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WBB Game Day Central: NJIT

January 31, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Melat Sissay

Melat Sissay

Game Day Central Links:
Live Video (ESPN+, subscription required)
Live Audio (LFSN Radio)
Live Stats
Liberty Game Notes
Purchase Tickets
Parking/Clear Bag Policy Information
Liberty Women's Basketball Instagram
Liberty Women's Basketball Twitter
Liberty Women's Basketball Facebook
NJIT Women's Basketball Webpage
ASUN Women's Basketball Webpage

Game Time:
Saturday - 2 p.m.

TV Coverage:
ESPN+ (Subscription Required)
Play-By-Play Broadcaster: Rett McGibbon
Color Analyst: Adam Deyo
Sidelines: Brhett Vickery

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 (8-12, 4-3 ASUN) will tip off a stretch of four ASUN home games in 11 days Saturday afternoon, welcoming NJIT (5-15, 2-5 ASUN) to the Vines Center.

• Liberty has won a season-best four straight games, climbing to fourth place in the ASUN standings. Conversely, NJIT has lost four in a row following a 2-1 start to conference play.

• The Lady Flames' offense has stepped up during the current winning streak to the tune of 74.5 points and 20.3 assists per game, along with a 48.5 field goal percentage.

• Reigning ASUN Player and Newcomer of the Week Emily Lytle is averaging a team-high 18.3 ppg during the winning streak, highlighted by a career-high 26 points at Jacksonville last Saturday.

• Kierra Johnson-Graham led the Lady Flames' comeback from an early 13-point deficit Tuesday at Lipscomb, leading to a 77-60 win. She scored a career-high 20 points and became the first Lady Flame since Devon Brown on Dec. 10, 2011 to finish a game with 20+ points, 10+ rebounds (12) and 5+ assists (5).

Notes and Anecdotes - Liberty vs. NJIT
• Liberty and NJIT will face off for the first time ever on Saturday, making the Highlanders only the third New Jersey squad (also Saint Peter's and Seton Hall) the Lady Flames have ever hosted.

• Liberty has won a season-high four games in a row following an 0-3 start to conference play. Conversely, NJIT opened ASUN play at 2-1 but has since dropped four straight outings.

• Liberty has played five of its first seven ASUN games away from Lynchburg. Meanwhile, five of NJIT's first seven ASUN tilts have taken place on the Highlanders' home court at the NJIT Wellness and Events Center.

• At 5-15, NJIT has already eclipsed last season's win total of four. The Highlanders have won as many ASUN games this season (2) as they did during the entire 2017-18 campaign.

• NJIT senior Kelly Guarino has hit an ASUN-leading 58 three-pointers this season. By way of comparison, that is 17 more than Liberty team leader Emily Lytle has connected on this season. It is also more triples than any Lady Flame has made in a single season since the 1990-91 campaign.

• Liberty Associate Head Coach Alexis Sherard grew up in Lakewood, N.J., about 60 miles south of NJIT's Newark campus.

Keys to the Streak
• Liberty is currently on its longest winning streak of the season at four games. The following are a few keys to the Lady Flames' recent success.

• Prior to the streak, Liberty was averaging only 59.9 points and 11.4 assists per game while shooting 39.8 percent from the field.

• During the last four games, the Lady Flames' offense has exploded to the tune of 74.5 points and 20.3 assists per outing. Liberty has shot 48.5 percent from the floor during the span.

• Individually, the Lady Flames have been paced by the trio of Emily Lytle (18.3 ppg, 3 triples/game), Bridgette Rettstatt (13.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 56.1 FG%) and KK Barbour (12.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.5 apg).

Home Sweet Home
• The Lady Flames are only 3-3 at home this season, but they have won 80 percent of their games at the Vines Center all-time, including 85 percent during Carey Green's 20 years as head coach. Last year, Liberty was 15-0 at the Vines Center, including 12-0 versus conference foes.

Liberty vs. the Garden State
• Saturday will mark the Lady Flames' fifth meeting with an opponent from New Jersey in program history and their first since a 92-56 home loss to Seton Hall on Dec. 12, 2015.

• Liberty is 1-3 when facing Garden State foes, including 0-1 versus Rider, 1-1 versus Saint Peter's and 0-1 against Seton Hall.

Liberty vs. the ASUN
• Liberty is 12-10 all-time versus ASUN Conference opponents (at the time of the meeting).

• The Lady Flames' most recent ASUN matchup prior to this season was a 70-27 victory over Lipscomb on Nov. 26, 2011 at the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

• Liberty owns a 5-4 record against current ASUN members, including wins over Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb  (2x) and North Florida and losses to FGCU, Jacksonville and Stetson (2x).