KK Barbour finished with 11 points and nine rebounds on Saturday and put Liberty ahead for good with a long jumper.
Trailing Atlantic 10 Conference preseason favorite Duquesne 51-46 with 8:08 remaining on Saturday, Liberty buckled down on defense and outscored the Dukes 9-0 the rest of the way. As a result, the Lady Flames pulled out a hard-fought 55-51 victory on day two of the St. Pete Shootout at Eckerd College's McArthur Center.
Liberty improves to 3-9 after halting a three-game losing streak. Emily Lytle scored a team-high 14 points, including two big free throws with 12.4 seconds remaining which gave the Lady Flames a three-point lead. Ashtyn Baker then sealed the victory with a steal and free throw at the 5.0-second mark.
Duquesne falls to 5-6 with its third loss in the last four games. Kadri-Ann Lass scored a game-high 21 points for the Dukes, but her team made just 1-of-12 field goals during the fourth quarter.
Box Score Highlights Liberty Individuals: Emily Lytle – 14 points, 4-8 3FG; KK Barbour – 11 points, 9 rebounds; Ria Gulley – 6 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 turnover in 32 minutes; Ashtyn Baker – 6 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover in 25 minutes.
Duquesne Individuals: Kadri-Ann Lass – 21 points, 7 rebounds; Julijana Vojinovic – 7 points; Chassidy Omogrosso – 7 points.
Key Team Stats: Liberty held Duquesne to 35.8 percent (19-of-53) shooting, including 8.7 percent (2-of-23) from beyond the three-point arc. The Lady Flames outrebounded their sixth straight opponent, 38-29. One day after committing 29 turnovers against UCF, Liberty finished with only 13 miscues, including just four in the second half.
Turning Point Kadri-Ann Lass hit a jumper with 8:09 to play, giving her 13 points for the second half and extending Duquesne's advantage to 51-46.
The Dukes then missed their last 10 field goal attempts of the game and committed four turnovers. Meanwhile, five different Lady Flames scored points during their game-ending 9-0 run.
KK Barbour put Liberty on top for good at 52-51 with a long two-pointer at the 3:57 mark. Neither team scored again until 12.4 seconds remained, when Emily Lytle hit a pair of free throws. On Duquesne's ensuing possession, Ashtyn Baker stole an inbounds pass and hit one-of-two free throws with 5.0 seconds to go, wrapping up the victory.
Game Summary First Quarter • Emily Lytle hit three triples during the first 5:23 of the game, helping Liberty lead by as many as seven points (17-10) early on.
• Duquesne closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run, trimming its deficit to 17-16 after 10 minutes of play.
Second Quarter • The scoring pace slowed significantly during the second quarter, as the two teams made only three field goals apiece and combined for 16 total points.
• Duquesne owned a 25-24 halftime edge despite missing all 13 of its three-point tries in the first half. Emily Lytle canned four triples during a 12-point first half for the Lady Flames.
Third Quarter • Duquesne hit six of its first seven field goal attempts to begin the second half, including its only two made triples of the evening.
• KK Barbour scored seven points during the period for the Lady Flames, but Kadri-Ann Lass countered with nine tallies for the Dukes, who shot 9-of-13 for the period and took a 45-40 cushion into the fourth.
Fourth Quarter • Seven different Lady Flames tallied points in the fourth quarter as Liberty outscored Duquesne by a 13-4 count. Liberty shot 41.7 percent (5-of-12) during the final period and committed only two turnovers.
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green Quotes "The players gave themselves a great Christmas gift. I truly believe that our time is still coming. They have really worked hard the last several games, especially on the defensive end. Ashtyn Baker stopped a penetration with a charge. Ria Gulley led us in rebounding with seven and had some big defensive rebounds at the end. After an unfavorable game yesterday, Emily Lytle bounced back like a champion. Overall, so many people stepped up and played very well. Everyone that played got a rebound. Our bench was critical. This was a great team win."
Notes and Nuggets • Emily Lytle has now led the team in scoring in six of the season's first 12 games. Her four three-pointers tied a career high.
• Nine of KK Barbour's 11 points came in the second half.
• Ria Gulley's assist (8) and rebound (7) totals set career highs. Her eight assists were the most by a Lady Flame since Sadalia Ellis tallied nine assists at Gardner-Webb on Feb. 5, 2015.
• Ashtyn Baker's four assists tied her season high.
• Entering the tournament, Liberty was allowing opponents to shoot 38.7 percent from three-point range this season, ranking No. 341 of 349 teams nationally in that category. In St. Petersburg, the Lady Flames held UCF and Duquesne to a combined 6.7 percent (2-of-30) from long range.
• Liberty is now 1-1 all-time against Duquesne.
• The Lady Flames picked up their first win over an Atlantic 10 foe since a 76-75 overtime victory over Saint Joseph's on Nov. 22, 2014.
• Liberty won in Florida for the first time since Dec. 30, 2005, when the Lady Flames topped Rhode Island 67-57 in Gainesville.
Up Next After taking some time off for Christmas, Liberty will play its first home game in more than a month. The Lady Flames' final non-conference tilt will see them welcome West Chester to the Vines Center for a 5 p.m. tipoff on Jan. 2.
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center) TV: None Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg) Tipoff: 5 p.m.