Ashtyn Baker and the Lady Flames will host No. 24 FGCU Saturday at 2 p.m. (Photo by Johnny Brown)
Game Day Central Links: Live Video (ESPN+, subscription required) Live Audio (LFSN Radio) Live Stats Liberty Game Notes Purchase Tickets Liberty Women's Basketball Instagram Liberty Women's Basketball Twitter Liberty Women's Basketball Facebook FGCU 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: Kelley Deyo Sidelines: Victoria Wood 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 (11-9, 4-3 ASUN) will host No. 24 FGCU (20-2, 7-0 ASUN) on Saturday, welcoming a Top 25 opponent to the Vines Center for the first time since Dec. 7, 2008 (No. 14/13 Auburn). • Liberty is 0-4 all-time versus FGCU, including a loss in the 2019 ASUN Championship title game. The Eagles are the only ASUN opponent Liberty has yet to defeat. • Some lengthy streaks are in play, including FGCU's 35-game winning streak against ASUN opponents and Liberty's 30-game losing streak versus Top 25 foes. • Keyen Green, the 2018 Big South Player of the Year, is making a successful return from an ankle injury which sidelined her for the entire 2018-19 season. The redshirt junior center is averaging 17.7 ppg during ASUN play, with 12.4 of those points coming after halftime. She has scored in double digits in all seven ASUN contests and in eight straight contests overall. • Junior point guard Ashtyn Baker is averaging career-best figures for points (10.2), rebounds (4.4) and assists (3.2) this season. Liberty is 7-3 when she scores in double figures, which she has done in each of the last three games. Notes and Anecdotes - Liberty vs. FGCU • Liberty will seek its first-ever victory over ASUN leader FGCU on Saturday. The Eagles are 4-0 all-time against the Lady Flames, headlined by a victory in the 2019 ASUN Championship title game. FGCU is the only current ASUN team Liberty has never defeated. • Liberty nearly knocked off FGCU the only time the Eagles have visited the Vines Center previously. However, Kerstie Phills' layup with 30 seconds remaining lifted FGCU to a 65-64 victory on Feb. 9, 2019. • The Lady Flames will try to snap several FGCU winning streaks. The Eagles have won 35 straight ASUN games since a 75-73 loss at North Florida on Feb. 1, 2018, nine straight contests overall and five consecutive road games. • FGCU leads the nation in three-pointers per game (11.8) and ranks No. 14 for scoring (79.5 ppg). Liberty held the Eagles to 5-of-33 from three-point range and 64 points on Jan. 6. • Liberty's Carey Green and FGCU's Karl Smesko each rank among the NCAA's top 25 active coaches for winning percentage and have combined for 1,011 career victories. • Green has been coaching at Liberty for longer than FGCU has sponsored women's basketball, as his first season was 1999-2000. Smesko has been the Eagles' only head coach since the program began in 2002-03. Liberty vs. the Top 25 • Liberty is facing a Top 25 foe within its own conference at the Vines Center for the first time in program history. • The Lady Flames are 0-2 versus Top 25 foes this season, falling 68-55 to No. 7/5 Oregon State in Coral Gables, Fla., on Nov. 30 and losting 64-57 at No. 25 FGCU on Jan. 6. • The Lady Flames have lost 30 straight meetings with Top 25 foes since their 88-79 victory over No. 16/16 DePaul on March 22, 2005. The most recent of Liberty's two all-time NCAA Tournament wins, the victory over the Blue Demons was the Lady Flames' fourth Top 25 victory in program history and marked the highest-ranked opponent Liberty has defeated. • FGCU is the first Top 25 team to visit the Vines Center since Dec. 7, 2008, when No. 14/13 Auburn topped the Lady Flames 64-53. Liberty is 1-1 all-time at the Vines Center versus ranked opponents, also including a 77-69 overtime triumph over No. 23 Virginia on Nov. 26, 2002.
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