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WBB Game Day Central: Radford

January 31, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Devon Brown scored 19 of her career-high 29 points during the second half of Saturday's victory at High Point.

Devon Brown scored 19 of her career-high 29 points during the second half of Saturday's victory at High Point.

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The Game
Liberty (15-4, 6-1 Big South) will attempt to complete a 4-0 Big South road swing Monday, when the Lady Flames head across the Commonwealth to face Radford (5-13, 4-3 Big South). Liberty has won a season-high eight games in a row overall and 26 of its last 29 meetings with the Highlanders. Tipoff at the Dedmon Center is slated for 7 p.m.

Last Time Out
Led by career-high scoring outbursts by Devon Brown and Avery Warley, the Lady Flames erased a seven-point halftime deficit to upend Big South co-leader High Point by a 75-62 count, Saturday at the Millis Center. Brown finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while Warley racked up 26 points and 14 boards.

On Deck
Liberty will return home for its next two games, beginning with a 5 p.m. matchup against North Carolina Central on Thursday. The Lady Flames' first-ever meeting with the Lady Eagles is their final non-conference game on this season's schedule.

Lady Flames On The Air
All Lady Flames basketball games may be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." Jamie Hall, in the midst of his 16th year of broadcasting Lady Flames basketball, is once again handling the courtside play-by-play duties for road games. Nick Pierce and Josh Wood serve as the primary commentators for home contests.

Scouting Radford
The Radford Highlanders have been one of the most surprising teams in the Big South Conference this season. After being picked to finish seventh in the conference's preseason poll and going just 1-10 outside the conference, the Highlanders are 4-3 in Big South action. Radford is the only conference team with a win over Big South leader Gardner-Webb this season, claiming a 68-53 triumph at Paul Porter Arena on Jan. 4. However, the Highlanders lost to both Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern on last weekend's South Carolina "Beach Trip."

Radford is 4-4 at the Dedmon Center this year, but the Highlanders have won four of their last five home contests. Like Liberty, Radford has created problems for its opposition with its defensive pressure this season. The Highlanders rank No. 2 in the conference behind the Lady Flames, with 11.1 steals per game.

Kymesha Alston, a 6-0 redshirt senior forward, leads the Highlanders in both scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg). The preseason all-conference selection is the only senior on Radford's roster. Denay Wood, a 5-10 junior guard/forward, contributes 8.7 ppg and a team-high 2.1 spg. Freshman De'Naria Erwin Spencer, a 5-5 guard, has been one of the Big South's top newcomers, ranking sixth in the Big South in assists (3.0 apg) and ninth in steals (1.8 spg).

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his 11th season with the Lady Flames, and has led his team to nine Big South titles. A five-time Big South Coach of the Year, Green owns a 252-81 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.757) ranked ninth all-time among NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the season's outset. Green is 20-3 all-time against Radford.

Tajama Ngongba is 15-31 in her second season as a collegiate head coach. An All-American player at George Washington, Ngongba served four seasons as an asisstant coach at her alma mater, prior to taking the reins at Radford a season ago. Ngongba is 0-2 all-time versus Liberty.

Liberty-Radford Series Notes
Liberty is 27-23 all-time versus Radford, the opponent it has played more often than any other in program history. The Lady Flames have won five consecutive meetings with the Highlanders and 26 of the teams' last 29 contests. Liberty has also been victorious in eight of its last nine visits to the Dedmon Center.

The Lady Flames swept the season series from Radford in 2008-09, scoring 80 points in each game. Liberty posted an 80-38 home win on Feb. 2, 2009 and recorded an 80-61 victory at Radford on March 6, 2009.

Sisters Megan (25.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and Moriah Frazee (14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) both played well against Radford a season ago. Amber Mays was also effective for the Lady Flames, averaging 9.5 points and 6.0 assists per contest.

Radford's Kymesha Alston averaged a team-high 13.0 ppg versus Liberty in 2008-09, while teammate Taleia Moton also scored in double figures at 10.5 ppg.

Competing Against the Commonwealth
Liberty is 1-2 versus Commonwealth foes in 2009-10, picking up a win over Longwood (78-55 on Jan. 12) and dropping contests against James Madison (50-60 on Dec. 1) and Virginia (54-63 on Dec. 29).

