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WBB Game Day Central: Radford

February 5, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty brings a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's home meeting with Big South co-leader Radford.

Liberty brings a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's home meeting with Big South co-leader Radford.

Game Day Central

Liberty's Game Notes

Game Time:
7 p.m.

Official Tipoff:
7:05 p.m.

TV Coverage:
Liberty Flames Sports Network – TV
Big South Network
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Mike Tilley
Color Commentator: Kelley Deyo

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

Today's Game
Liberty (8-13, 7-3 Big South) will welcome Big South co-leader Radford (16-5, 8-2 Big South) to the Vines Center Tuesday at 7 p.m. The teams' second meeting in 15 days will mark the 68th all-time matchup between the longtime Commonwealth rivals. The Lady Flames will look to avenge a 76-68 setback at Radford on Jan. 24.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) Liberty is starting to play well at the right time, having matched its longest winning streak of the season with three consecutive victories. The Lady Flames have also notched six straight home wins and have been victorious each of the last five times Radford has visited Lynchburg.

2) Liberty is 5-0 in Big South home games thus far this season. Meanwhile, Radford has lost two of its last three Big South road contests, entering Tuesday's game.

3) Radford will attempt to become just the fifth Big South team to sweep the two-game regular-season series from the Lady Flames in Carey Green's 18 seasons as head coach. The Highlanders have not won both regular-season meetings with Liberty since the 1995-96 season, when Radford captured its most recent Big South title.

4) Keyen Green is coming off of a team-high 16-point performance during Saturday's win over Gardner-Webb. The freshman standout is one of eight different players to lead Liberty in scoring during the team's first 10 Big South games, along with KK Barbour, Iva Ilic, Nene Johnson, Ola Makurat, Audrey Rettstatt, Lela Sellers and Sheana Vega.

5) Audrey Rettstatt matched her career high with 14 points at Radford on Jan. 24. Two of the senior's six career double-digit scoring efforts have come against the Highlanders.

Liberty vs. Radford at a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 42-25.
Current Streak: Radford won the most recent meeting.
Series Record at Liberty: Liberty leads, 22-9.
Current Streak at Liberty: Liberty has won five consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Radford 76, Liberty 68 (Jan. 24, 2017 at Radford)
Last Meeting at Liberty: Liberty 67, Radford 53 (Feb. 7, 2016)
Liberty's Last Series Victory: Liberty 51, Radford 41 (March 12, 2016 at Asheville)
Radford's Last Series Victory at Liberty: Radford 62, Liberty 53 (Jan. 17, 2011)

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 411-154 (18th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Radford: 35-5

Radford Head Coach: Mike McGuire
Overall Record (Seasons): 58-55 (Fourth Season) 
Record at Radford (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 1-7

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty and Radford will square off for the second time in 15 days. The Highlanders recorded a 76-68 victory over the Lady Flames on Jan. 24 at the Dedmon Center, aided by 80 percent (8-of-10) three-point shooting. Destinee Walker was 4-of-4 from behind the arc, scoring a game-high 16 points for Radford. Liberty was paced by Audrey Rettstatt, who tied her career high with 14 points, all of which came in the first half.

• Radford will attempt to become just the fifth Big South team to sweep the two-game regular-season series from the Lady Flames in Carey Green's 18 seasons as head coach. The Highlanders have not swept the regular-season series from Liberty since the 1995-96 season, when Radford won its most recent Big South title.

• Liberty has won five straight meetings with Radford at the Vines Center and 21 of the teams' last 22 meetings in Lynchburg.

• Radford is currently tied with Campbell for the Big South Conference lead at 8-2, with Liberty sitting one game behind at 7-3. The Highlanders have lost two of their last three Big South road games, while the Lady Flames are 5-0 in Big South home contests.

•  Either Liberty or Radford has appeared in 29 of the first 30 Big South Championship title games in conference history, although they have only faced each other in the title tilt once (2008). Liberty is a 16-time Big South champion, while Radford has captured nine conference crowns.

On This Date
Liberty is 10-3 all-time on Feb. 7, including 7-0 in Big South games. The Lady Flames have won eight consecutive Feb. 7 contests, including a 67-53 victory over Radford exactly one year ago at the Vines Center (Feb. 7, 2016).

Competing Against the Commonwealth
Liberty is just 1-3 versus in-state opponents this season, defeating Longwood and losing matchups with James Madison, Radford and Richmond. Prior to this season, the Lady
Flames were 15-1 in their last 16 meetings with Commonwealth foes.

Tuesday Tussles
The Lady Flames will be squaring off with one of the Big South's co-leaders for the third consecutive Tuesday. Liberty previously lost 76-68 at Radford on Jan. 24 and posted a 58-52 victory at Campbell on Jan. 31, moving to 4-3 in Tuesday contests this season.

