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Liberty Scorches the Nets in Win at Coastal
Liberty hit 78.3 percent of its field goals during the first half of Saturday afternoon's game at Coastal Carolina, racing out to a 24-point halftime lead. The Lady Flames went on to post a decisive 82-45 victory, becoming the first visiting team to win at Kimbel Arena this season.
Devon Brown's 21 points led four Lady Flames in double figures, as Liberty improves to 8-7 overall and 3-1 in Big South play. The Lady Flames finished the game at a season-best 61.4 percent (27-of-44) from the field, shooting over 50 percent for the third time in four Big South contests.
Coastal Carolina, which entered the game with an 8-0 home record, hit just 22 percent (11-of-50) of its field goals. The Chanticleers are now 9-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big South.
Defense helped Liberty get off to a strong start during the matinee, as it took more than six minutes for the Chanticleers to make their first field goal. By that time, the Lady Flames had jumped out to a 12-4 lead, sparked by six Brown points.
Shortly thereafter, Liberty began a 20-2 run which featured 10 straight made field goals by the Lady Flames. Jasmine Gardner split a pair of free throws with 8:06 remaining in the first half, pushing the Liberty advantage to 32-8.
AJ Jordan and Angelica Henry hit two foul shots apiece during the next 44 seconds, getting the home team to within 20, 32-12.
Liberty bolstered its lead to 26 points on four occasions before taking a 46-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Flames' hot field goal shooting was the story during the first 20 minutes, as Liberty went 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the field. The blue-clad visitors were aided by 24 points in the paint, 16 points off turnovers and eight fast break points.
Coastal Carolina shot just 19 percent (4-of-21) from the floor before halftime. Most of the Chanticleers' production came at the foul line, where they went 14-of-15 for 93.3 percent.
Liberty outrebounded Coastal Carolina, 16-8, in the first half, while distributing 11 assists and coming up with nine steals.
Individually, Gardner led all players with 11 points during the first half. Brown chipped in 10 markers, while Tolu Omotola had eight for the Lady Flames. Danika Dale topped Liberty's team with four first-half rebounds.
Jordan and Olivia Irick both posted six points during the opening half to lead the way for the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina's leading scorer for the season, Shatia Cole, was held scoreless in the first half. However, she notched five points during the first 1:19 of the second period, cutting her team's deficit to 48-27 with 18:41 to play.
The Chanticleers went nearly 10 minutes without making a field goal, enabling Liberty to go on an 18-1 run. Avery Warley and Brown combined for 13 of the Lady Flames' points during the surge, which ended on Terika Lunsford's fast break layup at the 11:40 mark. Her hoop made the score 66-28, Liberty.
Coastal Carolina got no closer than 36 points the rest of the way, as the Lady Flames went on to an 82-45 win. The 37-point margin of victory equaled the largest ever in Liberty's 54 matchups against the Chanticleers all-time. The Lady Flames previously notched a 76-39 home victory over Coastal Carolina on Feb. 16, 2008.
In addition to Liberty's strong field goal shooting performance, the Lady Flames also fared well from the free throw line. Liberty ended the contest at 72.2 percent (26-of-36) from the charity stripe.
Coastal Carolina also shot extremely well on its foul shots, getting nearly half of its points in that fashion. The Chanticleers finished at 90.5 percent (19-of-21) from the line.
Liberty used its size advantage to good effect, outrebounding its host by a 40-20 margin and scoring 38 points in the paint to the Chanticleers' six.
Brown's 21 points came in just 21 minutes of playing time, as she scored exactly one point per minute for the second straight game and kept her Big South scoring average at 21.0 ppg this season. Brown made all nine of her free throws, setting a new career high for foul shots made in a single game and extending her streak to 16 consecutive made foul shots.
Dale reached double digits for the third consecutive game, tallying a dozen points. Gardner added 11 points off the bench, while Warley contributed 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds in only 13 minutes of work.
Kayla Cook was the only Chanticleer to score in double figures, notching eight of her 10 points during the second half. Irick grabbed a team-high four rebounds.
Liberty will conclude its South Carolina "Beach Trip" Monday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames play at Charleston Southern. Liberty will look to avenge a 54-51 setback to the Lady Buccaneers on Feb. 28, 2011, the last time the Lady Flames visited Buccaneer Fieldhouse.
Coastal Carolina will remain at home for its next game, a Monday 7 p.m. contest against Radford inside Kimbel Arena.