The Lady Flames' two games against Radford (Monday and March 5) are their only remaining matchups with Commonwealth opponents on this season's schedule.

Fabulous in February
Liberty has won 91 of its last 96 games played during the month of February, dating back to the 1997 Big South Championship. The only teams to defeat the Lady Flames in February since then are High Point (three times), UNC Asheville and Winthrop.

The Lady Flames own a 172-121 all-time mark during the year's second month, including a 72-5 record under Carey Green. Liberty, which went 6-0 in February a season ago, has seven February contests scheduled in 2009-10.

20/20 Vision
Devon Brown (29 points) and Avery Warley (26 points) both set new career highs for points during Saturday's 75-62 victory at High Point. In the process, the duo became the first pair of Lady Flames to score 20 points in the same game since Megan Frazee had 22 points and sister Moriah Frazee added 20 in a 76-57 triumph over High Point on Jan. 29, 2008.

20-Game Checkpoint
If Liberty is able to defeat Radford Monday, it would boost the Lady Flames' record to 16-4. That would match the fourth-best start in program history, as the 1996-97 Liberty squad also won 16 of its first 20 games.

The 1997-98 Lady Flames started out 20-0, while the 2007-08 team was 18-2 through 20 games and the 2002-03 squad opened the year at 17-3.

A Tale of Two Halves
Liberty has regularly stepped up its level of play during the second half this season. The Lady Flames are outscoring opponents by an average score of 36.8-25.1 during the final 20 minutes of play, thus far this season.

Liberty is shooting .517 from the field after halftime, while limiting opponents to a .315 second-half field goal percentage.

As a result, the Lady Flames are 3-3 this season when trailing at halftime. Liberty has won each of its last two games (at Coastal Carolina, at High Point) after overcoming halftime deficits.

Hot After Halftime
Liberty has played extremely well during the second half of its last two games, at Coastal Carolina (Jan. 25) and at High Point (Jan. 30), enabling the Lady Flames to come back from halftime deficits in both contests.

The Lady Flames outscored the two teams after intermission by a combined score of 82-38 and outrebounded them, 58-13. Leading the charge have been Devon Brown (34 points, 15 rebounds) and Avery Warley (20 points, 16 rebounds).

70 is the Magic Number
Liberty is 8-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points in a game, extending a lengthy streak. The Lady Flames have now won 90 consecutive games when reaching the 70-point plateau offensively.

No. 24 Boston College was the most recent team to defeat Liberty when the Lady Flames tallied 70 points. The Eagles dealt the Lady Flames a 74-70 overtime loss, Dec. 6, 2003 at the Brown Classic.

Liberty has not dropped a game when scoring 70 points in regulation since Dec. 4, 2002. That day, the Lady Flames fell at Richmond by an 88-74 count.

Big Wins, Tight Losses
The Lady Flames' 15 victories this season have come by an average of 25.5 points. Liberty's tightest win was a 57-51 home victory over North Carolina A&T on Jan. 5.

Meanwhile, Liberty has lost its four games by a total of 30 points. James Madison posted the widest margin of victory over the Lady Flames, defeating Liberty 60-50, Dec. 1 at the Vines Center.

Double-Double x 2
Before Jan. 12, the Lady Flames had not seen a pair of players record double-doubles in the same game since Nov. 24, 2007. However, Liberty has accomplished the feat three times in its last six games.

Longwood (Jan. 12): Jelena Antic (19 pts., 10 rebs.) & Devon Brown (16 pts., 13 rebs.)
Coastal Carolina (Jan. 25): Devon Brown (17 pts., 10 rebs.) & Avery Warley (15 pts., 12 rebs.)
High Point (Jan. 30): Devon Brown (29 pts., 11 rebs.) & Avery Warley (26 pts., 14 rebs.)

A Whole Lot of Winning Streaks
The Lady Flames have won a season-high eight consecutive games, which marks their second winning streak of at least five games so far this season.

Liberty has now enjoyed 18 winning streaks of at least five games during Carey Green's 11 seasons as head coach.

Here's Another Streak
Liberty has outrebounded nine straight opponents by at least 10 rebounds, a streak which started Jan. 2 at Gardner-Webb. During the span, the Lady Flames are winning the rebounding battle by an average of 20.2 boards per contest, 43.8 to 23.6.