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3 Double-Doubles Highlight Liberty's Win at CSU

January 2, 2014
|  Charleston, S.C.
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Ashley Rininger led Liberty to a victory at Charleston Southern with a game-high 27 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Double-doubles by Katelyn Adams, Catherine Kearney and Ashley Rininger helped Liberty bounce back from a loss in impressive fashion, Thursday evening at the Buc Dome. The Lady Flames posted a season high for points in a 92-69 victory over Charleston Southern.

Adams, Kearney and Rininger combined for 51 points, 34 rebounds and seven blocked shots, helping Liberty improve to 7-6 overall and 3-1 in Big South play. The Lady Flames finished with a season-high +31 rebound margin (54-23), while racking up 42 points in the paint and a season-best 34 second-chance points.

Charleston Southern falls to 4-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference despite sinking a season-high 11 three-pointers and putting four of its five starters in double figures in the scoring column.

Liberty grabbed six offensive rebounds during the first 2:26 of play, scoring all of its points during an early 8-0 run of the second-chance variety.

Shortly thereafter, Simone Brown nailed a three-pointer from the right wing at 13:31, capping off a 12-0 Lady Flames surge and giving the visitors their first double-digit lead (20-6).

Charleston Southern used three-point shooting to stay within striking distance, connecting on five triples in the first 12:11 of play.

Liberty's lead got as large as 17 points (48-31) on Kearney's short jumper at the 32-second mark before the Lady Flames took a 48-33 lead into the intermission. It was the Lady Flames' highest-scoring first half of the season.

The Lady Flames' height advantage was a major factor in their opening-half success, as Liberty topped CSU in rebounds (29-13), points in the paint (24-4) and second-chance points (18-2).

Meanwhile, Charleston Southern made its living from beyond the arc before halftime, making six of 15 attempts for 40 percent.

The duo of Rininger (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Kearney (10 points, 6 rebounds) led the way for the Lady Flames in the opening 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Erin Bratcher made three of the Buccaneers' triples and scored 12 first-half points for the home team.

After being saddled with foul trouble for most of the first half, Charleston Southern's DJ Fowler scored her team's first five points of the second period, pulling her squad to within 50-38 with 18:26 to play.

Liberty countered with a 10-2 burst, taking a 60-40 lead on Rininger's bank shot at 15:39.

But the Buccaneers were not finished, roaring right back with an 11-3 surge which featured three triples. Anicia Dotson made two of the long-distance connections, including one with 12:17 left which made it a 63-51 game in favor of Liberty.

CSU also got within a dozen points on two other occasions, but could never get any closer.

Three-pointers by freshmen Mickayla Sanders and Brown during the final minute and a half made Liberty's final margin of victory (92-69) its largest lead of the contest. The Lady Flames have still not lost back-to-back Big South contests since Feb. 20 and 22, 1997.

For the game, Liberty shot well both from the field (47.8 percent, 32-of-67) and the free throw line (84 percent, 21-of-25) while making seven triples.

Charleston Southern shot just 34.4 percent (21-of-61) from the floor, with more than half of its made field goals coming from three-point range.

Rininger led all players with 27 points, while completing her eighth double-double of the season with 11 boards. The Buckeye State native tied a season high with three blocked shots.

Adams' first double-double of the season and the third of her career consisted of 14 points and 10 boards.

Kearney posted her second double-double in a row by scoring 10 points and tying her career highs for both rebounds (13) and blocked shots (3).

Sanders scored in double digits for the third straight game, finishing with 12 points to go along with a career high-tying seven rebounds.

Reagan Miller tallied nine points and a season-high five assists for the Lady Flames. The junior hit a pair of three-pointers and is now tied with Elena Kisseleva for eighth place in program history with 103 made triples.

Charleston Southern's Alyssa Mann paced her team with a career-high 18 points, 13 of which came in the second half. She was joined in double digits by teammates Dotson (17 points), Bratcher (16 points) and Fowler (10 points).

Liberty will close out its three-game Big South road swing Saturday at 2 p.m. with a contest at conference co-leader Coastal Carolina (8-5, 4-0 Big South). The Lady Flames will be in search of their 41st consecutive victory over the Chanticleers and will look to continue Liberty's success inside The HTC Center. The Liberty men's and women's basketball teams are a combined 8-0 at the facility, which opened last season.