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Second Half Start Lifts Lady Flames Over Lancers
The Lady Flames score 18-unanswered points to start the second half and to open up a game of runs en route to a convincing 77-50 non-conference road victory over Longwood, Wednesday evening, at Willett Hall.
The first eight minutes of the game was closely played as neither team was able to extend its lead over four points. But with Liberty leading 12-8 at the 11:46 mark after a Moriah Frazee lay-up, Longwood used an 11-0 run to gain its largest lead of the game at seven, 19-12. Courtney Dyer capped off the run for the Lancers when she drained a three-pointer with 8:27 remaining in the first half.
The Lancers continued to control the pace of play over the next three minutes as Longwood led by five, 22-17, after Ashley Mason converted on one of two free throw attempts.
However, Rebecca Lightfoot connected on a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to start a 13-0 run for Liberty that eventually gave Liberty a 30-22 edge after Roli-Ann Nikagbatse nailed one of two free throw attempts at the 1:55 mark.
The Lancers managed to trim the lead back to four points over the remainder of the period by scoring six out of the last eight points of the period, allowing Liberty to take a 32-28 edge in the locker room at halftime.
Liberty came out flying in the second half, holding Longwood scoreless for the first six minutes, while scoring 18-straight points to take a commanding 50-28 lead. Anna Steg finally broke the Lancers scoreless streak when she hit one free throw at the 13:36 mark.
Liberty continued to dominate, building a 29-point advantage; it's largest of the game, at 58-29 with 6:19 remaining in the contest. Longwood was able to slice the Lady Flames lead to 24, two different times over the final six minutes, but could not overcome the large deficit and dropped the 27-point loss.
Courtney Watkins led the Lady Flames as she scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, while Lightfoot came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points as she was 4-of-5 from the field. Moriah Frazee led the team with seven rebounds, while adding seven points, while Nikagbatse dished out six of the team's 17 assists.
Liberty's strong second half defensive effort held the Lancers to just 29.8 percent shooting from the field, while the Lady Flames forced 27 turnovers and scored 30 of their 77 points off Longwood's giveaways.
The Lancers' leading scorer was Dyer as she came off the bench to score 12 points, while Anna Steg finished with 11 points, which was aided by 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line.
The Lady Flames will continue their four-game road swing as Liberty travels down to Radford, Va. for a key Big South Conference battle against the Highlanders. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Dedmon Center.