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Presbyterian Halts Liberty's Winning Streak, 60-42
Rebecca Walker's career-high 18 points and a stout defensive effort enabled Presbyterian to defeat Liberty, 60-42, Saturday afternoon at the Templeton Center. The Blue Hose snapped the Lady Flames' four-game winning streak and dropped them out of first place in the Big South standings.
Liberty falls to 7-8 overall and 4-2 in Big South play after shooting only 27.3 percent (15-of-55) from the field and being limited to eight points in the paint. Jaymee Fisher-Davis made a career-best five three-pointers for a season-best 15 points, leading the Lady Flames' attack.
Presbyterian is now 8-7 overall and 4-2 in the conference after becoming the first Big South team to defeat the Lady Flames by double digits since Radford notched a 77-54 win over Liberty at the Dedmon Center on March 3, 2007. Walker made four of PC's nine triples on the day and was joined in double figures by guards Cortney Storey (12 points) and Janie Miles (12 points).
A back-and-forth first quarter saw three ties and three lead changes after the Lady Flames jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. PC emerged with a 13-12 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Blue Hose hit three triples during the first 4:02 of the second quarter, opening up a 24-15 lead on Storey's trifecta at the 5:58 mark. Liberty got no closer than six for the remainder of the half, and PC scored the period's final four points to take a 30-20 halftime lead.
Liberty won the first-half rebounding battle, 26-16, but shot only 25 percent (8-of-32) from the field. Meanwhile, the Blue Hose nailed five three-pointers before halftime, including a trio by Walker, who scored 13 first-half points to lead all players.
Miles scored PC's first seven points of the third quarter, bolstering the home team's lead to 37-22 on her three-pointer with 7:31 to play in the period. The Blue Hose edge eventually reached 18 (44-26) when Aianna Kelly hit her first of two triples during the third quarter at 3:16. PC took a 47-31 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Flames cut into their deficit when Candice Leatherwood and Fisher-Davis opened the final quarter with back-to-back three-pointers. A pair of Catherine Kearney free throws at the 6:26 mark pulled Liberty to within nine (50-41). However, Walker swished a three-pointer on PC's ensuing possession and the Blue Hose led by double digits the rest of the way.
Presbyterian finished the day at 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the field, including 33.3 percent (9-of-27) from beyond the three-point arc.
Despite Liberty's shooting woes, the Lady Flames tied their season high of seven made triples.
The rapidly played game featured only 14 total free throw attempts, with each team making five.
The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle, 44-32, but converted their 17 offensive boards into only five second-chance points.
Liberty committed a season-low 13 turnovers, but the Blue Hose were even better, finishing with only five miscues.
Fisher-Davis' five three-pointers were the most by a Lady Flame since Simone Brown connected on five triples against Penn State on Nov. 28, 2014. In the process, the senior guard became the 10th Lady Flame ever to make 100 career triples. She finished the game tied with Sarah Wilkerson for eighth place in program history with 104 three-pointers.
Mickayla Sanders chipped in nine points and a team-high four assists for the Lady Flames.
Post players Katelyn Adams (12 rebounds) and Catherine Kearney (10 rebounds) spearheaded Liberty's efforts on the boards.
Walker added seven rebounds to her career-high scoring output for PC, while Storey contributed seven assists, six boards and three steals.
Liberty will return home next Saturday (Jan. 16) to face Winthrop in a matchup between the last two Big South champions. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Vines Center.