Lady Flames have not defeated the Lady Blues since Nov. 24, 1981.
4) Liberty's defense will try to slow down Bluefield State's high-scoring offense, which is averaging 81.8 ppg. The Lady Flames' opponents are scoring just 60.1 ppg this season, including only 50.8 ppg during Liberty's current four-game winning streak.
5) Liberty redshirt seniors Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola have combined to win the last four Big South Player of the Week awards. Brown, the conference's leading scorer at 18.6 ppg, is the reigning player of the week. Omotola is averaging 16.5 ppg and shooting 73.7 percent from the field during her four home games this season. Liberty vs. Bluefield State At a Glance Series History Series Record: Liberty leads, 4-2 Current Streak: Bluefield State has won the last two meetings. Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 2-1 Current Streak at Liberty: Bluefield State won the last meeting. Last Meeting Overall: Bluefield State 76, Liberty 74 (Nov. 29, 1984 at Liberty) Last Meeting at Liberty: Same Liberty's Last Series Victory: Liberty 88, Bluefield State 77 (Nov. 24, 1981 at Liberty) Liberty's Last Series Victory at Home: Same
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 316-106 (14th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Bluefield State: 0-0
Bluefield State Head Coach: James Oliver Overall Record (Seasons): 12-48 (Third Season) Record at Bluefield State (Seasons): Same Record vs. Liberty: 0-0
Notes and Anecdotes • Bluefield State, an NCAA Division II institution, is classifying Thursday's matchup as an exhibition, but it will count as an official game for Liberty, per NCAA rules.
• Both teams will be busy following Thursday's game. Liberty has home games scheduled Saturday (vs. North Carolina A&T) and Monday (vs. Virginia Union). Meanwhile, the Lady Blues will return home to host the Herb Sims Classic, with games slated for both Friday (vs. West Virginia Tech) and Saturday (vs. Salem International).
• All four of Bluefield State's games this season have been West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) contests. The Lady Blues are off to a 2-2 start in conference play, defeating Pitt-Johnstown (81-79) and Ohio Valley (84-47) and losing to Glenville State (111-93) and Fairmont State (81-69).
• Thursday's game will be the first time Liberty and Bluefield State have met since Nov. 29, 1984. That day, the Lady Blues came away from Liberty Gymnasium with a 76-74 victory, led by Pam Lucado's 22-point, eight-rebound effort. Pam Wilder's 16 points and seven boards paced the Lady Flames.
• Liberty will be seeking its first win over Bluefield State since an 88-77 home triumph on Nov. 24, 1981. In that contest, Robin Potera paced the victors with 24 points, while 2012 inductee into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame Sharon Snodgrass recorded a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds). Liberty vs. the WVIAC Record vs. Current Conference Members: 13-13 Carey Green's Record vs. Current Conference Members: 4-0 Current Streak: Liberty has won the last four meetings. Last Meeting: Liberty 116, Glenville State 65 (Dec. 10, 2011 at Liberty) WVIAC's Last Victory: Pitt-Johnstown 100, Liberty 76 (Feb. 5, 1988 at Pitt-Johnstown) Note: Pitt-Johnstown and Liberty were both Mason-Dixon Conference members at the time. On Fire at the Furnace Liberty has won 12 consecutive home games, which is the Lady Flames' longest home winning streak since the team posted 12 straight wins at the Vines Center between Dec. 13, 2008 and Nov. 17, 2009.
• The current home winning streak is tied for the fifth-longest in program history. The Lady Flames are halfway to their school-record home winning streak of 24 contests, which spanned Dec. 21, 2002 and Nov. 19, 2004. Hauling in the Hardware After Liberty failed to win a single Big South Player of the Week award in 2011-12, the Lady Flames have now won the honor four consecutive weeks. Tolu Omotola was recognized on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, while fellow redshirt senior Devon Brown has been honored on Nov. 26 and Dec. 10. Liberty had not won the award four straight times since Jan. 5 through 26, 2004, when Katie Feenstra earned four Big South Player of the Week nods in succession. A Look Back at Liberty's Win Over UNCW • Liberty recorded its fourth straight win overall and its 12th consecutive victory at the Vines Center Saturday evening with an 84-34 triumph over UNCW.
• The Lady Flames' second win over a CAA opponent in five days came in Liberty's first-ever contest against the Seahawks.
• Liberty's 50-point margin of victory was its largest since a 116-65 win over Glenville State on Dec. 10, 2011. It was the first time the Lady Flames have defeated a Division I opponent by 50 points since a 99-42 home decision over Charleston Southern on Feb. 18, 2008.
• The Lady Flames equaled the most three-pointers they have ever hit at the Vines Center with 11 triples. Liberty shot 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three-point range, led by three triples apiece from Devon Brown and Reagan Miller.
• Liberty limited UNCW to just eight second-half points on 4.0 percent (1-of-25) field goal shooting, as the Lady Flames outscored their opponent, 46-8, after halftime. The Seahawks had not scored as few as 34 points in a game since Feb. 15, 2001.
• The Lady Flames dominated the area around the basket, defeating UNCW in rebounds (50-29), points in the paint (40-10) and second-chance points (19-0).
• For the third straight game, Liberty set a season low for turnovers (12).
• Tolu Omotola paced four Lady Flames in double figures with 18 points.
• Reagan Miller scored a season-high 11 points, while Ashley Rininger tied her career high with a game-best 10 rebounds.
Bombs Away! Liberty's 11 three-pointers against UNCW on Saturday equaled the most triples the Lady Flames have ever hit during a game at the Vines Center. Six different players connected from long distance, led by three triples apiece from Devon Brown and Reagan Miller.
• The Lady Flames are guaranteed to play at least 30 games this season. At their current pace, Liberty would make 160 out of 537 three-point attempts in 30 games. The program single-season records stand at 147 three-pointers made (2001-02) and 453 triples attempted (1998-99).
• Eight different players have made three-pointers for Liberty this season, topped by Devon Brown's 14 connections from beyond the arc.
Fun at the Free Throw Line Liberty has been quite successful at the free throw line this season, making 72.6 percent of their free throws this season. The program single-season record is 72.8 percent, set by the 2007-08 squad.
• Reagan Miller has connected on nine straight free throws to start the season. No other Lady Flame had made nine consecutive foul shots to open a year since Moriah Frazee connnected on her first 14 charity tosses of the 2005-06 campaign.
Speed Limit 65 Liberty has scored 65 or more points in five of its six victories this season, continuing a recent trend.
• The Lady Flames have won 12 straight games when reaching the 65-point mark, dating back to last season. Liberty is also 21-1 the last 22 times it has tallied 65 or more points.
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