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Liberty Scorches Nets in Win at Charleston Southern
Liberty shot a season-high 58.6 percent from the field, including 74.1 percent after halftime, enabling the Lady Flames to post an 86-51 victory at Charleston Southern, Saturday afternoon at the Buc Dome.
Liberty improves to 12-5 overall and 8-0 in Big South play. The Lady Flames have now won six straight games overall, eight consecutive matchups with Charleston Southern and 13 straight Big South regular-season contests.
The Buccaneers fall to 3-13 overall and 0-8 in Big South games despite a career-high 14 points from Shauntavia Dobson. Charleston Southern snapped Liberty's streak of holding four straight opponents below the 50-point mark.
Liberty held Charleston Southern without a made field goal for the first 4:58 of the contest, enabling the Flames to open the game with a 6-1 lead.
A pair of Tatum Jarvis three-pointers helped the Buccaneers battle back. CSU pulled to within 12-11 on Christal Barnett's layup off an inbounds play at the 11:47 mark.
Liberty then gained some separation with an 18-0 run, bolstering its lead to 30-11 on Jasmine Gardner's layup, 2:20 before halftime.
The Buccaneers' Dobson scored eight of the half's final 10 points by herself, pulling CSU to within 32-19 at the intermission.
Liberty shot 45.2 percent (14-of-31) from the floor before halftime, aided by 18 points in the paint. Meanwhile, the home team hit only 21.4 percent (6-of-28) of its first-half field goal attempts, with half of its made field goals coming from three-point range.
Buer and Rininger led the Lady Flames with matching first-half stat lines of eight points and five rebounds. Dobson's eight points paced CSU's attack during the first 20 minutes and helped the Buccaneers build a 16-6 advantage in bench points.
Charleston Southern hit two triples during the first 2:17 of the second half, pulling to within 36-25 on Alecia Hardy's trifecta at the 17:43 mark.
Buer scored four points during Liberty's ensuing 8-0 run, including a pull-up jumper at 16:09 which gave the red-clad Lady Flames a 44-25 cushion.
Charleston Southern got no closer than 16 the rest of the way, as Liberty's hot shooting foiled any hope of a comeback.
The Lady Flames led by as many as 40 points on their way to their largest margin of victory this season (35 points).
Liberty tallied a season-high 44 points in the paint, contributing to its 58.6 percent (34-of-58) efficiency from the field. The Lady Flames, who shot 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from beyond the arc, are now 97-1 all-time under head coach Carey Green when shooting 50 percent or higher.
The Lady Flames' proficiency from the field helped them overcome a season-low 52.2 percent (12-of-23) effort from the foul line.
Defense and rebounding continue to be staples of Liberty's success, as the Lady Flames held CSU to 24.2 percent (15-of-62) from the field and won the rebounding battle, 45-38.
Sanders scored 13 of her 17 points after halftime, helping Liberty rack up 36 bench points during the final 20 minutes.
Buer's 16 points, which came on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor in only 17 minutes of playing time, put her six points shy of 1,000 for her collegiate career.
Fisher-Davis scored in double digits for the second straight game, sinking all four of her free throw attempts. The junior has now hit 18 consecutive foul shots, dating back to her freshman campaign.
Audrey Rettstatt scored her first eight points of the season while setting career highs for rebounds (game-high nine) and assists (three).
Gardner's four rebounds give her 503 for her career, making the Tennessee native the 25th Lady Flame ever to pull down 500 boards.
Sadalia Ellis topped all players with six assists, marking the junior's third straight game with five or more helpers.
For the Buccaneers, Jarvis scored 14 points of her own, contributing to CSU's 36 bench points.
Liberty will conclude its two-game South Carolina swing Tuesday evening, when the Lady Flames travel to Winthrop (8-9, 4-4 Big South) for a matchup against the defending Big South tournament champion Eagles. It will be the teams' first meeting since Winthrop defeated Liberty, 65-59, in the semifinals of the 2014 Big South Women's Basketball Championship.
Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum, and the game will be televised live on the American Sports Network (ASN).