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Fasnacht Pours In A Career High To Pace Liberty In Victory Over Bulldogs
The Lady Flames shot a season-best 48.8 percent from the field, while sophomore guard Allyson Fasnacht netted a career-high 19 points to lead Liberty to a 66-50 victory over UNC Asheville, Tuesday evening, at the Vines Center.
With the victory, the Lady Flames up their Big South Conference record to 6-1 (15-5 overall) as Liberty picks up its fourth-straight victory, while UNC Asheville drops its second-consecutive conference game and falls to 3-4 in the league play (12-8 overall).
The Bulldogs controlled the pace of play for most of the first half as UNC Asheville held the lead for the first 17 minutes of the game. A jumper by Ashton Barton gave the Bulldogs an early 11-7 lead at the 15:35 mark, while Liberty scored five out of the next six points to tie the game at 12-12 after a pair of Moriah Frazee (Fr., G, Xenia, Ohio) free throw throws just three minutes later.
A three-pointer by Brittany Hendley at the 8:12 mark pushed UNC Asheville's lead back up to five points, 21-16, while the visitors led by four, 25-21, just three minutes later after a lay-up by Barton. Liberty started to pull things together and slow down the hot-shooting hands of the Bulldogs as the Lady Flames held UNC Asheville to just two field goals over the last five minutes of the period, while Liberty scored 12 of the last 16 points of the half to take a 33-29 lead into the break.
Both teams were on fire from the field for most of the first half as Liberty finished the period shooting 52.2 percent from the field (12-of-23), marking the team's best opening half of the season, while the last five minutes of the period caused UNC Asheville's shooting percentage to drop to 46.2 percent from the field (12-of-26).
However, the second half proved to be a different story for the Bulldogs as Liberty held UNC Asheville to just 25.0 percent shooting from the field (5-of-20), tying an opponent season low for field goals in a period.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Roli-Ann Nikagbatse (So., G/F, Berlin, Germany) and Fasnacht (So., G, Salem, Va.) quickly pushed Liberty's lead to 10 points, 41-31, at the 15:50 mark. UNC Asheville tried to answer back as Hendley knocked down a trey of her own to cut the lead to single digits, 41-34, on the ensuing possession, but Liberty scored seven of the next eight points and opened up a 13-point lead, 48-35, after Jamie Feagin (Jr., F, Lockport, N.Y.) converted on an old-fashion three-point play with 11:14 left to play.
A three-pointer by Ana Baker at the 4:32 mark cut Liberty's lead back to 10 points, 57-47, but that would be as close as the Bulldogs were to get over the remainder of the game as Liberty held UNC Asheville to a field goal and a free throw down the stretch to seal the conference win.
The Lady Flames finished the game shooting a season-best 48.8 percent from the field (21-of-43), including 6-of-9 from three-point range and 18-of-24 from the free throw line, while UNC Asheville finished the game shooting 37.0 percent from the field (17-of-46) and 11-of-22 from the charity stripe.
Fasnacht bested her previous career high of 18, which helped Liberty to a NCAA Tournament first-round victory over Penn State last year, by one as she was 5-of-7 from the field, including a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the line. Nikagbatse followed with nine points, while Karolina Piotrkiewicz (Jr., F, Calais, France) led the squad with nine rebounds and added six points.
The Bulldogs were led by Barton as she scored 13 points and added two assists, while Stacy Shepard netted 11 points. Liberty held UNC Asheville's leading scorer Kristal Hood (averaging 12.2 points per game entering the evening) to just five points, while she led the team with eight rebounds.
The Lady Flames begin a two-game conference road swing this weekend when they travel to Conway, S.C. to face Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Kimbel Arena, while High Point continues its three-game road trip by traveling to High Point, N.C. to face the Panthers on Saturday at 4 p.m.