Sunday, March 11, 2012

Liberty to take on High Point for Big South title

Back in October, Liberty star Avery Warley told us how difficult it was to watch another team celebrate victory after the Big South final.

Now they have a chance to do some celebrating of their own. Saturday's 72-52 victory over Charleston Southern boosted Liberty into the Big South title game for the 15th time in the last 16 years. The top-seeded Lady Flames will meet No. 2 High Point at 4 p.m. in High Point's Millis Center. High Point qualified by downing No. 5 Radford 85-70 in the other semifinal.

All signs point to a down-to-the-wire showdown, in part because, well, that's the only type of game Liberty seems to play when they get to this round. The Lady Flames' last five visits to the championship game have been decided by a combined eight points. That's just one of the interesting facts we gleaned from Liberty's typically excellent game notes.

Liberty and High Point split their two meetings this season, with each team winning on the other's home court. And as is usually the case in the Big South, this game is also a winner-take-all contest with regards to the NCAA Tournament. The winner gets league's automatic bid; the loser will almost certainly be relegated to the WNIT.

Warley in particular seems primed for a big performance. The senior forward is coming off a 20-point, 22-rebound effort in Saturday's semifinals and is averaging 18.5 points and 17.5 rebounds in her two tournament games.

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