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WBB Game Day Central: Valparaiso

November 22, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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WBB Game Day Central: Valparaiso

Game Day Central Page

Liberty's Women's Basketball Game Notes

Game Time:
6 p.m. Eastern

TV Coverage:
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: David Horak
Color Commentator: Ethan Leach

Radio Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio
WQLU 90.9 FM The Light
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall

Today's Game
Liberty (0-3) will take to the road for the first time in 2016-17 on Friday, when the Lady Flames travel to Valparaiso (2-2). The first-ever hardwood meeting between the Lady Flames and Crusaders is slated for 6 p.m. Eastern at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Valparaiso Head Coach Tracey Dorow is the sister of Liberty Assistant Coach Andy Bloodworth. One of Dorow's assistants is former Liberty standout Megan (Frazee) Leuzinger. Meanwhile, Liberty Director of Operations Sarah Boruta formerly served in the same capacity under Dorow at Ferris State.

2) Liberty's first road game of the season opens a challenging stretch which will see the Lady Flames play eight of their next nine contests away from Lynchburg. Liberty has posted a winning record in road/neutral games for nine straight seasons, including a 10-9 mark in 2015-16.

3) Liberty will be facing a member of the Horizon League (formerly Midwestern Collegiate Conference) for just the fourth time. The Lady Flames are seeking their first victory over a Horizon League foe.

4) The Lady Flames will aim to avoid just their second 0-4 start to a season in Carey Green's 18 years as head coach. Liberty previously opened the 2013-14 campaign at 0-4.

5) Liberty has received strong production from its bench during the season's first three games. Sophomore post player Molly Reagan leads the way, scoring a team-high 7.3 ppg on 75 percent (9-of-12) from the field thus far.

Liberty vs. Valparaiso at a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
First meeting

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 403-144 (18th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Valparaiso: 0-0

Valparaiso Head Coach: Tracey Dorow
Overall Record (Seasons): 267-255 (19th Season) 
Record at Valparaiso (Seasons): 35-92 (Fifth Season) 
Record vs. Liberty: 0-0

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty and Valparaiso will be meeting for the first time on Friday, but the two coaching staffs are quite familiar with one another.

• Tracey Dorow, in her fifth season as Valparaiso's head coach, is the sister of Liberty Assistant Coach Andy Bloodworth.

• One of Dorow's assistants is Megan (Frazee) Leuzinger, a standout performer during her playing career at Liberty (2005-06 through 2008-09).

• Before coming to Valparaiso, Dorow spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Ferris State. Liberty Director of Operations Sarah Boruta served in that same capacity under Dorow for three seasons (2005-06 through 2007-08). 

• Coming off of a 10-21 season, Valparaiso was picked to finish ninth in the Horizon League in 2016-17.

• The Crusaders are 2-2 to start the year, led by 6-1 junior forward Dani Franklin. After averaging 10.1 ppg last season, Franklin is posting 20.5 ppg in 2016-17. She scored a career-high 34 points during a season-opening loss at Stetson on Nov. 12.

• Friday's game will be Liberty's fourth all-time meeting with a member of the Horizon League (formerly the Midwestern Collegiate Conference). The Lady Flames are 0-3 all-time against conference members, with losses to Evansville, Milwaukee and Notre Dame.  Liberty's most recent Horizon League clash was a 65-56 loss to Milwaukee on Nov. 30, 2003 at the Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla.

• Liberty's last game in Indiana took place on March 18, 2012. That day, the Lady Flames dropped a 74-43 decision to Notre Dame in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

On This Date
Liberty is 10-4 all-time on Nov. 25. However, the Lady Flames have lost two of their last three Nov. 25 contests. Most recently, Liberty fell by a 73-62 score at Elon on Nov. 25, 2014.

The Lady Flames notched a 78-67 home victory over West Virginia on Nov. 25, 2000. Seven years later, Liberty's 61-56 win at Xavier gave the Lady Flames the championship of the National City Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Road Warriors
After playing three straight home games to open the 2016-17 season, Liberty will see very little of the Vines Center during the coming weeks. Friday's game at Valparaiso will tip off a stretch of eight road/neutral contests in the next nine outings for the Lady Flames.

The challenging stretch will see Liberty play games in five different states, including Indiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Last season, the Lady Flames were 10-9 in games played away from Lynchburg. It was the ninth straight year Liberty has posted a winning record in road/neutral contests.

Slow Start
Liberty is 0-3 to begin the 2016-17 season and has lost five straight games dating back to last season. 

The Lady Flames' worst start to a season under Carey Green is 0-4 in 2013-14.

The worst start in program history was 0-7, which occurred in both 1977-78 and 1993-94.

Bench Bunch
The Lady Flames have gotten good production from their reserves early in the 2016-17 season. The bench players have outscored the starters in each of the last two games, including a season-high 31 points against Appalachian State on Nov. 17.

For the year, three of Liberty's top four scorers come off the bench, including Molly Reagan (7.3 ppg), Iva Ilic (6.0 ppg) and Kierra Johnson-Graham (5.7 ppg).

Three of a Kind
Three true freshmen (Keyen Green, Ola Makurat and Lela Sellers) started during the Nov. 11 season opener against Duke. It marked the first time since 1996-97 that three Liberty freshmen (Jennifer Jess, Elena Kisseleva and Sarah Wilkerson) earned the starting nod together in their collegiate debuts.

Green, Makurat and Sellers have started each of the first three games to start the 2016-17 season. Along with classmates Iva Ilic and Kierra Johnson-Graham, they comprise five of Liberty's top seven scorers through the early stages of the season.