Game Day Central Page Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes Game Time: 5:15 p.m. Eastern Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio WQLU 90.9 FM The Light Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall Tournament at a Glance Liberty (2-2) will face a pair of talented opponents at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas. The Lady Flames will play No. 11/14 Ohio State (2-2) Friday at 5:15 p.m. Eastern and meet No. 16/15 California (4-0) Saturday at 5:15 p.m. Eastern.
The Lady Flames enter Las Vegas looking to snap a two-game losing streak and seeking their first win over a Top 25 opponent since March 22, 2005.
Liberty is 0-1 all-time against Ohio State and 2-4 versus Big Ten opposition, with both victories coming against Penn State.
The Lady Flames, who have never faced Cal on the hardwood, are 0-2 all-time when facing Pac-12 squads. Liberty won the 2007 Lady Rebel Christmas Classic during its only previous visit to Las Vegas, defeating Ball State and host UNLV.
Liberty has been led by Big South Preseason Player of the Year Ashley Rininger (15.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Preseason All-Big South second team selection Sadalia Ellis (14.5 ppg). Liberty vs. Ohio State At a Glance Series History Series Record: Ohio State leads, 1-0. Previous Meeting: Ohio State 66, Liberty 51 (Jan. 9, 2005 at Ohio State)
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 385-130 (17th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Ohio State: 0-1
Ohio State Head Coach: Kevin McGuff Overall Record (Seasons): 298-130 (14th Season) Record at Ohio State (Seasons): 43-31 (Third Season) Record vs. Liberty: 0-1
Notes and Anecdotes • The only previous meeting between Liberty and Ohio State came on Jan. 9, 2005 at Value City Arena in Columbus. The Buckeyes posted a 66-51 victory, led by Caity Matter's 17 points. Katie Feenstra (17 points, 11 rebounds) fashioned a double-double for the Lady Flames. Both teams went on to reach the Sweet 16 of that season's NCAA Tournament.
• If Liberty would have defeated North Carolina in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Buckeyes would have awaited them in round two.
• Liberty is 2-4 all-time against Big Ten opponents, with both wins coming over Penn State (2005 NCAA Tournament first round and Nov. 28, 2014).
• Ohio State is 4-0 all-time versus Big South foes, with its most recent Big South matchup resulting in a 66-52 home win over Winthrop on Dec. 7, 2014.
• Ohio State Head Coach Kevin McGuff is 0-1 all-time against Liberty. Paced by Megan Frazee's 28 points and 10 rebounds, the Lady Flames defeated his Xavier squad by a 61-56 count on Nov. 25, 2007 to win the National City Xavier Invitational title.
• Picked to finish second in the Big Ten after going 24-11 in 2014-15, Ohio State dropped its first two games of the season to then No. 2/2 South Carolina and No. 1/1 UConn. The Buckeyes then responded with blowout victories over Belmont and Wagner to even their record at 2-2.
• Sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell leads the way for the Buckeyes. Last season, she became the first freshman ever to lead the nation in scoring (24.9 ppg) and hit an NCAA single-season record 127 three-pointers. Mitchell has picked up where she left off this season, averaging 23.3 ppg and sinking 15 triples during Ohio State's first four games. Liberty has made 15 three-pointers as a team through four contests this season. On This Date Liberty is 4-1 all-time on both Nov. 27 and 28. The Lady Flames' first win as a Division I program came in an 83-56 triumph over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 27, 1988 at the VCU Thanksgiving Tournament. Last season, Liberty recorded its second all-time victory over a Big Ten opponent with an 80-68 victory over Penn State on Nov. 28, 2014 at the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament in Atlanta.
Liberty Versus the Top 25 Liberty has recorded four victories over Top 25 opponents all-time. Its last win over a Top 25 foe was an 88-79 triumph over No. 16/16 DePaul in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament (March 22, 2005). That also marked the highest-ranked team Liberty has ever defeated.
Liberty in Las Vegas The Lady Flames were successful during their only previous visit to Las Vegas (Dec. 20-21, 2007), capturing the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic championship at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. Megan Frazee was named tournament MVP as Liberty defeated Ball State (68-56) and host UNLV (70-68).
Tournament Time Last season, Liberty won the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament title with victories over Penn State (80-68) and host Georgia State (73-71), Nov. 28 & 30, 2014. It marked the Lady Flames' first regular-season tournament championship since the 2009 Navy Classic.
Comeback Kids Liberty has proven to be a resilient squad during the early stages of the 2015-16 season. The Lady Flames erased an eight-point halftime deficit to post a 72-63 win over Elon on Nov. 16. Four days later, they cut NC State's 16-point lead to three before the comeback fell just short. Most recently, Liberty whittled a 25-point deficit to 11 at James Madison on Monday.
No Easy Games Liberty's first four opponents this season have boasted a combined record of 6-1 at the time of the meeting. Things do not get any easier for the Lady Flames for the foreseeable future. Contests against No. 11/14 Ohio State (Friday), No. 16/15 California (Saturday), unbeaten Gardner-Webb (Wednesday), No. 25 Seton Hall (Dec. 12) and No. 15/12 Duke (Dec. 17) loom within Liberty's next six outings.
Road Warriors After departing Lynchburg Wednesday morning, the Lady Flames will not return home until the wee hours of Dec. 3. During that time, Liberty will be in Las Vegas for the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout on Friday and Saturday before heading to Boiling Springs, N.C., for its Big South opener against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 2. The Lady Flames, who are 1-1 on the road to start the 2015-16 season, have recorded 10 or more road wins during five of the last six years. Liberty is 60-29 (.674) in true road games since the start of the 2009-10 season. A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 72-56 Loss at James Madison • CAA Preseason Player of the Year Jazmon Gwathmey scored a career-high 33 points for James Madison on Monday, including 16 during a 33-8 game-opening run by the Dukes.
• Liberty could not recover and suffered a 72-56 setback inside the JMU Convocation Center.
• The Lady Flames fell to 2-2 after suffering their second straight setback and seeing their 10-game winning streak against in-state opponents snapped.
• Liberty was outrebounded (35-30) for the first time in 26 games and shot only 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the free throw line.
• One bright spot for Liberty was the play of its bench, which outscored JMU's reserves, 28-13. Katelyn Adams' season-high 10 points and team-high four rebounds paced the Lady Flames' bench effort.
• Fellow redshirt senior post player Ashley Rininger led the Lady Flames with 12 points, moving into ninth place in program history with 1,172 career tallies.
• The game marked Liberty's first double-digit setback since a Dec. 21, 2014 loss to then No. 1/1 South Carolina.
It's Been a While • Monday's 72-56 defeat at James Madison marked the first time Liberty has lost a game by 10 points or more since an 84-44 setback against then No. 1/1 South Carolina on Dec. 21, 2014.
• James Madison won the rebounding battle, 35-30, ending the Lady Flames' streak of 25 straight games outrebounding their opponents. The last time Liberty had been outrebounded was Dec. 21, 2014 versus South Carolina.
• Liberty has held 68 consecutive opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field, since Purdue made exactly half of its field goals against the Lady Flames on March 24, 2013. That streak could be put to the test versus high-powered Ohio State and Cal. The Container is Half Empty Liberty has held 68 straight opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field. Purdue was the Lady Flames' most recent foe to make at least half of its field goal attempts, connecting at a 50.0 percent (26-of-52) clip during the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 24, 2013).
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