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3-Point Barrage Leads Liberty Past Radford
Freshman Mickayla Sanders scored a career-high 22 points and hit four of Liberty's season-high 11 three-pointers, highlighting Liberty's 90-46 romp over Radford, Thursday evening inside the Dedmon Center.
Liberty tied the facility record with its 11 made triples, which led to the Lady Flames' fourth straight win. The Lady Flames are now 18-10 overall and 14-5 in Big South play after posting their largest margin of victory (44 points) in 61 all-time meetings with the Highlanders.
The Lady Flames are now tied with Winthrop for second place in the Big South standings, sitting one game behind High Point entering the final game of the regular season.
Despite Ayana Avery's 19 points, Radford falls to 7-21 overall and 5-14 in Big South play with its third straight setback.
Liberty got its inside/outside scoring balance going early on. Within the first 9:02 of the contest, the Lady Flames made three triples and Ashley Rininger scored eight points in the interior. Rininger's nifty post move at the 10:58 mark gave blue-clad Liberty a 20-7 edge.
Avery tried to keep the Highlanders within striking distance, tallying 10 straight Radford points during one stretch.
However, the Lady Flames were able to build a trio of 21-point leads, including their halftime advantage of 44-23.
Liberty shot 42.4 percent (14-of-33) from the field during the first half, highlighted by five made triples. The Lady Flames also got to the foul line often, making 11-of-17 first-half attempts for 64.7 percent.
Radford made 34.6 percent (9-of-26) of its opening-half field goal tries and half of its four free throw attempts.
Liberty dominated the rebounding category before halftime, grabbing 14 offensive boards as part of its 30-9 edge on the glass. The Lady Flames also committed just five turnovers during the first 20 minutes of play.
Rininger and Sanders tallied 10 points apiece for the Lady Flames before halftime, while Rininger paced all players with eight rebounds. Sadalia Ellis dished out six first-half assists off the bench.
Avery's 10 points topped Radford's scoring column before halftime, while Jordynn Gaymon pulled down four boards.
Back-to-back triples by Sanders and Jaymee Fisher-Davis capped off a 12-0 Liberty run early in the second half, giving the Lady Flames a 63-27 advantage with 13:38 left.
Liberty's lead got as large as 48 points on its way to a 90-46 triumph. It was Liberty's largest margin of victory since a 92-33 triumph at Charleston Southern on Jan. 10, 2013.
The Lady Flames shot the ball well from the field (49.1 percent, 28-of-57) and three-point range (45.8 percent, 11-of-24), falling just one triple shy of the program single-game record for three-pointers made. Liberty also hit 23 of its 33 foul shots for 69.7 percent.
Liberty limited Radford to 37.5 percent (18-of-48) field goal shooting, as the Lady Flames held an opponent under the 50-point mark for the fifth time in the last seven contests.
The Lady Flames finished with a season-best +35 rebound margin, grabbing 50 boards to Radford's 15. The Highlanders set a Dedmon Center record for fewest rebounds in a contest.
Liberty converted 20 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points and matched their season high for bench points with 46.
Sanders, the first Lady Flame other than Rininger to post a 20-point effort this season, was one of four Liberty players to score in double figures.
Katelyn Adams needed only 16 minutes of playing time to produce her sixth double-double of the season, consisting of 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Fellow post player Rininger chipped in a dozen points and eight boards.
Freshman Audrey Rettstatt tallied nine of her career-high 10 points after halftime, while Ellis ended up with a career-best nine assists.
Avery was the only Highlander to reach double digits on the night. Teammate Gaymon added seven points and a team-high four caroms.
Liberty will wrap up the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday, when the Lady Flames make the short trip east on Route 460 to visit Longwood (8-20, 5-14 Big South). Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Willett Hall for a rematch of the 2013 Big South Championship title contest. Liberty posted a 74-41 home victory over the Lancers on Jan. 23.