Big South co-leader Liberty will seek its fifth consecutive win, Saturday evening at Presbyterian.
Game Day Central Liberty's Game Notes Game Time: 7 p.m. Video Streaming Coverage: Big South Network Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network – Radio WQLU 90.9 FM The Light Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall Today's Game Big South co-leader Liberty (9-13, 8-3 Big South) will travel to Presbyterian (8-14, 6-5 Big South) on Saturday, beginning a stretch of four road games in the next five outings for the Lady Flames. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. inside the Templeton Center as Liberty looks to complete a season sweep of the Blue Hose after recording a 68-60 home win on Jan. 10.
The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines 1) Liberty is riding a season-long four-game winning streak, which has given the Lady Flames a share of the Big South lead with Campbell and Radford. Defense has fueled Liberty's recent success, as the Lady Flames are allowing only 53.5 ppg duing the streak.
2) Liberty is just 2-10 away from the Vines Center this season, but the Lady Flames are 5-2 all-time at Presbyterian and won their most recent road tilt (58-52 at Campbell on Jan. 31).
3) Three-point shooting will be a key to Saturday's game, as Presbyterian leads the Big South in three-pointers made. Meanwhile, Liberty has made a clutch three-pointer during the closing minutes of each of its last three victories.
4) Liberty's leading three-point shooter this season has been Iva Ilic, who paces the team and all conference freshmen with 30 triples on the year. The Croatia native scored a career-high 17 points during the Lady Flames' first meeting with Presbyterian this season and is coming off of a team-high 15-point performance against Radford on Tuesday.
5) Keyen Green won her fifth Big South Freshman of the Week award on Monday, one day before posting her Big South-leading seventh double-double of the season against Radford. Green notched 13 points and seven rebounds against Presbyterian on Jan. 10. Liberty vs. Presbyterian at a Glance Series History Series Record: Liberty leads, 14-4. Current Streak: Liberty won the most recent meeting. Series Record at Presbyterian: Liberty leads, 5-2. Current Streak at Presbyterian: Presbyterian won the most recent meeting. Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 68, Presbyterian 60 (Jan. 10, 2017 at Liberty) Last Meeting at Presbyterian: Presbyterian 60, Liberty 42 (Jan. 9, 2016) Presbyterian's Last Series Victory: PC 57, Liberty 49 (March 5, 2016 at Liberty) Liberty's Last Series Victory at Presbyterian: Liberty 63, PC 41 (Feb. 14, 2015)
Coaching Matchup Liberty Head Coach: Carey Green Overall Record (Seasons): 412-154 (18th Season) Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same Record vs. Presbyterian: 14-4
Presbyterian Head Coach: Todd Steelman Overall Record (Seasons): 8-14 (First Season) Record at Presbyterian (Seasons): Same Record vs. Liberty: 0-1
Notes and Anecdotes • Liberty posted a 68-60 victory over Presbyterian at the Vines Center on Jan. 10, led by Iva Ilic (career-high 17 points) and KK Barbour (first career double-double, including 10 points, 13 rebounds). Taylor Petty scored 16 points for PC, but the Blue Hose shot just 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from three-point range and were outrebounded, 48-27.
• The Lady Flames are 5-2 all-time at the Templeton Center. However, Liberty suffered a 60-42 setback during its most recent visit to Clinton, Jan. 9, 2016. That marked the Lady Flames' largest margin of defeat in a Big South game since March 3, 2007.
• Nine of the last 14 Liberty-PC matchups have seen both teams held below 60 points. However, both teams scored 60 points or more at the Vines Center on Jan. 10.
• Three-point shooting will play a key role in Saturday's outcome. During Big South play, PC leads the conference with 86 triples made, while Liberty is tied for second with 82. On Jan. 10, Liberty held the Blue Hose to 6.3 percent (1-of-16) from three-point range during the final three quarters.
• Saturday's game could be a nailbiter. Liberty's last three contests have been decided by a total of 10 points. Meanwhile, seven of Presbyterian's eight home games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer. The Blue Hose are the top free throw shooting team in the Big South at 75.9 percent, while Liberty ranks ninth of 10 Big South teams at 61.4 percent from the line. On This Date Liberty is 7-3 all-time on Feb. 11, having won each of its last seven games played on the date. The Lady Flames' last three Feb. 11 victories have come against teams from South Carolina.
Road Warriors Saturday's game tips off a stretch which will see Liberty play four of its next five contests on the road. The Lady Flames are just 2-10 away from the Vines Center this season. However, Liberty won its most recent road game, 58-52 at Big South co-leader Campbell on Jan. 31. The Lady Flames are also 1-0 in South Carolina this season, thanks to an 81-72 Big South-opening victory at Charleston Southern on Jan. 3.
