The last two ASUN Players of the Week (Liberty's Bridgette Rettstatt and Kennesaw State's Kamiyah Street) each had big games, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. But Rettstatt scored 14 of her game-high 25 points during the fourth quarter to help Liberty complete a season sweep of the Owls with a 68-55 triumph.
Street countered with 19 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and six assists for Kennesaw State (8-19, 4-10 ASUN). However, the Owls shot just 30.2 percent (19-of-63) as a team and fell to 0-12 on the road this season.
Liberty (12-15, 8-6 ASUN) scored 40 points in the paint and put four players in double figures, successfully bouncing back from a 66-54 loss at North Florida on Saturday.
The Lady Flames also solidified their hold on fourth place in the ASUN standings, as Liberty sits one game ahead of Jacksonville and North Florida with two regular-season contests remaining.
Box Score Highlights Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 25 points, 11-16 FG, 8 rebounds; Ashtyn Baker – 11 points, 4 assists; Kierra Johnson-Graham – 10 points, 7 rebounds; Emily Lytle – 10 points, 5 rebounds.
Other Kennesaw State Individuals: Carlotta Gianolla – 10 points; Alexis Poole – 9 points, 7 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) for the contest, including 53.3 percent (16-of-30) after halftime. The Lady Flames outrebounded their eighth straight opponent, 45-36. Liberty attempted a season-low seven three-pointers, making two of them.
Turning Point Liberty Head Coach Carey Green uncharacteristically called a timeout just 3:06 into the first quarter with his team trailing 9-2.
The Lady Flames responded with a 17-1 run that carried over into the second quarter and held the Owls without a made field goal for a span of 9:43.
Kennesaw State made numerous comeback attempts throughout the game but never regained the lead.
Game Summary First Quarter • Four of Kennesaw State's five starters scored points within the first 3:05 of the game, staking the Owls to an early 9-2 advantage.
• Liberty then held the Owls without a made field goal for the remainder of the period, closing the stanza with a 14-1 run. Tatyana Crowder scored the Lady Flames' final four points of the first quarter, including a buzzer-beating jumper which gave Liberty a 16-10 lead through 10 minutes of play.
Second Quarter • The Lady Flames carried their momentum into the early stages of the second quarter, boosting their cushion to nine (19-10) on Ria Gulley's three-point play on Liberty's opening possession.
• Liberty only made two more field goals during the remainder of the half but never lost the lead. The Lady Flames owned a 26-22 halftime edge after holding the Owls to 25 percent (8-of-32) shooting from the field during the first 20 minutes.
Third Quarter • Kamiyah Street's three-point play at the 6:53 mark trimmed Liberty's lead to a single point, 30-29.
• Liberty found its shooting touch, making six straight field goals. The stretch culminated in a corner three-pointer by Ashtyn Baker which lifted the Lady Flames to their first double-digit lead (39-29) with 4:17 on the clock.
• The Lady Flames' advantage stood at eight points (43-35) heading to the final period.
Fourth Quarter • Five straight Kennesaw State points trimmed the visitors' deficit to 49-44 with 6:12 remaining.
• Liberty responded with a 7-0 run, starting with four straight points by Rettstatt, and the home team's lead stayed at nine points or larger the rest of the night.
• Rettstatt finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed six rebounds during the fourth quarter alone.
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green Quotes "Every game is urgently important to us right now, as far as seeding coming down to the end of the season and going into tournament play. I'm excited that our defense for the first three quarters was very good, and our best offense came in the fourth quarter. Our defensive effort was consistent, and rebounding was much better in the second half. It was a good team win and we're rea to move on."
Notes and Nuggets • Rettstatt tied her career high of 25 points, set at North Alabama on Feb. 16. During two matchups with Kennesaw State this season, Rettstatt scored 38 points in 37 minutes of playing time.
• Rettstatt hit both of her free throws on Tuesday, extending her streak to 16 straight made foul shots. She also made her lone three-point try and has hit four of her last six triples after starting the season 3-of-20 from long range.
• Ashtyn Baker's 11 points matched her total scoring output from her first four games back from an ankle injury which sidelined her between Jan. 15-Feb. 5.
• Kierra Johnson-Graham's 10 points pushed her over 500 for her career. The junior has now tallied 509 career points.
• The Lady Flames finished the month of February at 4-3 and are now 132-19 in February contests during Carey Green's 20 seasons at the helm.
• Liberty has erased a deficit of seven points or larger during four of its last seven wins.
• The Lady Flames have held 22 straight opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting. Only 26 teams have shot 50 percent against Liberty in 20 seasons under Carey Green.
Up Next Liberty will play its final road game of the regular season at NJIT (5-21, 2-11 ASUN) on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the NJIT Wellness and Events Center as the Lady Flames aim to complete a season sweep of the Highlanders. Liberty recorded a 58-47 home win over NJIT on Feb. 2.
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019 Location: Newark, N.J. (NJIT Wellness and Events Center) Tipoff: 1 p.m. TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
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