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Liberty Wins History-Rich Game at Campbell
Liberty used a suffocating defense and a balanced offense to earn a 58-45 win at Campbell, Saturday afternoon inside Gore Arena. The victory came on a history-making day for Avery Warley, head coach Carey Green and the Lady Flames' program as a whole.
Warley, who led all players with 13 rebounds, broke the Big South career rebounding record during the second half. The redshirt senior center has now grabbed 1,130 career boards, eclipsing the previous conference record of 1,127 rebounds, held by former Charleston Southern standout Kate Sanford.
Like so many of his previous 299 victories at the helm of the Lady Flames, Green's 300th career win featured strong rebounding (45-31 rebounding edge) and defense (Campbell shot just 27.3 percent on the day). Green is now 300-101 in his 13th season as Liberty's head coach.
Liberty improved to 14-7 overall and 9-1 in the Big South during the 1,000th game in program history. The Lady Flames are now 571-429 since beginning its women's basketball program in 1975-76.
Campbell, which was held to a season-low 45 points during the matinee, falls to 12-9 overall and 5-5 in conference action. The Lady Camels also saw their 11-game home winning streak snapped on Saturday. Campbell had not lost a home game since Feb. 12, 2011.
Liberty jumped out to an 8-0 lead during the first 3:51 of the contest, getting early baskets from four of its five starters.
The Lady Camels made only one of their first 11 shots from the field, enabling Liberty's edge to reach 12-2 on Devon Brown's steal and layup at the 12:24 mark.
Campbell got to within 14-6, when Kiera Gaines hit a runner with 11:24 remaining in the half.
Liberty followed with an 11-0 run, extending its advantage to 25-6 when Danika Dale connected on a left-handed finger roll with 5:35 on the first-half clock.
The Lady Camels battled back with five straight points, trimming their deficit to 25-11 on Tonisha Baker's 15-foot bank shot at 4:43.
Kate Cloxton's NBA-range three-pointer five seconds before halftime made the score 31-18 in favor of the Lady Flames at the intermission.
Liberty shot the ball extremely well in the first half, making 60 percent (15-of-25) of its field goals. Campbell, on the other hand, sank just 25 percent (8-of-32) of its first-half field goals.
Neither team got to the foul line often in the first half. The Lady Flames finished the stanza at 25 percent (1-of-4), while the Lady Camels made their only attempt.
Liberty outrebounded host Campbell during the opening half by a 22-14 margin and scored 24 points in the paint.
Individually, Brown led Liberty's balanced offensive attack with seven first-half points, while also dishing out a half-best three assists. Warley chipped in six points and eight rebounds for the Lady Flames.
Roslyn Presley came off of coach Wanda Watkins' bench to score five points in the first half for the Camels. Teammate Jazmine Cooper corralled four rebounds before the break.
Campbell came out of the locker room and scored the first seven points of the second half, extending its overall run to 10-0. The Lady Camels cut Liberty's lead to 31-25 with 15:56 to play, on Baker's fast break layup.
Reagan Miller, who was held scoreless in the first half, then sparked the Lady Flames' ensuing 14-0 spurt. The freshman tallied 10 straight points during the burst and then assisted on Catherine Kearney's layup, putting the Lady Flames ahead, 45-25, with 12:45 left.
Just eight seconds later, Warley made history when she grabbed Baker's missed free throw for her 11th board of the afternoon. That carom enabled the Washington, D.C., native to break the Big South career rebounding mark with her 1,128th board.
Liberty kept its lead over 20 points until Campbell hit three consecutive triples, including back-to-back trifectas by Cloxton. Her three-pointer with 3:46 showing on the second-half clock made it a 13-point game at 51-38.
Close-range hoops by Tolu Omotola and Warley halted the Lady Camels' momentum and sent Liberty on its way to a 58-45 victory. The Lady Flames, who have now won all eight games during their current winning streak by double figures, were victorious in Buies Creek for the first time since Feb. 6, 1993.
Liberty shot 54.5 percent (24-of-44) from the field during the game, aided by 34 points in the paint. The Lady Flames are now 83-1 under Green when making at least half of their field goals.
Both teams struggled from the foul line, with Liberty ending up at 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the charity stripe and Campbell checking in at 40 percent (4-of-10).
Six different Lady Flames blocked shots, as Liberty recorded its first 10-block game since a Nov. 16, 2006 win over Columbia Union.
Warley complemented her 13 rebounds with 10 points, recording her ninth double-double of the year. She also came up with a career-high six steals and equaled her career best with four blocked shots.
Miller also finished in double figures, scoring all 10 of her points during a 2:43 span of the second half.
Brown tallied nine points, stopping her streak of 21 straight games scoring in double figures. However, she did lead all players and tie her career high with six assists.
Dale fashioned a strong all-around effort, contributing eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Campbell point guard Cloxton was the game's high scorer, tallying all 12 of her points on four triples. Baker added nine points, while Cooper paced the homestanding Lady Camels with nine rebounds.
Liberty will close out its stretch of four straight road games with a key Big South Conference matchup Monday evening. The Lady Flames will travel to High Point for a battle between the top two teams in the conference standings. The Panthers dealt Liberty its lone Big South setback of the season with a 73-69 overtime decision at the Vines Center on Jan. 7. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Millis Center.
Meanwhile, Campbell will continue a three-game homestand Monday at 7 p.m., when Radford visits Gore Arena.