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Liberty Nails 11 Triples in Win Over Longwood
Liberty hit a season-high 11 three-pointers during Tuesday evening's contest against Longwood, propelling the Lady Flames to a 70-48 victory at the Vines Center.
Liberty, whose first seven made field goals were triples, equaled the most three-pointers the Lady Flames have ever hit at the Vines Center. Meanwhile, Liberty dominated the glass (62-23) and held its fourth straight opponent below the 50-point mark.
As a result, the Lady Flames improved to 11-5 overall and a perfect 7-0 in Big South play. Simone Brown's 12 points paced Liberty's balanced scoring attack and helped the Lady Flames extend several streaks.
Liberty has now won a season-best five straight games overall, six consecutive home games, eight straight matchups with in-state opponents and 12 consecutive meetings with Longwood.
The Lancers fell to 2-15 overall and 2-6 in Big South games despite a game-high 18 points from Raven Williams. Longwood, which has never won at the Vines Center, has dropped 18 straight contests away from Farmville.
Williams' five early points helped blue-clad Longwood jump out to a 7-3 advantage to start the game.
Liberty made seven of its first 10 three-point tries to start the game, including three by Mickayla Sanders. The sophomore's trifecta at the 9:06 mark gave the Lady Flames a 23-14 lead before they had hit their first two-point field goal of the evening.
The Lady Flames held Longwood without a made field goal for the final 4:30 of the opening half, helping them turn a nine-point lead into a 16-point (39-23) halftime cushion.
Liberty shot a scorching 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from three-point range in the first half but uncharacteristically scored only four points in the paint and shot 20 percent (4-of-20) inside the arc.
Sanders (9 points) and Jaymee Fisher-Davis (8 points) combined to make all five of their three-point tries before halftime and contributed to Liberty's 27-4 advantage in bench points.
Williams led all players with 10 first-half points for the Lancers, who shot just 31.8 percent (7-of-22) from the field before halftime.
Longwood scored five of the second half's first seven points, pulling to within 41-28 on Jaclyn Reagan's three-pointer from the right wing at 18:35.
Brown tallied four points during Liberty's ensuing 9-2 burst, including a pull-up jumper at the 14:22 mark which gave the Lady Flames their first 20-point lead at 50-30.
The home team's edge eventually reached 26 points, marking its largest lead of the season, after the first two points of Sheana Vega's career made it 69-43.
Liberty's final margin of victory (22 points) also established a season high.
The Lady Flames finished at 35.8 percent (24-of-67) from the field and 40.7 percent (11-of-27) from three-point range, hitting 11 triples for the fifth time all-time at the Vines Center.
Liberty also continued its stellar free throw shooting, sinking 78.6 percent (11-of-14) of its tries.
Longwood shot just 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the floor and the conference leader in three-pointers made was 27.3 percent (6-of-22) from long range.
Liberty won the second-half rebounding battle, 39-8, finishing with its top rebound margin of the season at +39. The Lady Flames equaled their season high with 26 offensive boards and tallied their most rebounds since hauling in 62 caroms against Sacred Heart on Nov. 17, 2012.
The Lady Flames established new season highs for assists (18) and bench points (46), with three players scoring in double digits off of Carey Green's bench.
In addition to Brown's team-high 12 points, the sophomore also tied her season high with seven rebounds.
One of three Lady Flames to hit three triples on the night, Fisher-Davis reached double digits for the third time in five games with 11 points. Sanders and Karly Buer also nailed a trio of trifectas versus the Lancers for nine points apiece.
Ashley Rininger totaled 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench for her sixth double-double of the season and the 25th of her career. She is now tied with Elena Kisseleva for fourth place on Liberty's all-time list.
Playing against Longwood for the first time in her career, Catherine Kearney just missed a double-double of her own with 10 points and a season-high nine boards.
Fellow post player Katelyn Adams collected eight rebounds and blocked a shot, becoming the sixth Lady Flame ever to reject 100 shots in her career.
Sadalia Ellis was held scoreless but topped all players in both assists (7) and steals (3) despite playing only 11 minutes. The Texan has already set a career high of 33 steals with 13 regular-season games remaining.
For Longwood, Kyndal Skersick joined Williams in double figures, contributing 10 points and a team-best five rebounds.
Liberty will play its next two games in South Carolina, where the Lady Flames are 52-6 under head coach Carey Green. The Lady Flames' Palmetto State swing will begin at Charleston Southern on Saturday, with tipoff slated for 2 p.m. at the Buc Dome.