Ashtyn Baker scored a team-high 15 points during Saturday's 68-55 loss to No. 5/7 Oregon State, earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
Liberty led No. 5/7 Oregon State at halftime and was tied with the undefeated Beavers during the final minute of the third quarter, Saturday afternoon at Watsco Center. However, the Beavers successfully withstood the Lady Flames' upset bid to pull out a 68-55 triumph and emerge as the only 2-0 team at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic.
After Liberty tied the score at 43-43 on Ria Gulley's jumper with 1:09 to play in the third period, Oregon State (7-0) held the Lady Flames scoreless for the next 6:09. During that time, Mikayla Pivec scored six of her 14 points to put the Beavers on top for good and help head coach Scott Rueck record his 500th career victory.
Liberty falls to 2-6 with its 29th straight defeat against a Top 25 opponent despite holding the high-powered Beavers' offense in check. Oregon State scored a season-low 68 points and shot just 39.6 percent (21-of-53) from the field, well below its season average of 52.3 percent shooting.
Box Score Highlights Liberty Individuals: Ashtyn Baker – 15 points; Bridgette Rettstatt – 12 points, 2 blocks, 2-5 3FG; Emily Lytle – 10 points, 10 rebounds; Ria Gulley – 6 points, 6 assists.
Oregon State Individuals: Kennedy Brown – 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 7-9 FT; Mikayla Pivec – 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals; Aleah Goodman – 13 points, 4 assists.
Key Team Stats: Both teams struggled shooting the basketball. As part of Oregon State's 39.6 percent performance from the field, the Beavers shot just 22.2 percent (6-of-27) from the three-point line. Liberty finished at 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from the floor and 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from beyond the arc. The Beavers enjoyed a sizeable difference at the free throw line, shooting 69 percent (20-of-29) to Liberty's 46.2 percent (6-of-13). Oregon State outrebounded the Lady Flames, 42-37.
Turning Point During Liberty's aforementioned 6:09 second-half scoring drought, the Lady Flames missed six field goal attempts and committed three turnovers.
Oregon State grabbed four of its 14 offensive rebounds for the game during that span, leading to four second-chance points.
Trailing by eight points midway through the fourth quarter, Liberty got no closer than five the rest of the way.
Game Summary First Quarter • Emily Lytle's three-pointer with 1:58 remaining in the opening period punctuated the Lady Flames' 11-0 run, giving Liberty a 13-4 advantage.
• Oregon State scored the stanza's final seven points, pulling to within 13-11 despite shooting only 27.8 percent (5-of-18) during the first 10 minutes of play.
Second Quarter • Lytle tallied seven points during the second quarter, including a pair of hoops during a 9-0 spurt which resulted in a 29-19 Liberty advantage, 3:55 before halftime.
• Liberty took a 30-25 lead into halftime, led by Lytle's 10 first-half points.
Third Quarter • Oregon State outscored Liberty 13-4 over the first 3:54 of the second half, taking a 38-34 advantage after back-to-back triples from Kennedy Brown and Aleah Goodman.
• The Beavers led 47-43 through three quarters after scoring four points during the final 52 seconds to break the 43-43 deadlock.
Fourth Quarter • Foul shooting (10-of-16) and strong defense (Liberty shot just 25 percent on 4-of-16 from the field) helped Oregon State keep Liberty at bay during the final 10 minutes.
Notes and Nuggets • Baker averaged a team-high 13.5 ppg for the tournament, earning all-tournament team honors. The junior guard has scored in double digits in three of her last four games.
• Rettstatt tallied nine of her 12 points during the second half and hit two triples during the same game for the first time in her career.
• Lytle posted her first career double-double, leading all players with her career-high 10 boards.
• Keyen Green's seven rebounds give the redshirt junior 502 for her career, making her the 29th Lady Flame ever to pull down 500 caroms.
• Liberty has now been outrebounded in two of the last three games after a streak of 18 straight games winning the rebounding battle.
• Oregon State became the 35th straight opponent the Lady Flames have held below 50 percent field goal shooting.
• Liberty's 12 turnovers were a season low.
• Saturday marked the Lady Flames' first-ever meeting with Oregon State and their first matchup with any opponent from Oregon.
• The Lady Flames fall to 0-4 all-time versus Pac-12 opponents.
• Liberty was facing its first Top 25 opponent since its 2018 NCAA Tournament first round matchup with No. 12/13 Tennessee and its first Top 5 foe since Dec. 21, 2014 (No. 1/1 South Carolina).
• The Lady Flames are still seeking their first win over a Top 25 opponent since March 22, 2005, when they defeated No. 16/16 DePaul to reach the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.
Up Next Liberty will return to the Vines Center on Tuesday for its final non-conference home game. East Carolina (3-5) will be the first American Athletic Conference opponent ever to visit the Vines Center, as the Lady Flames attempt to avenge a 66-63 buzzer-beating setback from last season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center) TV: ESPN+ Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg) Tipoff: 7 p.m.