Big 10, ACC, SEC foes highlight Liberty women’s basketball schedule
Head coach Carey Green has crafted an extremely challenging schedule for the 2014-15 Liberty women’s basketball team. The Lady Flames’ slate of opponents is headlined by two teams from the Big 10 (Minnesota and Penn State) and one each from the ACC (N.C. State) and SEC (South Carolina).
Liberty is slated to play six games against 2014 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including two versus Sweet 16 foes (penn state and South Carolina). The Lady Flames will also face five Postseason wnit opponents from a season ago.
For the first time since 2009-10, Liberty will tip off its season at the Vines Center. In fact, the Lady Flames are scheduled to play three consecutive home contests to open the year, all against teams which played in either the 2014 NCAA or Postseason wnit tournaments.
Liberty will face Charlotte in the season opener for the second year in a row, beginning its 13-game home slate on Nov. 14. The Lady Flames will then play host to back-to-back Atlantic 10 foes, in VCU (Nov. 18) and Saint Joseph’s (Nov. 22). Both teams were 20-game winners in 2013-14, with Saint Joseph’s reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Eight of the Lady Flames’ next nine games will be played away from Lynchburg, beginning with a Nov. 25matchup at Elon. Liberty will face the CAA’s newest member for the first time since 2003, when the Phoenix were part of the Big South.
Liberty will then travel to Atlanta for the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament (Nov. 28 and 30). The Lady Flames are pitted against penn state in the tournament opener. The Nittany Lions are coming off of a 24-8 season, which saw them reach the Sweet 16. This will be the first contest between Liberty and penn state since the opening round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, when the Lady Flames upset the Nittany Lions to spark their own Sweet 16 run.
For the fourth year in a row, Liberty will begin its 20-game Big South Conference schedule with a contest against Radford. The Lady Flames and Highlanders will face off at the Dedmon Center on Dec. 6. One week later, Liberty will return to Lynchburg for its Big South home opener against Gardner-Webb, which is the Lady Flames’ only December home date.
Liberty will return to the road for arguably its toughest three-game stretch of the season. On Dec. 17, the Lady Flames will play at N.C. State, which went 25-8 and made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Next up is a visit to Minneapolis for the Gopher Classic (Dec. 20 & 21), which will serve as a homecoming for Burnsville, Minn., native Katelyn Adams. Liberty will square off with tournament host Minnesota for the first time in program history on the tournament’s opening day, before closing out its non-conference slate against South Carolina on Dec. 21. The Gamecocks were 29-5 in 2013-14, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the Sweet 16.
Liberty will finish off its 2014-15 regular-season schedule with 18 straight Big South Conference tilts, beginning Dec. 30 at UNC Asheville and concluding Feb. 28 at Campbell.
In between, the Lady Flames will face 2014 Big South Championship titlist Winthrop twice (Jan. 20 at Winthrop and Feb. 24 at Liberty), with the home matchup serving as the Lady Flames’ home finale.
The Lady Flames are scheduled to make three separate trips to South Carolina in January, including contests at Coastal Carolina (Jan. 8), Charleston Southern (Jan. 17) and Winthrop (Jan. 20).
Liberty will return to the Palmetto State for the 2015 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Women’s Basketball Championship, March 3-8. Coastal Carolina will play host to the event for the third consecutive season, with the championship game set for March 8.
The 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will tip off with first-round games on March 20 and 21.