Lela Sellers and the Lady Flames will play at Drake in a Preseason WNIT consolation game, Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Game Day Central Links: Live Audio (LFSN Radio) Live Video (ESPN3) Live Stats Liberty Game Notes Liberty Women's Basketball Instagram Liberty Women's Basketball Twitter Liberty Women's Basketball Facebook Drake Women's Basketball Webpage Preseason WNIT Webpage Preseason WNIT Bracket Game Time: Friday - 8 p.m. Eastern TV Coverage: ESPN3 Radio Coverage: Liberty Flames Sports Network - Radio WQLU 90.9 FM The Light Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Jamie Hall The Starting 5 - Liberty's Top Storylines • Liberty (1-1) will close out its Preseason WNIT appearance with a consolation game at Drake (1-1). • The Lady Flames have never faced the Bulldogs, who are receiving votes in both Top 25 polls and are ranked No. 7 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25. • The Lady Flames will aim to go 2-1 in the Preseason WNIT for the second straight appearance (also 2012), matching the best tournament record in program history. • This is the third stop in Liberty's five-game road swing to open the 2017-18 campaign. • The youthful Lady Flames have been led by 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year Keyen Green (9.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and reigning Big South Freshman of the Week Ashtyn Baker (7.0 ppg, 3.0 apg). Notes and Anecdotes - Liberty vs. Drake • Liberty is making its debut at the Knapp Center, but one of the top moments in athletics department history happened next door at Drake Stadium. On June 11, 2011, Sam Chelanga closed out his career by winning the men's 5K national title at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. • Drake Head Coach Jennie Baranczyk was an assistant at Kansas State when Liberty upset the No. 19/17 Wildcats, Dec. 4, 2004 in Manhattan, Kan. • Liberty Graduate Assistant Miriam Rutzen served as Colorado's director of operations in 2015-16, when Drake redshirt sophomore Monica Burich was a freshman on the Buffaloes' roster. • Two current Lady Flames have ties to the Hawkeye State. Sophomore Lela Sellers graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, while junior Melis Ucar spent the last two years at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. Road Warriors • Liberty is playing its third of five straight games away from the Vines Center to begin the season. The Lady Flames have not played this many road/neutral games to start a season since the 2007-08 squad began with six road/neutral contests before its home opener. On This Date • Liberty is 4-3 all-time on Nov. 17, including a 68-63 Preseason WNIT consolation round home victory over Sacred Heart in 2012. • The Lady Flames are playing on Nov. 17 for the second straight season. Last year, Liberty owned a 14-point second-half lead on Appalachian State before the Mountaineers roared back for a 66-57 victory at the Vines Center. Iva Ilic (10 points) and Molly Reagan (9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks) paced the Lady Flames. • Liberty is 81-63 all-time in November, including 46-45 under Carey Green and 1-1 in 2017-18.
Lady Flames in the WNIT • Liberty is making its fifth appearance in the Preseason WNIT, the most of any team in this year's tournament. The Lady Flames' previous appearances came in 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2012. • The Lady Flames will try to match a program record by winning two Preseason WNIT contests in the same year. Liberty went 2-1 in 2012, posting home victories over Grambling State and Sacred Heart in the consolation rounds. • Liberty is 4-6 all-time in the Preseason WNIT, including 1-4 in the first round, 1-5 on the road, 2-1 at home and 1-0 in neutral-site games. • The Lady Flames' Preseason WNIT single-game records include: Points - 28 (Megan Frazee vs. VCU, 11/14/08) Rebounds - 12 (Devon Brown vs. Sacred Heart, 11/17/12) Assists - 7 (Sadalia Ellis vs. Grambling State, 11/16/12) Lady Flames in Iowa • Liberty's only previous visit to Iowa happened on Dec. 8-9, 2000, when the Lady Flames played two games in Ames at the Pella Corporation Cyclone Classic. • The Lady Flames lost their first game to Texas-Pan American, 65-59, before falling to No. 7/9 Iowa State, 93-72, the next day at Hilton Coliseum. • Michelle Fricke averaged 20 ppg for the tournament, but the Lady Flames gave up 26 three-pointers in two games. Lady Flames vs. Missouri Valley Conference • Liberty is 0-1 all-time versus Missouri Valley Conference foes, falling 40-35 to Creighton in the 2010-11 season opener. • The Lady Flames will play host to the conference's newest member, Valparaiso, on Dec. 2. • Liberty also played at Valparaiso last season, during the Crusaders' final year as a Horizon League member. The Lady Flames fell 70-68 on a buzzer beater. Fabulous Freshman • Ashtyn Baker opened her collegiate career in style, earning Big South Freshman of the Week honors on Monday. • Liberty has now won six straight Big South Freshman of the Week honors, as Keyen Green and Ola Makurat combined to win the last five awards of 2016-17. Bench Bunch • Liberty's team depth has been on full display through the early stages of the season, as the Lady Flames have outscored their opponents in bench points, 64-29. • Reserves are scoring 56.6 percent of the Lady Flames' points, paced by the trio of Iva Ilic (9.0 ppg), Ashytn Baker (7.0 ppg) and Lela Sellers (6.5 ppg).
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