Women's Basketball Travels To Liberty For First True Road Contest
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The UNCG women's basketball team plays its last contest before opening Southern Conference action when the Spartans travel to Liberty Tuesday night for a nonconference contest at the Vines Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
The game will be shown on ESPN3 as UNCG looks to build on its first victory of the season - a 55-49 win over Gardner-Webb at home 10 days ago (Nov. 17).
Freshman Ciara Morris (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) posted her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Bulldogs. She also filled up the stat sheet to the tune of six offensive rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals. Freshman guard Lucy Mason (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee Charter) paced UNCG in scoring for the third time in as many games, tossing in 14 to go along with four steals and three assists. Complementing Morris' work on the boards was senior forward Sidnei Harmon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) who racked up eight rebounds with four on the offensive glass.
• Tuesday's contest marks the 22nd meeting between UNCG and Liberty with the Spartans holding a 14-7 advantage in the series.
• The Spartans own a 122-58 record against current members of the Big South Conference. UNCG has faced off against Campbell (11-1), Charleston Southern (14-3), Coastal Carolina (12-6), Gardner-Webb (1-0), High Point (11-10), Liberty (14-7), Longwood (15-11), Radford (11-7), UNC Asheville (14-2) and Winthrop (19-11). The Blue and Gold has never met Presbyterian College or VMI prior to Saturday's game with the Bulldogs.
• Liberty was selected to win the 2012-13 Big South title for the 15th time in the last 16 years. Redshirt senior guard/forward Devon Brown was named to the preseason All-Big South team. Head coach Carey Green's team will feature three returning starters, including Brown, redshirt senior forward/center Tolu Omotola and sophomore point guard Reagan Miller. Last season, the Lady Flames finished 24-9 and made their 14th appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. Liberty won a conference-record 16 Big South games, capturing its 13th Big South regular-season championship.
• Liberty enters Tuesday's contest with a 2-3 overall record, but played their last two games on the road against ranked opponents Texas A&M and defending national champion Baylor. Brown dropped in a game-high 20 points in the loss to the Bears. Liberty shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) from the floor after halftime, including six made three-pointers. As a result, the Lady Flames finished the game with a 42.9 percent (24-of-56) field goal efficiency. Liberty, which had made only 14 three-pointers during the first four games of the season, hit a season-high eight triples on Friday, with Brown, Washington and Emily Frazier swishing two apiece. However, the Lady Flames only attempted six free throws on the night, making four of them for 66.7 percent. Baylor finished the game with a slight 33-31 rebounding edge. The Bears converted 27 Liberty turnovers into 35 points and also racked up 36 bench points. Brown scored 14 of her game-high 20 points after halftime, eclipsing the 20-point plateau for the second straight contest. She also tied Rininger and Tolu Omotola for team-high honors with five rebounds.
UNCG AT A GLANCE
Record: 1-2 (.333) >> Southern Conference Record/Standing (0-0/T-1st) >> Last Five Games: 1-4 (.200) >> Last 10 games: 2-8 (.200) >> Last 15 games: 2-13 (.133) >> Miscellaneous: UNCG plays the 33rd game in Palmer's tenure as the Spartans travel to Liberty. UNCG's all-time record stands at 673-460 (.594).
FROSH LEADING THE WAY...
Freshman point guard Lucy Mason has enjoyed a fine start to her UNCG career as she is averaging a team-best 15.7 points in the Spartans' first three contests. She has led the squad in scoring all three times while averaging 32.0 minutes played. Mason also currently ranks fifth among SoCon players in scoring average.
PLAY THE D...
The Spartans have played some intense defense so far this season, racking up 43 steals and forcing 83 turnovers. Mason owns a team-best nine of those steals while UNCG ranks first in the league with 14.3 per contest.
THREE-POINT STREAK AT 23...
UNCG has nailed at least one three-point field goal in the last 23 games and 178 of the last 179. The Spartans owned a streak of 155-straight contests with a triple until they went 0-6 at Wofford Dec. 17, 2011.
Junior Janae' Stevenson is rapidly moving her way up the UNCG career blocked shots list. As a freshman, she swatted 36 shots, the fourth-most in a single season in school history. She did two better with 38 blocked shots last season. With 77 to her credit now, she is fifth in program career history. Stevenson blocked a career-high four shots in UNCG's 55-54 win over Georgia Southern last year. Should she maintain her current pace, Stevenson should easily surpass UNCG's career record of 121 by Rebecca Viverette (1994-98) by the time her career is over.
The Spartans open Southern Conference play Saturday, Dec. 1 with a contest at Western Carolina. Tipoff at the Ramsey Center is scheduled for 5 p.m.
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