Keys to the Streak Liberty has pulled into a three-way tie for the Big South lead, thanks to a season-best four-game winning streak. The following are a few keys to the Lady Flames' recent success. Liberty is yielding just 53.5 ppg during its winning streak, which is well below the Lady Flames' season average of 65.5 ppg allowed. Also on the defensive end, Liberty is coming up with 9.5 steals per contest and blocking 5.3 shots per game during the streak. Offensively, the Lady Flames are shooting considerably better than their season averages from the three-point line (36.4 percent) and the foul line (67.2 percent).
Timely Triples Timely three-point shooting has played a key role in each of Liberty's last three wins. Tatyana Crowder beat the shot clock buzzer with a triple with 57.1 seconds remaining at Campbell on Jan. 31, pushing the Lady Flames' lead from two to five. Lela Sellers' three-pointer with 2:04 to play put Liberty on top for good against Gardner-Webb on Feb. 4. Most recently, Audrey Rettstatt put the Lady Flames ahead to stay in Tuesday's matchup with Radford, nailing a triple at 1:19 of the fourth quarter. A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 49-48 Win Over Radford on Tuesday • Radford rallied from a 17-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game at the Vines Center before Liberty pulled out a 49-48 nailbiter. A clutch three-pointer by Audrey Rettstatt, key free throws by Nene Johnson and Tatyana Crowder and a couple late defensive stands helped the Lady Flames win.
• Liberty triumphed despite shooting just 28.1 percent (16-of-57) from the field, including 16.7 percent (4-of-24) after halftime. Iva Ilic led the way with a game-high 15 points, while Keyen Green produced her seventh double-double of the season (10 points, game-high 10 rebounds).
Spreading the Wealth Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 11 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU), Iva Ilic (vs. PC, at Asheville, vs. Radford), 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 39 shots in its last six games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference with 4.5 bpg on the season. Ola Makurat, Keyen Green, Lela Sellers and Audrey Rettstatt are all averaging 1.0 bpg or more during the last six games.
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 70.8 ppg on 42.7 percent from the floor and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc in 2017's first 11 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, Jan. 16 and Feb. 6, Green leads the conference and ranks No. 3 among the nation's freshmen in rebounding at 8.5 rpg. For the season, Green has recorded seven double-doubles and three 20-point outings. She has joined Michelle Fricke (1999-2000) as the only two Lady Flames ever to win five Big South Freshman of the Week honors in a season.
Fantastic Freshmen Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59.8 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 11.8 ppg. Four of the team's top five scorers on the year are freshmen. Winning the Battle of the Boards Liberty has outrebounded 17 of 22 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds eight times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 5 nationally with 18.0 offensive boards per game and No. 18 with a +8.1 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 21 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 119 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 four-game winning streak, Johnson has posted a 14-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio, committing only five turnovers in 117 minutes played
• Leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big South with 2.9 apg, while also pacing the Lady Flames in steals (1.3 spg)
• Has recorded at least one steal in every Big South contest and is averaging a team-high 1.8 spg during conference games
• Averaging 9.6 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play
• Came up with a steal and hit two key free throws during the final 14 seconds of Tuesday's victory over Radford #4 Tatyana Crowder • Grabbed a defensive rebound and then split a pair of free throws with 3.0 seconds remaining against Radford on Tuesday, sealing the Lady Flames' victory #10 Kierra Johnson-Graham • Recorded her first double-digit rebounding effort with 10 boards against Presbyterian on Jan. 10
• Has connected on 16 of her last 19 free throw attempts (84.2 percent) over the last eight games #12 Audrey Rettstatt • Has scored almost twice as many points this season (114) as she did in her first three years combined (60)
• Hit a three-pointer with 1:19 remaining in Tuesday's game against Radford which put Liberty ahead for good
• Tallied six of her 10 points during the fourth quarter of a Jan. 10 win over Presbyterian #21 Keyen Green • Five-time Big South Freshman of the Week (Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16 & Feb. 6), equaling the most Big South Freshman of the Week honors in program history (also Michelle Fricke in 1999-2000)
• Ranks No. 3 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (8.5 rpg)
• Tops the Big South in rebounding and offensive rebounding
• Leads the Lady Flames and ranks 10th in the Big South in scoring (11.9 ppg)
• Tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds against Radford on Tuesday for her seventh double-double #24 Iva Ilic • Leads the team and all Big South freshmen with 30 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.
• Scored a team-high and career-high 17 points during a home win over Presbyterian (Jan. 10)
• Tallied a team-best 15 points versus Radford on Tuesday, including three triples #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 13-of-26 (50 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 13 games
• Recorded her first career double-double against Presbyterian on Jan. 10, consisting of a then career-high 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. She also matched her career high of three blocked shots.
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