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North Florida Starts Fast, Holds Off Liberty 66-54

February 23, 2019  Jacksonville, Fla.  RSS
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Ashtyn Baker

Ashtyn Baker

North Florida jumped out to a 23-10 lead after one quarter of Saturday afternoon's matchup with Liberty and maintained its advantage throughout. The Ospreys' 66-54 victory at UNF Arena halted the Lady Flames' four-game road winning streak.

North Florida improves to 12-13 overall and evens its ASUN record at 7-7 after earning a split of the season series with the Lady Flames. The Ospreys got 19 points apiece from Jazz Bond and Adrienne Jackson, who combined to hit seven triples.

Liberty, which shot a season-low 25.8 percent (17-of-66) from the field, drops to 11-15 overall and 7-6 in ASUN play. The Lady Flames fall to 2-5 in games played in Florida this season.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Emily Lytle – 13 points, 3-10 3FG; Kierra Johnson-Graham – 9 points, 12 rebounds; Bridgette Rettstatt - 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists.

North Florida Individuals: Adrienne Jackson – 19 points, 5-5 3FG; Jazz Bond – 19 points, 5 blocked shots; Arianna Emanuel-Wright – 11 points, 8 rebounds; Ty Purifoy – 12 assists.

Key Team Stats: North Florida shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) for the game, including 60 percent (9-of-15) from three-point range. The Ospreys outscored the Lady Flames inside the paint by a 28-16 count. Liberty won the rebounding battle (47-37), grabbing 23 offensive boards and matching a season high with 25 second-chance points.

Turning Point
After a 13-0 Liberty run trimmed a 17-point deficit to four just before halftime, North Florida got a jumper from Arianna Emanuel-Wright just before the intermission to slow the Lady Flames' momentum.

The Ospreys then limited Liberty to seven third-quarter points, quickly rebuilding a double-digit lead and regaining control of the contest.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• Emily Lytle hit two three-pointers during the first 1:47, producing an early 6-6 tie.

• Those were Liberty's only made field goals of the period, as the Lady Flames shot just 11.1 percent (2-of-18) for the stanza. Conversely, North Florida shot 58.8 percent (10-of-17) while building a 23-10 lead. Adrienne Jackson (10 points) single-handedly matched Liberty's first-quarter offensive output.

Second Quarter
• The host Ospreys took a pair of 17-point leads early in the second quarter, including a 32-15 advantage on Arianna Emanuel-Wright's triple at the 7:50 mark.

• Liberty roared back with a 13-0 run which began with back-to-back Ashtyn Baker hoops and also featured three-pointers from Bridgette Rettstatt and Ria Gulley. The Lady Flames were back within four (32-28) after Kierra Johnson-Graham's layup 1:48 before the intermission.

• North Florida then took a 34-28 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Third Quarter
• Much like the first quarter, Liberty struggled to find the hoop during the third period, totaling only seven points on 20 percent (3-of-15) from the field.

• North Florida hit three more triples, including a pair by Adrienne Jackson, expanding its lead to 16 (51-35) by the end of the stanza.

Fourth Quarter
• Liberty hit the glass hard during the final period, outrebounding North Florida 16-5 and converting 12 second-chance points.

• However, the Lady Flames could get no closer than nine as the Ospreys made 8-of-10 free throws to keep them at bay.

Notes and Nuggets
• Emily Lytle's three triples give her 55 this season, the most by a Lady Flame since Reagan Miller hit 56 three-pointers in 2011-12.

• Kierra Johnson-Graham matched career highs for rebounds (12) and blocked shots (2) and has now led the Lady Flames in rebounding in four of the last five games. The junior's next point will be No. 500 of her career.

• Despite being held below 10 points for just the third time in 13 ASUN games, Bridgette Rettstatt's team-high five assists matched a career high. The reigning Big South Player of the Week has now made 14 straight free throw attempts and has connected on three of her last five three-point tries after opening the year at 3-of-20 from long range.

• With four rebounds (all at the offensive end), KK Barbour moved into 20th place on Liberty's career list with 549 boards.

• Saturday marked the Lady Flames' first loss away from the Vines Center since Jan. 8 at Stetson.

• The Lady Flames have not allowed any ASUN opponent to score 70 points in regulation this season.

• Liberty's 23 offensive rebounds equaled a season high.

Up Next
Liberty will return home on Tuesday, welcoming Kennesaw State (8-18, 4-9 ASUN) to the Vines Center for a 5 p.m. tipoff. The Lady Flames recorded their first-ever ASUN Conference win at Kennesaw State by a 67-61 count on Jan. 15.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center)
Tipoff: 5 p.m.
TV: ESPN+
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)