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Lady Flames Start Quickly in 76-59 Victory at Kennesaw State

January 9, 2021  Kennesaw, Ga.  RSS
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Ashtyn Baker recorded her 300th career assist during a 76-59 victory at Kennesaw State.

Ashtyn Baker recorded her 300th career assist during a 76-59 victory at Kennesaw State.

Playing its first ASUN Conference road game of the season, Saturday afternoon at the KSU Convocation Center, Liberty utilized a fast start. The Lady Flames opened the game with a 15-0 run and eventually led 38-14 on their way to a 76-59 triumph over Kennesaw State.

Liberty improves to 7-3 overall and 3-0 in the ASUN with balanced scoring, 12 three-pointers and 22 assists on 31 made field goals. The Lady Flames have now won six straight games overall, nine consecutive ASUN Conference contests and their last 11 meetings with ASUN foes, dating back to last season.

Kennesaw State's record evens at 3-3 as the Owls fall to 0-3 in ASUN play. KSU was hurt by 17 turnovers which led to 25 Liberty points, as the Lady Flames boost their all-time record against the Owls to 6-0. Saturday's 17-point victory by Liberty was the largest final margin in series history.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 16 points, 7 rebounds; Emily Lytle – 13 points, 3-5 3FG; Bella Smuda – 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks; Ashtyn Baker – 8 points, 5 assists; Dee Brown – 8 points, 5 assists.

Kennesaw State Individuals: Amani Johnson – 15 points, 6-6 FT; Gabi Legister – 11 points, 5-5 FT; Stacie Jones – 8 points, 6 rebounds.

Key Team Stats: Liberty shot well from both the field (46.3 percent, 31-of-67) and three-point range (46.2 percent, 12-of-26), while KSU hit 36.5 percent (19-of-52) of its field goals and 33.3 percent (3-of-9) from beyond the arc. The Owls enjoyed a significant advantage at the foul line, going 18-of-19 for 94.7 percent, while Liberty was just 2-of-6 for 33.3 percent. Kennesaw State won the rebounding battle (36-31), but the Lady Flames had the upper hand in points in the paint (30-24) and second-chance points (20-16). Liberty committed a season-low eight turnovers, while posting its second-highest bench points total of the season (40).

Turning Point
Liberty set the tone during the first six and a half minutes of play, racing out to a 15-0 advantage. The Lady Flames' lead never dipped below 10 for the remainder of the contest.

Makaela Kestner knocked down two of Liberty's three triples during the game-opening burst. Meanwhile, Kennesaw State committed seven turnovers before scoring its first points of the day.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• It took 6:35 for Kennesaw State to score its first points of the afternoon, a Jodi Mullins jumper.

• The Lady Flames led 22-12 after 10 minutes of play, getting seven first-quarter points from Rettstatt and 10 second-chance tallies.

Second Quarter
• After being held scoreless during the opening period, Lytle nailed three triples during the first 4:18 of the second. Her efforts helped Liberty push its lead out to 24 (38-14).

• Kennesaw State closed the half with an 8-0 run, trimming the home team's halftime deficit to 38-22. Liberty scored 15 points off the Owls' 12 turnovers during the opening half.

Third Quarter
• KSU scored the second half's first six points, with back-to-back Johnson hoops closing out a 14-0 overall run. The Owls were within 10 (38-28) at 8:20 of the third quarter.

• Johnson totaled 12 points during the stanza, but Liberty's lead remained in double figures throughout. The visiting Lady Flames hit three triples in the third quarter, taking a 58-42 advantage to the final period.

Fourth Quarter
• Rettstatt added seven more points during a fourth quarter which saw Liberty shoot 57.1 percent (8-of-14) to close out its victory.

Notes and Nuggets
• Rettstatt's 16 points were her second most in a game this season and put her over 750 for her career. The senior finished the afternoon with 753 career points. She also matched a season high with her game-high seven rebounds.

• Lytle scored in double digits for the fifth consecutive game and has hit 14 three-pointers during that stretch.

• Baker and Brown led all players with five assists apiece. Baker recorded her 300th career assist during the game, while Brown's five helpers set a new career high.

• Playing approximately 30 miles from her high school alma mater (Greater Atlanta Christian School), Kennedi Williams made her first two three-pointers of the season.

• Fifteen different Lady Flames got into the game, and no Liberty player was on the court for more than 23 minutes.

• The Lady Flames' 12 three-pointers were tied for the second most in a game in program history. Three of Liberty's five highest single-game three-point totals all-time have come this season.

• Liberty's eight turnovers were the team's fewest since the Lady Flames' had eight miscues during a Feb. 3, 2020 win over Kennesaw State.

• Liberty became just the second road team to win during the first eight ASUN Conference women's basketball games played this season.

• Neither team's head coach was present at Saturday's game. Carey Green missed his third straight game for Liberty as he recovers from a leg injury, while Kennesaw State Head Coach Agnus Berenato is currently on a leave of absence as she battles breast cancer. Alexis Sherard (Liberty) and Khadija Head (Kennesaw State) served as the acting head coaches.

Up Next
The Lady Flames and Owls will wrap up their two-game weekend series Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the KSU Convocation Center.

Date: Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021
Location: Kennesaw, Ga. (KSU Convocation Center)
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 2 p.m.