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WBB Game Day Central: Longwood

February 19, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sheana Vega scored a career-high 14 points during Liberty's 92-47 home victory over Longwood on Jan. 17.

Sheana Vega scored a career-high 14 points during Liberty's 92-47 home victory over Longwood on Jan. 17.

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
Liberty (10-15, 9-5 Big South) will make the short trip east on Route 460 for a Tuesday matchup with Longwood (4-21, 1-13 Big South). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Willett Hall as the Lady Flames look for a season sweep of the Lancers. Liberty racked up a season-high point total in a 92-47 home win over Longwood on Jan. 17.

The "Starting Five" - Liberty's Top Storylines
1) With four regular-season games remaining, Liberty is looking to improve its seeding for the Big South Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Flames are currently tied with High Point for third place at 9-5, two games behind co-leaders Campbell and Radford.

2) Liberty has won six straight visits to Farmville and 16 consecutive meetings with Longwood overall. The Lady Flames have not lost to the Lancers since moving up to NCAA Division I in time for the 1988-89 season.

3) If the Lady Flames prevail, it will mark Liberty's 18th consecutive season with 10+ Big South victories. High Point owns the Big South's next longest active streak with five straight 10+ win seasons entering 2016-17.

4) Liberty has won eight straight home games, but the Lady Flames have struggled away from the Vines Center this season. Liberty is 2-12 in road/neutral games entering its final two regular-season road tilts this week.

5) Keyen Green, the first Lady Flame ever to win six Big South Freshman of the Week honors, played only 17 minutes during the Jan. 17 matchup with Longwood. However, she was one of four double-digit scorers for the Lady Flames, finishing with 11 points. Sheana Vega led the way with a career-high 14 points off the bench for Liberty that night.

Liberty vs. Longwood at a Glance
Series History
Series Record:
Liberty leads, 23-15.
Current Streak: Liberty has won 16 consecutive meetings.
Series Record at Longwood: Longwood leads, 11-6.
Current Streak at Longwood: Liberty has won six consecutive meetings.
Last Meeting Overall: Liberty 92, Longwood 47 (Jan. 17, 2017 at Liberty)
Last Meeting at Longwood: Liberty 72, Longwood 67 (Jan. 24, 2016)
Longwood's Last Series Victory: Longwood 95, Liberty 88 (Feb. 12, 1988 at Long.)
Longwood's Last Series Victory at Home: Same

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Carey Green
Overall Record (Seasons): 413-156 (18th Season) 
Record at Liberty (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Longwood: 15-0

Longwood Head Coach: Bill Reinson
Overall Record (Seasons): 51-149 (Seventh Season) 
Record at Longwood (Seasons): Same
Record vs. Liberty: 0-11

Notes and Anecdotes
• Liberty recorded a season-high scoring output during its first meeting with Longwood this season, posting a 92-47 victory over the Lancers at the Vines Center, Jan. 17 at the Vines Center. All 14 Lady Flames scored points, paced by Sheana Vega's career-high 14 markers. Eboni Gilliam led Longwood with a game-high 16 points.

• Longwood is seeking its first win over Liberty since Feb. 12, 1988, as the Lady Flames have won all 16 head-to-head matchups with their Route 460 foe since gaining NCAA Division I status prior to the 1988-89 season.

• Liberty has outrebounded Longwood by an average of 24.1 boards per game during the teams' last 10 meetings, including a 46-28 advantage on Jan. 17. The Lady Flames rank No. 1 in the Big South for rebound margin (+8.2), while the Lancers rank No. 9 (-10.2).

• Like Liberty, Longwood has gotten strong production from its freshmen this season. Three of the Lancers' top six scorers are rookies, including Dayna Rouse (8.8 ppg), Kate Spradlin (6.8 ppg) and Khaila Hall (6.0 ppg).

• Liberty's Nene Johnson and Longwood's Jovana Vukovic were teammates at Eastern Florida State College the last two seasons. Vukovic has been injured and has not yet made her Longwood debut.

• Liberty's last two visits to Farmville have each resulted in five-point victories.

On This Date
Liberty is 9-2 all-time on Feb. 21, having won nine consecutive games played on the date. The Feb. 21 winning streak began in 1984, when the Lady Flames recorded a 74-62 home victory over Longwood. Double-doubles by Liberty's Angela Clark (20 points, 15 rebounds) and Tracie Wooldridge (16 points, 17 rebounds) overcame a 38-point, 19-rebound outburst by Longwood's Valerie Turner.

Competing Against the Commonwealth
Liberty is 2-3 versus in-state opponents this season, defeating Longwood and Radford while 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.

Road Warriors
Tuesday's game is the third road game in a stretch which will see Liberty play four out of five contests away from Lynchburg. The Lady Flames are just 2-12 away from the Vines Center this season, including losses in each of their last two road games.

However, Liberty has been victorious in each of its last six visits to Willett Hall.

Streaks at Stake
Liberty's next victory will be its 10th Big South win of the season, giving the Lady Flames 18 consecutive seasons with 10+ conference victories. High Point owns the next longest active streak among Big South members. The Panthers' next win will give High Point its sixth straight year with 10+ Big South triumphs.

Currently 10-15, the Lady Flames need to keep winning games in order to record their 21st consecutive winning season.

Liberty has won six straight road games at Longwood.

