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Presbyterian Roars Back to Nip Liberty, 56-55

February 11, 2017  Clinton, S.C.  RSS
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KK Barbour scored 15 points during Saturday's 56-55 setback at Presbyterian.
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Trailing by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, Presbyterian used four triples to come back and overtake Liberty for a 56-55 victory, Saturday evening at the Templeton Center.

The Lady Flames had closed the third period with an 11-0 run, building a 47-36 lead. However, PC began the final quarter with a 14-0 burst, highlighted by three Kacie Hall triples. Rebecca Walker's three-pointer with 4:42 remaining gave the Blue Hose a 50-47 advantage.

Liberty (9-14, 8-4 Big South) briefly reclaimed the lead at 51-50 after Keyen Green hit a layup with 3:03 remaining. But Presbyterian's (9-14, 7-5 Big South) Cortney Storey scored her only four points of the night within a 22-second span, helping the Blue Hose go ahead 56-53 with 1:10 left.

Green's putback at the 48.7-second mark and a defensive stop gave the Lady Flames one final chance, trailing 56-55. But late three-point tries by KK Barbour and Iva Ilic were off the mark and Liberty's season-long four-game winning streak came to a halt.

Despite productive outings by Green (16 points, including 12 in the second half) and Barbour (15 points), Liberty fell to 2-11 away from the Vines Center this season and lost in Clinton for the second straight season. The Lady Flames were held to 36.7 percent (18-of-49) from the field and 7.7 percent (1-of-13) from three-point range while committing 21 turnovers.

Presbyterian split the season series with Liberty thanks to a 13-point, seven-rebound effort by Janie Miles and Hall's career high-tying 11 points. The Blue Hose were shooting just 1-of-16 from three-point range for the game before connecting on 4-of-8 trifectas during the decisive fourth quarter.

Liberty led 16-15 after a first quarter, which saw six ties and four lead changes, despite shooting just 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from the field. The stanza featured a four-point play by Nene Johnson, the Lady Flames' first of the season.

Liberty made only two field goals during the second quarter, but Barbour turned both of them into three-point plays as part of her eight-point period. The Lady Flames connected on eight of their nine free throw attempts during the quarter, helping them take a 28-24 lead into halftime.

Barbour led all players with 10 first-half points, while Ola Makurat contributed five boards to the Lady Flames' 24-17 advantage on the glass. Presbyterian kept it close by limiting Liberty to 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from the field and forcing 12 Lady Flames turnovers during the first 20 minutes.

The Blue Hose made only 10 percent (1-of-10) from three-point range and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the foul line during the opening half.

Green and Makurat scored four points apiece during the first 3:58 of the third quarter, helping Liberty take three separate six-point leads. The Lady Flames were in front 36-30 prior to a 6-0 Blue Hose run. Salina Virola's baseline jumper at 4:26 tied the score at 36-all.

Liberty then closed the third quarter with an 11-0 run, including seven points by the post duo of Green and Barbour. The spurt sent the Lady Flames to the fourth quarter with the aforementioned 47-36 edge.

The fourth quarter produced two more ties and three lead changes, totaling 10 deadlocks and 11 lead changes for the game. Liberty has now seen its last four games decided by a total of 11 points.

Despite its struggles shooting from the field, Liberty made 72 percent (18-of-25) at the foul line. That gave the Lady Flames an unlikely upper hand on PC, which entered as the Big South's top free throw shooting team but hit only 56.3 percent (9-of-16) on Saturday.

Led by Tatyana Crowder's career-high seven rebounds off the bench, Liberty won the rebounding battle, 42-32, and outscored the Blue Hose inside the paint, 32-26.

Hall's 11 points helped the Presbyterian reserves outscore Liberty's bench, 24-20, including 15-6 after the intermission.

Johnson ended up with nine points for the Lady Flames, while Storey, her PC counterpart at point guard, had a productive outing despite shooting 1-of-9 from the field. Storey scored all four of her points during the final 1:32, led all players with six assists and had zero turnovers in 40 minutes played for the Blue Hose.

Up Next
Liberty will remain on the road for a Tuesday visit to High Point (10-13, 8-4 Big South) to meet the red-hot Panthers, who have won five games in a row. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Millis Center as Liberty seeks a regular-season sweep of High Point. The Lady Flames notched an 81-74 home victory over the Panthers on Jan. 7.

Liberty and High Point enter Tuesday's game tied for third place in the Big South standings at 8-4, one game behind co-leaders Campbell and Radford.