Liberty closed out non-conference play with a 61-42 victory over West Chester, Wednesday evening at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames held the Golden Rams to a season-low point total and got strong play from starting post players KK Barbour (10 points, career-high 15 rebounds) and Mya McMillian (career-high 10 points).
Playing its first game in 11 days and first home contest in over a month, Liberty (4-9) utilized its significant size advantage. The Lady Flames controlled the rebounding (41-30), points in the paint (28-20) and second-chance points (13-4) categories.
West Chester drops to 4-10 with its eighth straight loss. The Golden Rams shot just 32 percent (16-of-50) and committed 21 turnovers, leading to 26 Liberty points. Leading scorer Destiny Jefferson (18.4 ppg average) was limited to seven points on 3-of-18 shooting from the field.
Box Score Highlights Other Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 9 points, 4-5 FG; Kierra Johnson-Graham – 8 points; Emily Lytle – 7 points, 2-5 3FG; Ashtyn Baker – 6 points, 3 steals.
Other West Chester Individuals: Zhane Snow – 13 points, 6 rebounds; Gabrielle Troisi – 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists.
Key Team Stats: Liberty got to the foul line more than twice as often (27 times to 13) as West Chester but shot just 59.3 percent (16-of-27). The Lady Flames collected 16 offensive boards, including eight by KK Barbour. Liberty held West Chester to 15.8 percent (3-of-19) three-point shooting, making the Lady Flames' last three opponents a combined 10.2 percent (5-of-49) from beyond the arc.
Turning Point Liberty held West Chester to one made field goal over the final 6:01 of the first half, extending its lead from four to 13 points in the process. Ashtyn Baker scored four points during the Lady Flames' 12-3 run over that time period.
The Golden Rams got no closer than eight points down during the remainder of the contest.
Game Summary First Quarter • Liberty fashioned separate runs of 7-0 and 9-0 during the first quarter, opening an 18-10 advantage.
• The Lady Flames scored 14 of their 18 points inside the paint and from the foul line. Meanwhile, West Chester shot only 30.8 percent (4-of-13) and committed six turnovers.
Second Quarter • West Chester cut its deficit to four points twice during the second period before being limited to one made field goal over the final 6:01 of the half.
• The Lady Flames built a 13-point lead (34-21) by the intermission as nine different players scored first-half points. Liberty's cushion could have been even larger, but the Lady Flames made only half of their 18 free throw attempts during the first 20 minutes of play.
Third Quarter • West Chester trimmed five points off its deficit during the third period, pulling to within 43-35 at the end of the stanza. The Golden Rams forced 10 Liberty turnovers and held the Lady Flames to nine points in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter • Zhane Snow scored West Chester's first five points of the fourth quarter, and the visitors were still within 10 (50-40) after her fast break layup with 3:37 remaining.
• Liberty then put the game away with an 11-0 surge, making five straight field goal attempts to close out its second straight victory.
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green Quotes "It was nice to get the Christmas vacation over with and get back to business. There are some things we did pretty well for at least three quarters. We were pretty consistent on the defensive end. We closed things out well in the fourth quarter, so I'm very pleased with that. Now it gets real as we get into conference play. It was nice to get this game under our belt and come away with a win."
Notes and Nuggets • KK Barbour's double-double was the senior's second of the season and the seventh of her career. She has now scored in double figures in three of the last four games.
• Barbour's 15 boards eclipsed her previous career high of 13 and were the most by a Lady Flame since Bridgette Rettstatt's 15 rebounds during the season opener at Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 9.
• Mya McMillian became the seventh different Lady Flame to score in double digits this season.
• Bridgette Rettstatt's nine points on Wednesday give her 92 for the season, matching her scoring output from her entire freshman campaign.
• Ashtyn Baker tied her season high of three steals, giving her at least one steal for the 17th straight game, dating back to last season.
• Liberty is now 3-0 all-time against West Chester and 5-0 versus Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) foes.
• The Lady Flames have held their last four opponents to an average of 48.5 ppg.
• Liberty held its eighth straight opponent under 50 percent field goal shooting and won the rebounding battle for the seventh game in a row.
Up Next Liberty will tip off its inaugural season of ASUN Conference play Saturday afternoon, when the Lady Flames square off with defending conference champion and 2018-19 preseason favorite FGCU (9-4). Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Alico Arena for the first-ever hardwood clash between the Lady Flames and Eagles.
Date: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 Location: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg) Tipoff: 4 p.m.
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