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Lady Flames to Play 15 Home Games in 2009-10

August 5, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior point guard Amber Mays and the Lady Flames will tip off the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13, when Winston-Salem State visits the Vines Center.

Senior point guard Amber Mays and the Lady Flames will tip off the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13, when Winston-Salem State visits the Vines Center.

Click here to view the complete 2009-10 Liberty women's basketball schedule

The two-time defending Big South champion Liberty women's basketball team will host 15 games at the Vines Center during the 2009-10 season. Schedule highlights also include matchups with 2009 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Auburn and North Carolina A&T, as well as an appearance in Virginia's Marriott Cavalier Classic.

The Lady Flames, who have won 10 consecutive home contests and 14 straight Big South home games, will play 15 regular-season games at the Vines Center for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign. That year, Liberty went 15-0 in front of its home fans, part of a perfect 28-0 record the Lady Flames carried into the NCAA Tournament.

Liberty will open the 2009-10 campaign with a pair of home tilts against foes from North Carolina's Piedmont Triad area. Winston-Salem State will make its first-ever trip to the Vines Center on Nov. 13, with UNC Greensboro set to follow four days later. The Spartans of the Southern Conference will play at the Vines Center for the first time since March 1, 1997. That day, Liberty defeated UNC Greensboro in the Big South Championship title game, claiming its first of 12 conference championships in the last 13 seasons.

The Lady Flames will travel to Annapolis, Md., Nov. 20-21, for their first of two regular-season tournaments, the Navy Classic. Liberty will open the two-day event at Alumni Hall with one of three first-time opponents on its 2009-10 slate, Tulane. The next day, the Lady Flames will meet either Loyola (Md.) or host Navy in the championship or consolation game.

Head coach Carey Green's squad will close out the month of November with its second consecutive trip to a Patriot League gymnasium. The Lady Flames are slated to face Lafayette two days after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 28.

The Lady Flames only have five games scheduled during December, but the final month of 2009 includes some of Liberty's stiffest competition. It all gets started with a home contest on Dec. 1, when James Madison renews its Commonwealth rivalry with the Lady Flames. JMU went 24-10 last season and advanced to the second round of the WNIT.

Liberty fans will want to attend the Lady Flames' home game against Glenville State on Dec. 5, because it will be 31 days until Liberty's next contest at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames' longest trek of the season will come on Dec. 15, when Liberty makes its first visit to SEC foe Auburn's Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers were one of only seven NCAA Division I women's basketball programs to win 30 games last season, as Auburn finished 30-4 and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

After a 13-day break from competition for Christmas, Liberty will make the short trip north on Route 29 for Virginia's Marriott Cavalier Classic on Dec. 28-29. The tournament pairings have not yet been announced, but the Lady Flames are part of a formidable field, which also includes Cornell, Samford and the host Cavaliers. Virginia was 24-10 in 2008-09 and won its opening contest in the NCAA Tournament, while Samford went 22-7 and finished second in the Southern Conference regular-season standings.

Liberty will aim to rekindle the magic of its only other visit to John Paul Jones Arena. On Nov. 20, 2006, the Lady Flames became the first visiting team to win at Virginia's new, state-of-the-art facility, claiming a 75-71 triumph over the Cavaliers.

Liberty will tip off the year 2010, as well as its 16-game Big South Conference schedule, Jan. 2. The Lady Flames will visit Paul Porter Arena in Boiling Springs, N.C., for a rematch of the 2009 Big South Championship title game against Gardner-Webb.

The Lady Flames will come back to the Vines Center to begin a five-game homestand spanning 14 days, the team's longest string of consecutive home games since 2005-06. The stretch will open with a pair of opponents who participated in postseason tournaments a season ago, North Carolina A&T and Winthrop. The Aggies, who took home the 2009 MEAC championship, come to Lynchburg on Jan. 5, while 2009 WNIT participant Winthrop visits four days later. The homestand also features games against Longwood (Jan. 12), Presbyterian (Jan. 16) and UNC Asheville (Jan. 18).

Liberty will return to the road Jan. 23, when the Lady Flames commence a series of four straight Big South games away from the Vines Center. Liberty will make its annual South Carolina "beach trip" to Charleston Southern (Jan. 23) and Coastal Carolina (Jan. 25) to tip off the span. The following weekend will see the Lady Flames head to High Point (Jan. 30) and Radford (Feb. 1). The High Point contest will enable Liberty to preview the site of the 2010 Big South Women's Basketball Championship and attempt to avenge its only Big South setback of the 2008-09 campaign.

Four of the Lady Flames' next five games will be contested at the Vines Center, beginning with Liberty's final non-conference outing of the year. North Carolina Central will square off with the Lady Flames on Feb. 4, in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Gardner-Webb's trip to Liberty will inaugurate the second round of Big South play on Feb. 8.

After a quick, one-game jaunt to Winthrop on Feb. 15, the Lady Flames will be back in town to host Coastal Carolina (Feb. 20) and Charleston Southern (Feb. 22). The game against the Chanticleers will serve as Liberty's annual WBCA Pink Zone contest.

Liberty's final regular-season road trip will include visits to UNC Asheville (Feb. 27) and Presbyterian (March 1). The Lady Flames will then welcome Radford (March 5) and High Point (March 8) to the Vines Center to wrap up the 29-game regular-season schedule.

For the second straight season, High Point will host the Big South Women's Basketball Championship at the Millis Center, March 12-14. The three-day tournament will determine the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA Tournament will get underway with 32 first-round games on March 20-21 and 16 second-round tilts on March 22-23, all of which will be contested at 16 pre-determined sites. The first and second-round sites nearest to Lynchburg include Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., and Old Dominion's Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.