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Brown Shines as Liberty Beats Coastal, 66-54
|Devon Brown scored a season-high 27 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, leading Liberty to a 66-54 home win over Coastal Carolina.|
Devon Brown scored a season-high 27 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds Monday night at the Vines Center, helping Liberty hold off a game Coastal Carolina squad for a 66-54 win.
In the midst of its Big South season-low 33.9 percent (19-of-56) shooting night from the floor, Liberty used defense and free throw shooting to pull away from the Chanticleers. The Lady Flames held Coastal Carolina to one field goal during a 9:46 stretch of the second half, turning a 43-43 deadlock into a 59-46 advantage.
Liberty also got to the foul line 25 more times than Coastal Carolina for the game, making 24-of-32 attempts for 75 percent.
As a result, Liberty extended its overall winning streak to 11 games and notched its 38th straight win in the head-to-head series with the Chanticleers. Liberty is now 17-7 overall and 12-1 in Big South action, putting the Lady Flames two and a half games ahead of second-place High Point atop the Big South standings.
Coastal Carolina falls to 12-10 on the season and 5-8 in conference play. The Chanticleers are now just 1-9 away from Kimbel Arena this year.
Liberty broke an early 3-3 deadlock with an 11-2 run. The Lady Flames went in front, 14-5, on Terika Lunsford's baseline jumper at the 12:55 mark.
The Lady Flames had built their first double-digit lead, 17-7, before the Chanticleers' Olivia Irick scored five straight points to initiate a 13-2 run. Angelica Henry's old-fashioned three-point play at 6:11 put Coastal Carolina in front, 20-19.
Liberty responded with a 7-0 burst, closed out by back-to-back Danika Dale layups. The senior's putback hoop 4:40 before halftime gave the Lady Flames a 26-20 advantage.
Coastal Carolina then held Liberty without a made field goal for more than two and a half minutes, pulling to within 28-27 when Jena Hamrick's triple from the left wing found the net at the 2:00 juncture.
The Lady Flames' bulge got back up to six at 33-27 before another Hamrick three-pointer made the halftime tally 33-30 in favor of Liberty.
Liberty shot just 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the field during the first half, a far cry from the 78.3 percent the Lady Flames shot in the first half at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 14. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina made 48 percent (12-of-25) of its first-half field goal tries, including five triples.
Liberty enjoyed a decided advantage at the foul line in the opening 20 minutes, making 10 of 13 attempts for 76.9 percent. Coastal Carolina only got to the charity stripe once, making its only attempt.
Liberty outrebounded the visitors in the first half, 18-15, and scored twice as many points in the paint (12) as the Chanticleers.
Brown led all players with 12 points in the opening half, while Dale added six for the Lady Flames.
Irick topped the Chanticleers in both points (9) and rebounds (4) during the first half.
Coastal Carolina scored the first four points of the second half, taking a 34-33 edge when Courtney Grambley sank a layup off of an inbounds pass with 16:59 to play.
The lead changed hands three times in the next three minutes, with a Tolu Omotola layup off of a nifty pass by Brown capping a 5-0 burst and making the score 41-38, Liberty, at the 13:34 mark.
Coastal Carolina came back to tie the score at 43-all when Shanika Maddox hit her first three-pointer of the year at 12:28.
Liberty recorded the next seven points, the first six of which came from Brown. Omotola split a pair of free throws with 8:55 showing on the clock, wrapping up the surge with the Lady Flames on top, 50-43.
Neither team made a field goal during a seven-minute stretch of the second half until Omotola's mid-range jumper connected with 5:05 remaining, giving Liberty a 53-44 lead.
The Lady Flames ended up outscoring the Chanticleers, 16-3, over a span of 9:30. Brown's pair of free throws at the 2:59 mark put the Lady Flames in front by a 59-46 margin.
Grambley's three-pointer on Coastal Carolina's next trip to the offensive end cut the lead to 10, but that's as close as the black-clad visitors got.
Liberty posted an ensuing 6-0 run, putting the Lady Flames well on their way to a 66-54 victory. It was Liberty's ninth double-digit win during its current 11-game winning streak.
Coastal Carolina was limited to 30 percent (9-of-30) field goal shooting during the second half, but still finished the game with a better field goal mark (38.2 percent) than the Lady Flames. The Chanticleers also made twice as many three-pointers as Liberty, 8-4.
Liberty controlled the area around the basket, winning the rebounding battle by a 45-30 margin and scoring 16 second-chance points to Coastal Carolina's two. The Lady Flames also did a good job of taking care of the basketball, committing a season-low 12 turnovers on the night.
Brown's 27-point evening came in just 26 minutes of playing time. The redshirt junior got to the free throw line a career-high 15 times and made a career-best 14 charity tosses, including nine in a row during the second half.
Omotola chipped in 14 points, including 10 in the second half. It was the redshirt junior's third straight game scoring in double figures, and she also pulled down seven boards.
Dale added seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and tied her season high with four steals.
For the Chanticleers, Irick ended with team-high totals for both points (13) and rebounds (6). Kira Carter contributed 10 points, five boards and four assists.
The Lady Flames will now embark upon their final road trip of the regular season, a two-game swing through South Carolina which will begin on Saturday at Winthrop. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum for the 50th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Eagles. Liberty notched a 74-49 home win over Winthrop on Jan. 23.
Coastal Carolina will return home for its next three games. The Chanticleers' final homestand at Kimbel Arena will begin on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Campbell.