Liberty's Tuesday task does not get any easier next week, when the Lady Flames travel to High Point on Feb. 14. The Panthers have won three games in a row, scoring 80+ points in each of those victories.

A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 66-63 Win Over Gardner-Webb on Saturday
• Lela Sellers' three-pointer from the corner with 2:04 remaining produced the sixth and final lead change of a back-and-forth fourth quarter, putting Liberty ahead for good, Saturday evening at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames then survived a last-second three-point attempt by Tierra Huntsman, hanging on for a 66-63 victory.

• Keyen Green scored 12 of her team-high 16 points after halftime for the Lady Flames, while Ola Makurat (11 points, game-high 8 rebounds) and Sellers (10 points) also reached double digits. Liberty shot 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from three-point range, but Sellers' timely triple was the Lady Flames' only second-half three-pointer.

Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 10 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU), Iva Ilic (vs. PC, at Asheville), KK Barbour (at GWU),  Sheana Vega (vs. Longwood), Audrey Rettstatt (at Radford), Ola Makurat (vs. Winthrop) and Nene Johnson (at Campbell).

Block Party
Liberty has blocked 38 shots in its last five games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference and No. 50 nationally with 4.7 bpg on the season. Liberty has not averaged as many as 4.7 bpg for a season since 2011-12.

New Year's Resolution
After averaging 54.9 ppg on 32.5 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from three-point range in 11 2016 contests, the Lady Flames have exploded for 73.0 ppg on 44.1 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2017's first 10 outings.

What Can Green Do For You?
Keyen Green headlines the Lady Flames' successful freshman class. The Big South Freshman of the Week on Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9 and Jan. 16, Green leads the conference and ranks No. 3 among the nation's freshmen in rebounding at 8.4 rpg.

For the season, Green has recorded six double-doubles and three 20-point outings. She is the first Lady Flame since Reagan Miller in 2011-12 to win three straight Big South Freshman of the Week honors and four in one season.

Fantastic Freshmen
Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59.9 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 11.9 ppg. Four of the team's top five scorers on the year are freshmen.

Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded 16 of 21 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds eight times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 6 nationally with 18.2 offensive boards per game and No. 19 with a +8.2 rebound margin.

The Container is Half Full
The Lady Flames are 107-1 under head coach Carey Green when making at least 50 percent of their field goals, including 2-0 this season. Liberty has won the last 34 times it has shot 50 percent or better, since an 83-77 loss to Kentucky in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (March 20, 2010).

The Container is Half Empty
Liberty has held 20 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 118 games have connected on at least half of their field goal attempts against the Lady Flames.

Player Trends
#3 Nene Johnson

• During Liberty's current three-game winning streak, Johnson has posted an 11-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio, committing only three turnovers in 93 minutes played

• Leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big South with 2.9 apg, while also pacing the Lady Flames in steals (1.2 spg)

• Has recorded at least one steal in every Big South contest and is averaging a team-high 1.6 spg during conference games

• Averaging 10.1 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play

#4 Tatyana Crowder
• Equaled her career highs for points (6) and assists (3) during Saturday's victory over Gardner-Webb, highlighted by two key free throws with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter

#10 Kierra Johnson-Graham
• Has connected on 16 of her last 18 free throw attempts (88.9 percent) over the last seven games

#12 Audrey Rettstatt
• Led the team with 14 points at Radford on Jan. 24, equaling her career high. She scored 13 points in the first quarter, tying the team record for most points in a single quarter. Two of Rettstatt's six career double-digit scoring outputs have come against the Highlanders.

#14 Lela Sellers
• Tallied 10 points at Radford on Jan. 24, giving her back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts for the first time in her career

• Scored 10 points against Gardner-Webb on Saturday, including a three-pointer with 2:04 remaining which gave the Lady Flames the lead for good

#21 Keyen Green
• Four-time Big South Freshman of the Week (Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9 & Jan. 16)

• Ranks No. 3 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (8.4 rpg) 

• Tops the Big South in rebounding and offensive rebounding

• Leads the Lady Flames and is tied for 10th in the Big South in scoring (11.9 ppg)

#24 Iva Ilic
• Leads the team and ranks second among Big South freshmen with 27 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.

#30 KK Barbour
• After failing to score in double figures during her first 37 career games, Barbour recently posted three straight double-digit efforts (Jan. 10-17). 

• Hit 10 straight free throws between Jan. 10-21 and is shooting a team-best 71.4 percent from the line this season

• Had not made a three-pointer during her first 33 career appearances, but is 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 12 games

#35 Ola Makurat
• Averaging 10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 1.3 bpg during Liberty's three-game winning streak, while shooting 66.7 percent (14-of-21) from the field and 40 percent (2-of-5) from three-point range

• Contributed 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds to Saturday's victory over Gardner-Webb