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Liberty Holds Off Hot-Shooting Saint Francis (Pa.), 71-52

December 18, 2019  Loretto, Pa.  RSS
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Keyen Green scored a team-high 15 points during a 71-52 victory at Saint Francis (Pa.), Wednesday evening.

Keyen Green scored a team-high 15 points during a 71-52 victory at Saint Francis (Pa.), Wednesday evening.

On a bitterly cold Wednesday night in Pennsylvania, host Saint Francis (Pa.) scorched the nets for 11 three-pointers. However, Liberty used strong post play and stifling fourth-quarter defense to pull out a 71-52 victory at DeGol Arena.

The Lady Flames improve to 5-6 with their third straight victory. Starting post players Keyen Green (15 points, 6 rebounds) and Bridgette Rettstatt (13 points) helped Liberty outscore the Red Flash inside the paint, 42-10.

Saint Francis falls to 2-8 with its fifth loss in the last six games and its second defeat to Liberty in as many years. Haley Thomas (19 points) and Karson Swogger (16 points) hit five triples apiece. However, Saint Francis was limited to four fourth-quarter points on 0-of-10 shooting.

Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Ashtyn Baker – 11 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds, 4 assists; Mya McMillian – 8 points, 7 rebounds.

Other Saint Francis Individuals: Sam Miller – 8 points.

Key Team Stats: Liberty finished at 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the floor and committed a season-low eight turnovers. Despite Saint Francis' prolific three-point shooting (45.8 percent, 11-of-24), the Red Flash finished at just 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field overall. Liberty's bench players outscored the Red Flash reserves, 20-7, with 17 of those points coming after halftime.

Turning Point
After Saint Francis pulled within a single point (40-39) on three Karson Swogger three-pointers to start the second half, Liberty's Asia Todd slowed the home team's momentum with a pull-up jumper on the next possession.

The Lady Flames outscored the Red Flash 16-9 over the remainder of the period, with reserves Mya McMillian and Nenna Lindstrom combining for 13 of those points. Saint Francis got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• Both teams came out firing in the first quarter, as Liberty shot 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from the field and Saint Francis shot at a 61.5 percent (8-of-13) clip. The Lady Flames led 24-20 at the end of the period, aided by 14 points in the paint.

Second Quarter
• Thanks to its fifth and sixth three-pointers of the opening half, Saint Francis cut its deficit to one point (27-26), 6:09 before halftime.

• Keyen Green scored eight points during the stanza, helping Liberty stay on top, and the Lady Flames took a 10-point advantage (40-30) into the intermission.

Third Quarter
• Karson Swogger opened the second-half scoring with three consecutive triples, pulling the Red Flash within a single point (40-39) at the 7:31 mark.

• But Liberty did not relinquish the lead as reserves Mya McMillian (8 points) and Nenna Lindstrom (5 points) combined for 13 third-quarter tallies. The Lady Flames maintained a 10-point lead (58-48) heading to the final 10 minutes of play.

Fourth Quarter
• Liberty wrapped up its third consecutive victory with a stout defensive effort during the final 10 minutes. The Lady Flames held the Red Flash to four points on 0-of-10 shooting from the field, pulling away for a 19-point victory.

Notes and Nuggets
• Green scored in double figures for the third straight game and paced Liberty in the scoring column for the second contest in a row. The redshirt junior is creeping closer to the 1,000-point milestone, finishing the game with 917 career points.

• Rettstatt reached double digits for the fifth consecutive game. Liberty is 4-1 during that stretch.

• Baker's six steals were a career high and were the most by a Lady Flame since Kierra Johnson-Graham had six thefts versus Saint Francis last season (Nov. 17, 2018).

• After committing 60 turnovers during its previous two games, Liberty finished with a season-low eight on Wednesday. It was the Lady Flames' first game with single-digit turnovers since the 2018 Big South Championship title game against UNC Asheville (March 11, 2018).

• Liberty never trailed after scoring on an Asia Todd layup just five seconds into the contest.

• Liberty has outscored its opponent in bench points 86-24 during its current three-game winning streak.

• The Lady Flames' 75 percent (9-of-12) mark from the free throw line was their best since shooting 83.3 percent at Virginia Tech on Nov. 15.

Up Next
Liberty will play its next two games at the Roo Holiday Classic, Friday and Saturday at the Swinney Recreation Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Lady Flames will meet Bradley (8-1), winner of seven games in a row, in the tournament's opening game, Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern. Liberty will be squaring off against the Braves for the first time in program history.

Date: Friday, December 20, 2019
Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Swinney Recreation Center)
TV: Roo Sports Network
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 2 p.m. Eastern