(L-R): All-Tournament Team member Mya McMillian, Roo Holiday Classic MVP Asia Todd, All-Tournament Team member Emily Lytle
The Liberty women's basketball team heads into the Christmas holiday on a high note after a dominating 68-44 victory over Roo Holiday Classic host Kansas City in the tournament's de facto championship game, Saturday afternoon at the Swinney Center. Led by tournament MVP Asia Todd, the Lady Flames have now won five games in a row.
Liberty (7-6) led from start to finish on Saturday, finishing as the tournament's only 2-0 team and trailing for only 33 seconds on the weekend. Keyen Green (15 points, 7 rebounds) paced eight Lady Flames who scored six points or more versus the Roos. That grouping also included all-tournament team members Emily Lytle (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Mya McMillian (6 points, team-high 8 rebounds).
Kansas City (6-7) was held to a season-low 44 points, shooting just 27.8 percent (15-of-54) from the field. Preseason WAC Player of the Year Ericka Mattingly managed only eight points, falling nearly 10 points shy of her season average.
Box Score Highlights Other Liberty Individuals: Todd – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists; Audrey Clark – 8 points, 2-2 3FG.
Other Kansas City Individuals: Cristina Soriano – 8 points, 4-5 FG; Jada Mickens – 8 points, 5 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Liberty matched its season high of eight three-pointers, shooting 40 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Lady Flames enjoyed the advantage in rebounds (44-39) and points in the paint (30-18). Liberty's bench outscored Kansas City's reserves, 27-17. The Roos entered the game ranked No. 20 nationally for free throw percentage but finished at 47.8 percent (11-of-23) on Saturday.
Turning Point After Kansas City's Tajah Foster-Walker opened the second quarter scoring with a layup, trimming her team's deficit to 21-16, Liberty went on a 9-0 run.
The Lady Flames' points came in three sets of three with triples by Audrey Clark and Nenna Lindstrom bookending Keyen Green's three-point play.
Lindstrom's trifecta from the corner made it 30-16 with 6:39 remaining until halftime, and Liberty led by double digits the rest of the way.
Game Summary First Quarter • After a strong second half during Friday's win over Bradley, Emily Lytle picked up where she left off on Saturday. She posted seven points and six rebounds during the first quarter, helping Liberty lead throughout the period on the way to a 21-14 advantage.
Second Quarter • The Lady Flames hit as many three-pointers (3) during the second quarter as Kansas City made field goals (3). Liberty built its lead to 19 (41-22) after its highest-scoring first half of the season thus far.
Third Quarter • Liberty's offensive pace slowed during the third quarter, but the Roos could get no closer than 16 points and still trailed 54-35 with 10 minutes remaining.
Fourth Quarter • Continuing a recent trend, the Lady Flames put the clamps on defensively during the fourth quarter. Kansas City shot 15 percent (3-of-20) during a nine-point quarter to close out the game.
Notes and Nuggets • Green gained a measure of redemption with her 15 points after fouling out in 12 minutes during Friday's win over Bradley. It marked the redshirt junior's 50th career double-digit scoring effort and boosted her career total to 938 points.
• Lytle was the only Lady Flame to score in double digits during both Roo Holiday Classic contests, following her 15-point outing on Friday with 10 on Saturday.
• Todd's six rebounds were a career high and the freshman matched her career high of five assists.
• Fellow freshmen Clark (career-high eight points) and Kennedi Williams (career high-equaling seven points) also played well off the bench.
• At 7-6, Liberty will take a winning record into the start of conference play for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
• The Lady Flames wrapped up their first 2-0 regular-season tournament since Nov. 28 and 30, 2014, when they defeated Penn State and host Georgia State to win the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament title in Atlanta, Ga.
• Liberty finished the month of December with a 5-0 record, completing its first unbeaten December since 1997-98, when the Lady Flames won all six contests during the month.
• Liberty's first 13 games of the 2019-20 season have featured both a five-game losing streak (Nov. 8-24) and its current five-game winning streak, which began Dec. 3 versus East Carolina.
• Kansas City became the second team Liberty has defeated in both men's and women's basketball this season, along with East Carolina. The last time the Liberty men's and women's basketball squads both defeated the same two non-conference opponents during a season was 1998-99 (Elon and High Point).
• Saturday marked Liberty's first-ever meeting with Kansas City and its inaugural matchup with a WAC member.
Up Next After taking two weeks off from competition for Christmas, Liberty will tip off its second season of ASUN Conference play on Jan. 4 at NJIT. The first of the Lady Flames' 16 conference games is slated for 1 p.m. at the NJIT Wellness and Events Center in Newark, N.J.
Date: Saturday, January 4, 2020 Location: Newark, N.J. (NJIT Wellness and Events Center) TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg) Tipoff: 1 p.m.
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