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Liberty Tops Miami (Ohio) with Balanced Scoring

November 29, 2019  Coral Gables, Fla.  RSS
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Making her first career start, Asia Todd scored 11 points during the Lady Flames' 65-53 triumph over Miami (Ohio).

Making her first career start, Asia Todd scored 11 points during the Lady Flames' 65-53 triumph over Miami (Ohio).

Four of Liberty's starters scored in double figures on Friday, helping the Lady Flames top Miami (Ohio) by a 65-53 count on the opening day of the Miami (Fla.) Thanksgiving Classic at the Watsco Center.

Liberty (2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak by racing out to an 18-4 lead and later withstanding several Miami comeback attempts. The Lady Flames' double-digit scorers included Ashtyn Baker (12 points, 7 rebounds), Ria Gulley (12 points, season-high 6 rebounds), Bridgette Rettstatt (11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals) and Asia Todd (11 points).

The Lady Flames limited the RedHawks (4-3) to a season-low 53 points on 28.6 percent (18-of-63) from the field. Lauren Dickerson (13 points) was held well below her season scoring average of 20.5 ppg.

Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Keyen Green – 8 points, 7 rebounds.

Other Miami (Ohio) Individuals: Savannah Kluesner – 15 points, 12 rebounds; Kelly McLaughlin – 11 points, 7-8 FT.

Key Team Stats: Liberty shot a season-high 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field. For the first time this season, Liberty attempted more free throws than its opponent (24 to 17), although the Lady Flames made only 12 of them for 50 percent. Liberty outrebounded the RedHawks 23-16 after halftime, finishing the game with a 42-38 edge on the glass.

Turning Point
Lauren Dickerson's three-pointer with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter trimmed Miami's deficit to four points (44-40).

Ria Gulley answered with a triple on the other end, kick-starting a 17-3 run which spanned the third and fourth quarters and sealed Liberty's win. The extended surge featured seven points by Bridgette Rettstatt and a long shot clock buzzer-beating triple by Gulley midway through the final period.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• The Lady Flames dominated the game's opening 10 minutes, leading by as many as 14 points on their way to an 18-8 advantage at the end of the period.

• Making her first collegiate start, freshman Asia Todd scored eight points during the first quarter, as Liberty shot 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from the field and tallied 10 points in the paint.

Second Quarter
• The Lady Flames missed eight of their first 10 field goals to begin the second quarter, enabling Miami to pull within three (24-21) on Vannessa Garrelts' three-pointer 3:14 before halftime.

• But Ashtyn Baker quickly responded with four of her 10 first-half points, keeping Liberty on top with a 30-25 halftime lead.

Third Quarter
• Liberty shot just 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from the field during the third quarter but remained in front by sinking eight of 12 free throw attempts. The Lady Flames took a 47-40 edge into the final period.

Fourth Quarter
• Liberty led by as many as 18 points twice during the fourth quarter, aided by a 72.7 percent (8-of-11) field goal percentage for the stanza.

• Bridgette Rettstatt, who had scored just eight total points during the previous three games, tallied seven points in the fourth quarter alone on Friday.

Notes and Nuggets
• Baker eclipsed the 500-point mark for her career during the first quarter and ended the contest with 508 career points.

• Todd scored in double figures for the third straight game. The freshman is averaging 11.7 ppg and shooting 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from three-point range during that span.

• Rettstatt came up with three steals for the second straight game and the third time this season. The junior is averaging a team-high 1.7 spg for the year.

• Coming off the bench for the first time in her 39-game Liberty career, Emily Lytle contributed four points and five rebounds.

• Liberty held its 34th consecutive opponent below 50 percent field goal shooting, dating back to last season.

• The Lady Flames evened the all-time head-to-head series with Miami at 1-1. The teams' previous meeting also took place in Florida (DeLand), where the RedHawks defeated the Lady Flames 78-40 on Dec. 8, 1995.

• Liberty improves to 4-1 all-time against MAC opponents, facing its first MAC foe in 12 years.

• Liberty is now 11-4 all-time against DeUnna Hendrix-coached teams, also including a 10-4 mark during her seven seasons as High Point's head coach (2012-13 through 2018-19).

• Liberty will now look to win both of its games at a regular-season tournament for the first time since Nov. 28 and 30, 2014, when the Lady Flames defeated Penn State and host Georgia State to win the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament crown.

Up Next
Liberty will close out its stay at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday, facing its first Top 25 foe of the season, No. 5/7 Oregon State (6-0). The first-ever meeting between the Lady Flames and Beavers is slated for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

Date: Saturday, November 30, 2019
Location: Coral Gables, Fla. (Watsco Center)
TV: None
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 2 p.m.