LYNCHBURG, Va. – After earning an 83-80 overtime victory over Liberty on Jan. 18 at Kimmel Arena the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team will look to become only the fourth team in the last 15 seasons to earn a season sweep over the Flames as the two teams will close out the season series tonight at the Vines Center.
The game can be seen on ESPN3 as well as on the Big South Network presented by State Farm. Live stats will also be available at LibertyFlames.com
Coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick knows that completing the sweep will be no easy feat.
“We will have to continue to make better decisions in terms of taking care of the ball and shot selection to have enough offensive presence tonight,” said Kirkpatrick. “Defensively we did a poor job of keeping Liberty off of the glass the first time we played and they are still the best rebounding team in the league.”
The Bulldogs are now 10-15 overall and 7-9 in the Big South, with a 7-7 record at home and a 3-8 record on the road. They are currently tied for sixth in the Big South standings.
Asheville is coming off of a 69-52 victory over Longwood on Saturday afternoon, snapping a four-game losing skid with the win. Three Bulldog starters scored in double figures while the Asheville bench chipped in 24 points in the 17-point win. Guards Brittany Gwyn and Paige Love scored 13 points apiece while forward Leah Wormack added 10 to the Bulldogs’ total.
Coach Kirkpatrick knows that Asheville’s bench will have to step up to counteract Liberty’s non-starters.
“They are getting great production from their bench right now and have one of the deepest teams in the league,” added Kirkpatrick. “It will take another team effort on both ends to give ourselves a chance on the road.”
Liberty’s bench has outscored its opponent in nine straight contests.
The Flames are currently 15-10 overall with an 11-5 mark in Big South play. With a win Liberty will clinch a top-five seed and a first round bye in the upcoming Big South Conference Women’s Basketball Championship.
Asheville is currently leading the Big South and is 21st in the nation in free throw percentage with a mark of 76 percent.
Redshirt-Sophomore Leah Wormack currently leads the Big South in free throw percentage with a mark of 87 percent, with teammate Brittany Gwyn sitting in third place with a mark of 81.8 percent. Wormack is also 26th in the nation in the category.
The 10 wins for Asheville are the most since the 2010-11 season, when the Bulldogs won 12 games. The seven conference victories for the Bulldogs are also to most wins in league play since they went 7-9 during the 2008-09 season.
The Bulldogs will be on the road for their final two regular season games away from Kimmel Arena this week, taking on Liberty on Thursday before squaring off against High Point on Saturday. Asheville defeated the Flames 83-80 in overtime on Jan. 18, the first victory for the Bulldogs over the flames in seven seasons. The Blue & White fell to High Point on Jan. 16, 71-66.