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Liberty's Team Effort Keys Win Over Lipscomb
Four Liberty players scored in double figures and three Lady Flames pulled down at least 10 rebounds Saturday against Lipscomb, leading the Lady Flames to a comfortable 70-27 win over the Lady Bisons in the consolation game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament at Memorial Gymnasium.
Reagan Miller scored a game-high 18 points, while both Danika Dale and Avery Warley notched their first double-doubles of the season, with matching lines of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Additionally, LaKendra Washington chipped in a season-high 14 points and three steals to help Liberty level its record at 3-3 and earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
Lipscomb dropped to 0-7 to start the year, after shooting just 13.8 percent (9-of-65) from the field for the contest.
After the two teams traded baskets in the opening minute, Liberty held Lipscomb scoreless for seven and a half minutes. During that time, the Lady Flames scored 12 straight points, including seven by Dale. The senior's shot clock buzzer-beating triple at the 12:59 mark put Liberty in front by a 14-2 count.
The Lady Bisons got to within 18-7 on Brittany Duerk's mid-range jumper 8:51 before halftime.
Lipscomb then went through another offensive drought, going the next 8:03 without a point. In the meantime, the Lady Flames were able to put the game away for all intents and purposes with a 20-0 run. Warley's layup off of a nice feed from Miller gave Liberty a 38-7 lead with 1:14 showing on the first-half clock.
Lipscomb scored the final five points of the opening stanza, making the halftime score 38-12 in favor of the red-clad Lady Flames.
Liberty shot 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the field during the opening half, including 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from three-point range. On the other side of the court, the Lady Bisons struggled to 15.6 percent (5-of-32) shooting from the floor before halftime.
The Lady Flames used their size advantage to a good effect during the first 20 minutes, posting a 23-15 rebounding edge, scoring 16 points in the paint and blocking six shots.
Individually, Miller matched Lipscomb's scoring output in the opening half with 12 points and also distributed a team-high three assists. Dale and Warley chipped in seven points apiece, while Warley added seven rebounds and four blocked shots before the break.
Shanice Burnette and Hannah Phillips were Lipscomb's top scorers in the opening period, tallying three points apiece.
Liberty opened the second half with an 11-0 run, pushing its lead out to 49-12 when Warley drilled a left-handed layup with 15:23 left to play.
Three-pointers by Morgan Faulkner and Haley Nelson pulled the Lady Bisons to within 33 points, at 51-18, at the 11:05 mark.
However, Lipscomb did not make its next field goal for more than six minutes, enabling the Lady Flames to bolster their advantage to 63-19 on Washington's steal and layup at the 6:00 mark.
Jess Reece scored four straight points, capping Lipscomb's ensuing 6-0 surge. Reece's layup with 3:18 remaining made it 63-25, Liberty.
The Lady Flames scored seven of the game's final nine points, wrapping up a 70-27 victory in their first-ever meeting with the Lady Bisons.
While Lipscomb was struggling to shoot the ball, Liberty had one of its best outings of the season. The Lady Flames made 48.1 percent (26-of-54) of their field goals and connected on a season-high seven three-pointers.
Liberty finished with a sizable 55-36 rebounding edge, scored 34 points in the paint and tied a season high with seven blocked shots.
Miller's 18 points set a new career high, and she nailed four three-pointers for the first time. Washington's 14 points were her most since a 14-point outing against Radford on March 5, 2010.
Warley posted her first double-double of the season and the 33rd of her career. She also tied a career high with four blocked shots, all of which came during the first seven minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, Dale's double-double was the first of her four-year career. The Texas native's 10 rebounds set a career high, and she also distributed a game-high five assists.
Coming off of the bench for the first time this season, Tolu Omotola led all players with 12 rebounds, equaling her career high.
Reece was Lipscomb's top scorer with six points, while Faulkner and Sasha Robinson collected five rebounds apiece for the Lady Bisons.
Liberty will return home for its next contest, Thursday evening against James Madison. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. inside the Vines Center. The Dukes have opened the season with a 4-0 record.
Lipscomb's next game will also be a Thursday home tilt, when the Bisons play host to Mercer. Both teams' Atlantic Sun Conference opener will tip off at 6 p.m.