Bridgette Rettstatt scored a career-high 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds during Saturday's victory at North Alabama.
Liberty's Bridgette Rettstatt scored 13 of her career-high 25 points during the fourth quarter, including the final four tallies of the Lady Flames' 61-57 comeback win at North Alabama, Saturday afternoon at Flowers Hall.
The Lady Flames trailed by as many as 11 points during the second half and were behind by nine in the fourth quarter before roaring back. The score was tied 57-57 with 57.1 seconds remaining when Ashtyn Baker found fellow sophomore Rettstatt with a cross-court inbounds pass, setting up a go-ahead shot from the baseline. After Liberty forced two missed shots, Rettstatt sealed the hard-fought victory with two free throws at the 3.8-second mark.
Liberty improves to 11-14 overall and 7-5 in ASUN play with its fourth straight road win. The Lady Flames converted their size advantage into considerable edges in points in the paint (40-26) and rebounds (43-26). As a result, Liberty remains in fourth place in the conference standings and clinches a berth in the 2019 ASUN Women's Basketball Championship.
North Alabama drops to 17-4 overall and 8-3 in its first year of ASUN competition after seeing its four-game home winning streak halted and losing for just the second time in 11 games at Florence this season. Four players scored in double figures, but the Lions were limited to 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the field and 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from three-point range.
Box Score Highlights Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 25 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 10-11 FG, 4-4 FT; Kierra Johnson-Graham – 9 points; KK Barbour – 8 points, 6 assists; Tatyana Crowder – 8 points.
North Alabama Individuals: Brittany Panetti – 14 points, 5 rebounds; Ivy Wallen – 11 points, 6 assists; Emma Wallen – 11 points, 3 blocks; Kenysha Coulson – 10 points, 5 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) during the game, including 52 percent (13-of-25) after halftime. After hitting 50 percent (10-of-20) of its three-pointers on Tuesday against Lipscomb, Liberty was just 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from long distance on Saturday. North Alabama scored 22 points off Liberty's 24 turnovers.
Turning Point With the score tied at 52-52 entering the game's final two minutes, Bridgette Rettstatt had a hand in Liberty's last nine points. She made a three-pointer at the 2:00 mark, assisted on KK Barbour's layup at the 1:35 mark and then scored the aforementioned final four points of Saturday's game.
Game Summary First Quarter • Liberty scored 10 points inside the paint during the game's first 5:28, aided by a trio of KK Barbour assists.
• North Alabama then closed the quarter with an 11-0 run, taking a 19-10 advantage through 10 minutes of play. The home team got eight points from Brittany Panetti and shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line during the stanza, as compared with 0-of-0 for the Lady Flames.
Second Quarter • Brittany Panetti's hoop with 7:33 showing on the second-quarter clock gave her 14 first-half points and provided North Alabama with its first double-digit lead (26-16).
• Liberty then held the Lions scoreless for the remainder of the half, retaking the lead with an 11-0 run. Bridgette Rettstatt tallied six of her 10 first-half points during the surge which ended with the Lady Flames owning a 27-26 halftime edge.
Third Quarter • After being limited to three points during the opening half, Emma Wallen notched five markers during North Alabama's 12-0 run to begin the second half. The Lions took a 38-27 lead on a Brittany Panetti layup at the 5:37 mark.
• Liberty countered with nine straight points, highlighted by back-to-back Tatyana Crowder hoops, pulling back within two (38-36).
• However, North Alabama was able to remain in front and owned a 43-38 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Fourth Quarter • North Alabama extended its lead back to nine points (51-42) on a Savannah Stults three-pointer with 7:47 left.
• Liberty bounced right back with a 10-0 run, retaking the lead (52-51) when Tatyana Crowder hit a layup with 4:46 remaining.
• Neither team hit a field goal until Rettstatt's triple initiated the frenetic final two minutes.
Notes and Nuggets • Bridgette Rettstatt, who entered the game with a career high of 18 points, tallied 15 in the second half alone. She recorded her fourth double-double of both the season and her career. Rettstatt has now scored in double figures in 10 of 12 ASUN games.
• Rettstatt shot 90.9 percent (10-of-11) from the field, tying for the third-highest single-game field goal percentage in program history.
• With her three rebounds on Saturday, Kierra Johnson-Graham is now tied with Kylee Beecher for 50th place in program history with 350 career boards.
• Coming off back-to-back 20-point games, Emily Lytle was held to two points, her lowest output in an ASUN contest, before fouling out.
• Liberty's four-game road winning streak is its longest since a run of five straight road victories between Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2015.
Up Next Liberty will head to North Florida next Saturday (Feb. 23) for its seventh game in the Sunshine State this season. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. at UNF Arena as the Lady Flames attempt to complete a season sweep of the Ospreys. Liberty posted a 69-53 home win over North Florida on Jan. 19.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 Location: Jacksonville, Fla. (UNF Arena) Tipoff: 1 p.m. TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)