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Inside/Outside Attack Keys Liberty Victory
|Catherine Kearney contributed 11 points and eight rebounds to the Lady Flames' 75-52 victory over Campbell.|
The Liberty women's basketball game used its inside/outside scoring attack to great effect during Saturday afternoon's clash with Big South leader Campbell. The Lady Flames hit eight triples and racked up 36 points in the paint in a 75-52 victory over the Lady Camels inside the Vines Center.
Defense also played an important role in Liberty's fifth straight win, as the Lady Flames held Campbell without a made field goal for the final 14:18 of the game. During that time, Liberty turned a precarious one-point lead into a 23-point win, closing the game on a 26-4 run.
Mickayla Sanders (13 points) paced four Lady Flames in double figures as Liberty improved to 6-5 overall with its fifth straight win. The Lady Flames are now 2-0 in Big South play, putting them in a three-way tie for the conference lead, along with Coastal Carolina and Winthrop.
Campbell shot a season-low 27.1 percent (16-of-59) from the field in losing its second straight game. The Lady Camels drop to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big South.
Liberty opened a sizeable early advantage with an 18-0 run. Sanders began the surge with a three-pointer, and an old-fashioned three-point play by Catherine Kearney gave the Lady Flames a 23-5 lead at the 11:44 mark.
Campbell battled back for the remainder of the half and pulled to within 35-25 at 2:12, after Roslyn Presley scored five straight points.
Liberty then pushed its advantage back to 14 (43-29) at the intermission.
The Lady Flames built their first-half lead by featuring an inside/outside attack. Liberty canned five three-pointers during the first 20 minutes and also doubled up the Lady Camels in points in the paint, 20-10.
Campbell shot just 28.1 percent (9-of-32) from the field before the break but turned nine offensive rebounds into eight second-chance points. The Lady Camels connected on all eight of their free throw attempts in the opening half.
Eight different Lady Flames scored points in the first half, paced by Sanders' 11 tallies. Katelyn Adams pulled down a half-high six rebounds.
For Campbell, Kiera Gaines scored eight points and Presley had seven markers during the opening stanza.
The black-clad Lady Camels outscored Liberty by a 17-4 margin during the first 5:42 of the second half, trimming their deficit to a single point (47-46) on Heather Beadle's mid-range jumper at 14:18. That turned out to be the visitors' final made field goal of the day.
Campbell was still within one before the Lady Flames went on their second extended run of the afternoon, a 15-0 surge. Kearney scored six points during the spurt, including a layup which bolstered the home team's advantage to 64-48 with 7:28 to play.
The Lady Camels got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way as Liberty was victorious in its 300th game at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames are now 238-62 all-time at the facility.
Liberty finished the game at 42.4 percent (28-of-66) from the field, highlighted by eight three-pointers made. The Lady Flames committed a season-low 13 turnovers, tallied 30 bench points and outscored Campbell by 20 (36-16) inside the paint.
The nation's leader in rebound margin, Liberty outrebounded its ninth straight opponent, closing the contest with a 47-37 edge on the glass.
Sanders and Reagan Miller spearheaded the Lady Flames' perimeter attack, combining for five triples made. Sanders finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while Miller added 11 points. Miller now ranks 50th in program history with 528 career points and ninth on the Lady Flames' all-time list with 101 made three-pointers.
Liberty also received strong play from its post trio of Adams, Kearney and Ashley Rininger. They combined for 31 points, 27 rebounds and five blocked shots on the day.
Adams posted eight points, tied her career high with 12 rebounds and equaled her season best with three blocked shots. Kearney matched her season high of 11 points and grabbed eight boards. Meanwhile, Rininger contributed a dozen points and seven caroms.
Gaines finished as the Lady Camels' leader in both points (12) and rebounds (6).
Liberty will take to the road for a three-game Big South Conference swing through North and South Carolina, beginning Monday evening at High Point (5-6, 1-1 Big South). Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Millis Center.