3s are Key
During its 10 victories, Liberty is making 7.3 three-pointers per game at a 38.8 percent clip. In its 15 losses, Liberty is hitting 4.5 triples per game and shooting 24.3 percent.

A Look Back at the Lady Flames' 67-56 Home Win over CSU on Friday
• Liberty's Audrey Rettstatt (career-high 19 points, career-high 10 rebounds) and Ola Makurat (10 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded their first career double-doubles on Friday, helping the Lady Flames snap a two-game losing skid with a 67-56 victory over Charleston Southern at the Vines Center.

• Liberty, which has still never lost three straight Big South games in 18 seasons under Head Coach Carey Green, enjoyed a 48-26 rebounding advantage, including 20 offensive boards. 

Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has seen eight different players lead the team in scoring during the first 14 games of Big South play, including Lela Sellers (at CSU), Keyen Green (vs. HPU, vs. GWU, at PC, at HPU), Iva Ilic (vs. PC, at Asheville, vs. Radford), KK Barbour (at GWU),  Sheana Vega (vs. Longwood), Audrey Rettstatt (at Radford, vs. CSU), Ola Makurat (vs. Winthrop) and Nene Johnson (at Campbell).

Block Party
Liberty has blocked 52 shots in its last nine games, moving the Lady Flames to the top of the Big South Conference with 4.5 bpg on the season. Ola Makurat, Keyen Green,  and Lela Sellers are all averaging 1.0 bpg or more during the last nine outings.

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 69.3 ppg on 41.9 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc in 2017's first 14 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, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, Green leads the conference and ranks No. 5 among the nation's freshmen in rebounding at 8.1 rpg.

For the season, Green has recorded seven double-doubles and four 20-point outings. She has become the first Lady Flame ever to win six Big South Freshman of the Week awards in a season.

Fantastic Freshmen
Liberty's seven freshmen have combined to score 59.2 percent of the team's points this season, led by Keyen Green's team-high 12.1 ppg. Three of the team's top four scorers on the year are freshmen.

Winning the Battle of the Boards
Liberty has outrebounded 19 of 25 opponents and has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds nine times this season. The Lady Flames currently rank No. 6 nationally with 17.7 offensive boards per game and No. 16 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 24 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting, and only three teams in the last 122 games have connected on at least half of their field goal attempts against the Lady Flames.

Player Trends
#3 Nene Johnson

• Spent the last two seasons at Eastern Florida State College, where she was a teammate
of Longwood's Jovana Vukovic

• Leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big South with 3.0 apg, while also pacing the Lady Flames in steals (1.3 spg)

• Has recorded at least one steal in 13 of the 14 Big South contests and is averaging a team-high 1.7 spg during conference games

• Averaging 9.5 ppg during Big South games, as compared with 5.3 ppg in non-conference play

• 25 of her 65 free throw attempts this season have come during the final five minutes of games. She is shooting 72 percent (18-of-25) from the line in those situations.

#5 Stephanie Patton
• Celebrated her 20th birthday on Monday (Feb. 20)

#10 Kierra Johnson-Graham
• Has connected on 22 of her last 28 free throw attempts (78.6 percent) over the last 11 games

#12 Audrey Rettstatt
• Has scored more than twice as many points this season (138) than she did in her first three years combined (60)

• Posted her first career double-double (career-high 19 points, career-high 10 rebounds) during Friday's win over Charleston Southern

#14 Lela Sellers
• Grabbed a career-high eight rebounds against Charleston Southern on Friday

#20 Sheana Vega
• Scored a team-high and career-high 14 points against Longwood on Jan. 17, more than doubling her previous career high of six points. She went 4-of-6 from three-point range, equaling the number of three-pointers she had made during her first 50 career games. Vega also matched her career high of five rebounds against the Lancers.

#21 Keyen Green
• Six-time Big South Freshman of the Week (Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Feb. 6 & Feb. 13), which is the most Big South Freshman of the Week honors in program history and one off the overall conference record of seven

• Ranks No. 5 nationally among freshmen for rebounding (8.1 rpg) 

• Tops the Big South in rebounding, offensive rebounding (3.7 rpg), field goal percentage (58.8) and double-doubles (7)

• Shooting 80 percent (20-of-25) at the free throw line during the last six games

• The first Liberty freshman to grab 200+ rebounds since Ashley Rininger in 2012-13

#24 Iva Ilic
• Leads the team and ranks first among Big South freshmen with 33 three-pointers. She made at least one triple in nine straight games between Dec. 29-Jan. 28.

#30 KK Barbour
• Averaging 7.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg in three career meetings with Longwood, including a 12-point, six-rebound performance versus the Lancers on Jan. 17

• Hit 10 straight free throws between Jan. 10-21 and is shooting a team-best 73.9 percent from the line this season

• Had not made a three-pointer during her first 33 career appearances, but is 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from beyond the arc in her last 16 games

#32 Jordan Woods
• Scored a season-high four points at High Point on Feb. 14 and added another four tallies Friday against Charleston Southern

#35 Ola Makurat
• Recorded her first career double-double during Friday's victory over Charleston Southern, consisting of 10 points and a career high-equaling 11 rebounds

#40 Molly Reagan
• Played 15 effective minutes during a Jan. 17 victory over Longwood, scoring eight points on 4-of-4 from the field, collecting four offensive rebounds and matching her career high of two assists