WBB: Liberty, Liberty, Liberty


Laci Steele

State's women's basketball team hosts the Liberty Flames at Reynolds Coliseum on Sunday December 10th at 2 p.m. with the game being a ACCNX stream. This will be State's last home game until Thursday January 4th, 2024 when the team hosts Florda State. State's next three games are on the road at USF on December 16th, at Old Dominion on December 20th and at Virginia on December 31st.

State is 3 and 0 with regard to Liberty with two wins being home wins and one win being in Lynchburg, Virginia. The last two games were pretty close with a 61-53 road win on November 20th, 2015 and a 67-64 home win on December 17th, 2016.

From warrennolan, State's Live RPI is still 1, their overall record is 9-0, their NET is 9, their ELO is 4 and their SOS is 8. State has two Net and RPI quad 1 wins; that over UConn (RPI 5) and that over Colorado (RPI 18).

Liberty from the same site has a Live RPI of 99, has a 2-6 overall record, has a NET of 136, has an ELO of 118 and has an SOS of 4 (yes, they have played a very difficult schedule so far). Liberty has a NET quad 1 record of 0-4 and a RPI quad 1 record of 0-3. Liberty has losses to #5 Texas, #23 Gonzaga and #18 Louisville.

Nolan predicts State to beat Liberty 78-53.

From Lobo's Look at herhoopstats, State is predicted to win on the road at Liberty, at a neutral site or at State. Since the game is at State, I will use that prediction. State has a win probability of 97.6% and by a score of 78.7 to 52.7.

Looking at herhoopstats Ratings, State has a value of 37.5 and a rank of 11/360 while Liberty has a value of 5.6 and a rank of 118/360. For Offensive Ratings, State has a value of 111.1 and a rank of 17/360 while Liberty has a value of 95.3 and a rank of 108/360. For Defensive Ratings, State has a value of 73.5 and a rank of 6/360 while Liberty has a value of 89.8 and a rank of 149/360.

Liberty is definitely not an undersized team having on its roster six-six junior Bella Smuda, six-five redshirt sophomore Emile Howard and six-three redshirt freshman Caroline Shiery. In the Flames home 70-73 loss to Towson on Monday, December 4th the team started the aforementioned six-six redshirt junior Bella Smuda, five-eight freshman Asia Boone, five-eleven junior Emma Hess, five-six junior Jordan Hodges and six-one freshman Elisabeth Aegisdottir. Those five players played 39, 40, 38, 37 and 41 minutes of the overtime game.

Stat wise, Smuda leads the team in scoring at 13.2 ppg shooting 537 from the floor-she has not taken an arc shot. Hess is second in scoring at 12.7 ppg shooting 406 from the floor; 365 from the arc. The high-volume arc shooter for the Flames is Hess who has put up 19 attempts from the arc. Hodges has been the most accurate from the arc hitting 10 of her 23 attempts (435). Bella leads the team in rebounding with an average of 8 rpg.

Figure that State's bench will get a significant number of minutes in what will should be more than a 20-point win. Hopefully Laci hits more arc shots than her first; that Katie Peneueta makes her first arc shot; and that Maddie Cox shows improvement on offense. Maddie Cox played 17 significant minutes against UConn hitting both of her shots one being a crucial three-pointer and playing good defense, but as of late she has not shown that type of play. She certainly has the talent. On the other hand, Lizzy Williamson has started showing some offensive skills shooting 2-2 from the floor in 4 minutes of play against Illinois State. That is her in the photo above.

Last Sunday I had Church Cantata practice so I missed the Illinois State game. This Sunday it's the real deal for the Cantata. I will miss again but will catch the game on demand.

Go Pack!