Liberty Head Coach Carey Green reached 400 career victories, Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center, thanks in large part to his primary coaching staples of rebounding and defense. The Lady Flames enjoyed a +25 rebound margin and held Longwood to 25.4 percent field goal shooting in a 67-47 victory.
Ashley Rininger (14 points), Brooke Alexander (career-high 13 points) and Katelyn Adams (season-high 12 points, nine rebounds) led the way offensively as Green improves to 400-138 in his 17th season with the Lady Flames.
Liberty improves to 17-10 overall and 14-4 in Big South play with its 15th straight head-to-head victory over Longwood. The Lady Flames move into a tie with UNC Asheville for first place in the conference standings, after the Bulldogs lost to Campbell on Saturday.
Longwood, which made only 16 of its 63 field goal attempts (25.4 percent), drops to 6-21 overall and 3-15 in the Big South with its seventh straight loss.
The score was tied at 8-8 with 3:31 remaining in the opening period before Jaymee Fisher-Davis ignited a 14-2 Liberty run with a three-pointer. The Lady Flames owned a 17-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, aided by six Alexander points.
Liberty's surge extended into the second quarter, and three consecutive points by Catherine Kearney made it a 22-10 game with 7:23 on the clock. Back-to-back three-pointers by Brenna Robbins and Kyndal Skersick keyed an 8-0 Longwood surge, cutting the visitors deficit to 22-18 at 3:43.
The Lady Flames then answered with an 8-0 run of their own to end the half. Candice Leatherwood scored five of the points herself and assisted on a Fisher-Davis triple, sending Liberty into halftime with a 30-18 advantage.
The Lady Flames scored nine of the second half's first 11 points, building a 39-20 cushion when Adams hit a layup at the 7:29 mark. Liberty shot 66.7 percent (8-of-12) during the third quarter, keeping Longwood from getting any closer than 14. The Lady Flames' advantage stood at 51-35 at the end of three periods.
Liberty's lead reached a game-high 22 points (67-45) on Stephanie Patton's first career three-pointer with 2:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Lady Flames' 20-point win marked their second largest margin of victory this season and boosted Liberty's all-time record against Longwood at the Vines Center to 7-0.
Liberty shot 42.4 percent (28-of-66) for the game, aided by 38 points in the paint. The Lady Flames also converted a season-high 28 offensive rebounds into a season-best 23 second-chance points.
The Lady Flames' final margin on the boards was 58-33 as they outrebounded their 14th consecutive opponent. Liberty also dished out a season-high 20 assists and blocked eight Longwood shots.
Longwood was able to connect on seven three-pointers, but it took the Lancers 26 attempts (26.9 percent) to get there.
Rininger's game-high 14 points came in just 20 minutes of action on a day where no Lady Flame played more than 26 minutes.
Alexander added five assists to her career-best 13 points.
KK Barbour collected a game-high and career-high 10 rebounds in just 11 minutes off the bench, including six of the offensive variety.
Kearney blocked a career-high five shots for the Lady Flames, while fellow senior Sadalia Ellis came up with four steals, tying her season high.
Skersick and Deborah Headen led Longwood with 10 points apiece, while Khalilah Ali pulled down a season-high seven rebounds for the Lancers.
Liberty will travel to Winthrop (4-23, 3-15 Big South) on Tuesday for its final road game of the regular-season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum as the Lady Flames look to complete a season sweep of the Eagles. Liberty defeated Winthrop, 77-61, at the Vines Center on Jan. 16.