ASUN Preseason Player of the Year Sarah Sagerer (20 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for Stetson, which opened ASUN Conference play with a 69-52 victory over Liberty, Tuesday evening at the Edmunds Center.
Honored as Stetson's career blocked shots leader prior to tipoff, Sagerer did a little bit of everything for the Hatters (6-9, 1-0 ASUN). She tallied three assists, two blocks and a pair of steals while scoring 14 second-half points to help Stetson keep the Lady Flames at bay and win for the fifth time in its last six outings.
Liberty (4-11, 0-2 ASUN), which shot just 20.5 percent (9-of-44) during the game's first three periods, has dropped its first two conference games for the first time since 1995-96. Bridgette Rettstatt was a bright spot off the bench, pacing the Lady Flames in points (12) and rebounds (10) for the sophomore's first career double-double.
Box Score Highlights Other Liberty Individuals: KK Barbour – 10 points, 2-3 3FG; Kierra Johnson-Graham – 9 points, 6 rebounds; Ashtyn Baker – 8 points, 3 steals.
Other Stetson Individuals: McKenna Beach – 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals; Megan Vincent – 11 points, 5 rebounds; Jon'Nita Henry – 10 points.
Key Team Stats: Stetson shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field to Liberty's 29.5 percent (18-of-61) and hit nine three-pointers to the Lady Flames' four. Liberty won the rebounding battle by a 38-34 count but Stetson more than doubled the Lady Flames in points in the paint (30-14). Liberty shot well from the foul line (85.7 percent, 12-of-14) and scored 29 bench points for the second straight game.
Turning Point Despite early offensive struggles, Liberty trailed by just five points (19-14) with four minutes remaining in the first half.
A pair of three-pointers and two Sarah Sagerer layups highlighted a 12-2 Stetson run which extended the Hatters' lead to 15 (31-16), 45 seconds before halftime. Liberty never got back to within single digits for the remainder of the contest.
Game Summary First Quarter • Liberty trailed by only three points (13-10) at the end of the first quarter despite making just two of its 15 field goal attempts. The Lady Flames outrebounded their hosts 17-9 and connected on five of six free throws during the stanza.
• McKenna Beach paced all players with seven first-quarter points for the Hatters.
Second Quarter • Liberty's shooting woes continued during the second period, as the Lady Flames shot 20 percent (3-of-15), finishing the half at 16.7 percent (5-of-30) from the floor.
• Conversely, Stetson nailed four triples during the period, building a lead as large as 15 points on its way to a 31-19 advantage at intermission.
Third Quarter • Sarah Sagerer tallied 10 points during the third quarter, including a pair of free throws at the 2:59 mark which gave Stetson its largest lead to that point at 48-26.
• Kierra Johnson-Graham countered with six points for the Lady Flames, but the visitors still trailed 52-31 through 30 minutes.
Fourth Quarter • Liberty cut a 23-point deficit to 16 with a 7-0 burst within a 1:11 span of the fourth quarter.
• For the period, the Lady Flames scored 21 points on 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the field but could not overcome the sizeable deficit.
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green Quotes "Our goal was to hold our opponent to 13 points per quarter. If we had done that for four quarters, that's 52 points, which is exactly what we scored tonight. We didn't get stops, we let them take a lot of open three-pointers and didn't shoot the ball very well the entire night."
Notes and Nuggets • Bridgette Rettstatt has now led Liberty in both points and rebounds during each of the first two ASUN games, after totaling 12 points and eight boards at FGCU on Saturday.
• KK Barbour has scored in double figures in four of the last six games. Additionally, her two rebounds on Tuesday leave the senior 12 shy of 500 for her career.
• Ashtyn Baker's three steals give her at least one theft in 19 straight games, dating back to last season.
• Melis Ucar set a new career high with five rebounds for the Lady Flames.
• The Lady Flames tied a season high with five blocked shots.
• Liberty outrebounded its ninth consecutive opponent (38-34).
• Stetson is now 2-0 all-time against the Lady Flames.
• The last time Liberty started 0-2 in conference play was 1995-96, when the Lady Flames dropped their first eight Big South games.
• Liberty has now played more games in Florida this season (5) than at the Vines Center (4).
Up Next Liberty will face Jacksonville (8-7, 1-1 ASUN) on Saturday for the Lady Flames' first-ever ASUN Conference home game. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. for the inaugural meeting between the Lady Flames and Dolphins.
The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader at the Vines Center, as it will follow a 2 p.m. men's basketball clash between Liberty and Jacksonville.
Date: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center) TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg) Tipoff: 4:30 p.m.
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