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Brown, Omotola Lead Liberty Past UNCG, 76-56

November 27, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The past two Big South Players of the Week, Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola, both played key roles in Liberty's 76-56 victory over UNCG, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center.

Brown scored 11 of her 16 points during the first seven minutes of the game, helping the Lady Flames jump out to an early lead. Omotola then helped Liberty maintain its advantage with 17 of her season-best 21 points during the second half. She also completed her second career double-double with 10 rebounds and tied her career high with three blocked shots.

It all added up to Liberty's third win of the season, leveling the Lady Flames' record at 3-3. UNCG, playing its fourth consecutive Big South opponent, drops to 1-3.

Brown swished a three-pointer from the right wing on the very first possession of the game, getting Liberty started off on the right foot. In total, the redshirt senior tallied seven points during the Lady Flames' game-opening 11-4 surge.

Freshman Lucy Mason tried to keep blue-clad UNCG close, scoring nine of the Spartans' first 10 points. Her fast break layup had UNCG within seven points, 17-10, 10:10 before halftime.

Shortly thereafter, Jasmine Gardner sparked an 11-0 Liberty run with six quick points. Brittany Campbell's three-pointer from the right corner tickled the twine at 4:17, giving the Lady Flames a 30-12 advantage.

The Spartans battled back during the remainder of the stanza, pulling to within their halftime deficit of 14 points (34-20) on Mason's pull-up jumper with 21 seconds remaining.

Liberty made 45.5 percent (15-of-33) of its first-half field goals, while the Spartans connected at just a 25 percent (7-of-28) clip.

The Lady Flames controlled the paint during the first 20 minutes, outscoring their guests in points in the paint, 18-2, and outrebounding them, 27-17.

Liberty forced 12 UNCG turnovers before halftime, converting them into 12 points.

Brown finished the first half with 11 points to pace Liberty's attack, while Gardner chipped in eight markers. Ashley Rininger came off the bench for six points and a half-best six rebounds.

Mason had 11 points of her own for the Spartans, while teammates Jazmine Missouri and Janae' Stevenson pulled down three rebounds apiece.

Omotola started the second half strongly, scoring five of Liberty's first 10 points to start the period. Her baseline jumper with 14:19 remaining gave the Lady Flames a 44-25 cushion.

UNCG countered with a 10-2 run, getting back to within 46-35 when Stevenson hit a bank shot from the paint at 11:17.

The Spartans continued chipping away, and consecutive baskets by Jarae Savage made the score 51-44 with 7:06 left.

Omotola helped Liberty halt UNCG's momentum by notching eight of the Lady Flames' next 10 points, punctuated with two layups during a 17-second span. Her second hoop of the flurry rebuilt the Lady Flames' edge to 61-49 at 4:24.

Liberty's lead remained in double figures the rest of the way, and the Lady Flames doubled their 10-point bulge with a game-ending 10-0 spurt. As a result, Liberty's 11th consecutive home triumph came by its largest margin of the night, 20 points (76-56).

The Lady Flames ended the contest at 43.9 percent (29-of-66) from the field, while limiting the Spartans to 32.3 percent (21-of-65). Liberty scored more than half (40) of its points inside the paint and turned 21 offensive boards into 23 second-chance points.

Liberty benefitted from a 55-36 rebounding advantage and 21 bench points. All but four of those bench points came from freshmen, led by Sadalia Ellis' career-high seven tallies. The Houston, Texas native also led all players with five assists in 14 productive minutes of work.

Fellow rookie Rininger grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds to go along with six points. Brown complemented her 16-point outing with six boards, while Gardner closed the contest with a dozen points and eight rebounds.

Starting guards Campbell and Emily Frazier distributed four assists each for head coach Carey Green's squad, helping the Lady Flames end up with a season-high 21 helpers as a team.

For the fourth straight game to open her collegiate career, Mason topped UNCG's scorers with 18 points. Breonna Patterson helped the Spartans get back into the game with 12 second-half points among her 14 tallies on the night. Stevenson was UNCG's leading rebounder with seven caroms.

Liberty will open defense of its Big South Conference regular-season title Saturday at 3 p.m., when the Lady Flames travel across the Commonwealth to face Radford (3-2). Liberty will be in search of its sixth consecutive victory inside the Dedmon Center.