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White's Big Night Helps Radford Top Liberty, 52-45

February 13, 2018  Radford, Va.  RSS
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Lela Sellers scored nine points during the Lady Flames' 52-45 loss at Radford.

Lela Sellers scored nine points during the Lady Flames' 52-45 loss at Radford.

Radford senior Janayla White not only scored her 1,000th career point on Tuesday but also contributed a career-high 20 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to her team's 52-45 victory over Liberty at the Dedmon Center.

White helped the Highlanders enjoy the upper hand in categories Liberty is used to controlling, including rebounds (38-33), second-chance points (14-9) and points in the paint (20-22). She also got to the line more often (14 times) than Liberty did as a team (five times).

Liberty, which remains atop the conference standings by one game, falls to 16-9 overall and 11-2 in the Big South after seeing its season-long seven-game winning streak snapped. Keyen Green scored a team-high 12 points but was limited to 17 minutes due to foul trouble. Additionally, the Lady Flames' 20 turnovers led to 19 Radford points.

Radford's fifth straight win boosts the Highlanders' record to 17-7 overall and 10-3 in Big South play. Radford, tied with UNC Asheville for second place in the conference, also got 11 points and eight rebounds from Lydia Rivers off the bench.

Post players Rivers and White scored all of Radford's points during a 9-0 run late in the first quarter. The home team led 17-10 before KK Barbour beat the buzzer with a long three-pointer, cutting the Lady Flames' deficit to 17-13 after one period.

Radford shot 66.7 percent (8-of-12) in the first quarter, scoring 14 points in the paint. Rivers scored seven first-quarter points for the Highlanders, while Barbour tallied seven of her own for the navy blue-clad Lady Flames.

Liberty got an Ola Makurat triple and Lela Sellers layup within the first 33 seconds of the second quarter, capping off a quick 8-0 run with the Lady Flames on top, 18-17. However, Liberty only made two baskets for the remainder of the half, as Radford outscored the visitors, 14-5, during the rest of the quarter. Khiana Johnson's bank shot at the halftime buzzer gave the Highlanders a 31-23 halftime lead.

The duo of Rivers (11 points, five rebounds) and White (11 points, eight rebounds) excelled during the first half, helping Radford control the rebounding (20-13) and points in the paint (16-8) categories.

Radford also shot 7-of-12 from the foul line during the first 20 minutes of play, while Liberty did not attempt a single free throw prior to intermission.

Ashtyn Baker made her first two hoops of the game during the opening minute of the third quarter, trimming the Lady Flames' deficit to 32-27 with 9:07 left in the stanza. Again Liberty's offense went cold after the early burst, as Radford posted 11 points to the Lady Flames' three the rest of the way. White added seven more markers in the third quarter as Radford built a 43-30 advantage. Liberty shot just 3-of-13 during its seven-point period.

Green scored eight points in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Flames could get no closer than their final deficit of seven points. Claudia Quevedo tallied all five of her points during the final stanza, including a back-breaking three-pointer with 4:10 remaining that helped seal the Highlanders' ninth win in their last 10 outings.

Radford's only loss during that stretch was their 61-56 setback at the Vines Center on Jan. 28.

Liberty finished with a higher field goal percentage (38.0, 19-of-50) and three-point field goal percentage (30.8, 4-of-13) than Radford. The Highlanders finished at 34.6 percent (18-of-52) from the floor, including 25 percent (10-of-40) after their hot-shooting first quarter. Quevedo's late triple was the only one Radford made in six attempts.

The Highlanders went 15-of-24 from the free throw line for a 62.5 percent clip, while Liberty was 3-of-5 for 60 percent.

The Highlanders ended Liberty's 10-game streak of winning the rebounding battle, with White grabbing nine of her team's 18 offensive boards.

Green's 12-point outing marked her eighth straight contest scoring in double figures. Sellers chipped in nine points, while Makurat grabbed a team-high five rebounds.

Tuesday's matchup marked the 70th all-time hardwood clash between the Lady Flames and Highlanders. Liberty now leads the series by a 44-26 count.

Up Next
Liberty will return home for a showdown with two-time defending Big South champion UNC Asheville (13-11, 10-3 Big South), Saturday at 6 p.m.

Something will have to give, as Liberty is 9-0 at home this season while Asheville is unbeaten in Big South road games in 2017-18 and has won five straight games at the Vines Center. The Bulldogs have defeated the Lady Flames five consecutive times overall, handing Liberty its first Big South loss of 2017-18, 48-41, on Jan. 16 at Kimmel Arena.