Tatyana Crowder scored 10 of her career-high 13 points during the fourth quarter on Saturday. (Photo by ScarboroughPhotography.com)
In a battle between two of the Big South's top defensive teams, Saturday afternoon at Gore Arena, Liberty emerged victorious by a 46-33 count over host Campbell. Tatyana Crowder (career-high 13 points) and Keyen Green (12 points, seven rebounds) played key roles in the Lady Flames' seventh consecutive victory.
The Lady Flames trailed 16-15 at the intermission, following their lowest-scoring half of the season. However, Liberty opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run and never trailed again. The Lady Flames outscored the Camels, 31-17, after halftime and won the second-half rebounding battle, 26-11.
Crowder tallied 10 of her points during the fourth quarter, helping to seal the victory as Liberty allowed its fewest points in a game since a 68-31 home win over Coastal Carolina on Feb. 28, 2013.
Liberty improves to 16-8 overall and 11-1 in conference play, maintaining its two-game advantage atop the Big South standings. The Lady Flames survived a rough shooting afternoon (36 percent from the field on 18-of-50, 14.3 percent from three-point range on 2-of-14 and 44.4 percent from the foul line on 8-of-18) to win their ninth straight matchup with Campbell and their fourth straight visit to Buies Creek.
Campbell's second consecutive loss drops the Camels' record to 12-11 overall and 5-7 in the Big South. Campbell also struggled to find the basket, finishing at 33.3 percent (12-of-36) from the floor and 30 percent (3-of-10) from the free throw line. Big South scoring leader Summer Price paced her team with eight points, but shot just 3-of-11 and was held to half of her season average.
Liberty went on a 7-0 run during each of the first two quarters, but only scored one other point during the remainder of the half. Campbell held the Lady Flames without a made field goal for the half's final 5:20 to edge in front by one (16-15) at the break.
The two teams combined to shoot 34.3 percent (12-of-35) from the field and 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from the line during the first 20 minutes, while combining for 18 turnovers.
Green paced all players with six points in the first half, but Campbell owned a 14-12 rebounding edge at the break.
Lela Sellers nailed a three-pointer on the Lady Flames' first possession of the third quarter, initiating the aforementioned 7-0 run which put Liberty in front for good. The Camels scored only five points during the period, shooting 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from the field and committing four turnovers.
Liberty's advantage stood at 28-21 entering the fourth quarter, but the Camels never got any closer during the final 10 minutes of play. Crowder tallied the Lady Flames' first six points of the quarter and 10 points overall during the session. The junior team captain shot 5-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter, helping the Lady Flames make 50 percent (7-of-14) of their field goals as a team for the stanza.
In the end, Liberty's 46 points marked the team's lowest scoring output in a victory since a 45-43 triumph at Virginia Tech on Dec. 30, 2008.
The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle for the 10th straight game, 38-25, turning 18 offensive rebounds into 22 second-chance points. Liberty also dominated scoring inside the paint, 28-12, and scored 20 points off Campbell's 17 miscues.
Crowder (6-of-7 FG) and Green (6-of-9 FG) were two of the few players who shot the ball well on the day. Green, who had gone for a career-high 30 points during the Lady Flames' 60-42 home win over Campbell on Jan. 20, has now scored in double figures in seven straight outings.
KK Barbour grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, while Ashtyn Baker finished with six points and a game-high four assists for the victors.
Up Next Liberty will travel to Radford (16-7, 9-3 Big South) Tuesday for a matchup with the preseason Big South favorite Highlanders. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Dedmon Center.
The 70th all-time meeting between the Commonwealth rivals will be the teams' second head-to-head matchup in 17 days. Liberty posted a 61-56 victory over Radford at the Vines Center on Jan. 28.