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Late 12-0 Run Keys Liberty's 60-50 Win at Kennesaw State

January 10, 2021  Kennesaw, Ga.  RSS
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Bridgette Rettstatt paced the Lady Flames in scoring for the second day in a row, tallying 13 points on Sunday.

Bridgette Rettstatt paced the Lady Flames in scoring for the second day in a row, tallying 13 points on Sunday.

For the second consecutive Sunday, Liberty shook off a slow start to pull out an ASUN Conference win. This time, a 12-0 fourth-quarter run keyed the Lady Flames' hard-fought 60-50 victory over Kennesaw State at the KSU Convocation Center which completed Liberty's sweep of the two-game weekend series.

Liberty (8-3, 4-0 ASUN) led 42-41 early in the final period before outscoring KSU 12-0 over a four-minute span to essentially seal the Lady Flames' seventh consecutive victory. Liberty held the Owls to 26.5 percent (9-of-34) shooting after halftime, helping the Lady Flames recover from a 26-22 halftime deficit.

Kennesaw State falls to 3-4 overall and 0-4 in the ASUN with its fourth consecutive setback. The Owls, whose 50 points were a season low, fall to 0-7 all-time against Liberty.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 13 points, 8 rebounds; Emily Lytle – 11 points, 9 rebounds; Makaela Kestner – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals.

Kennesaw State Individuals: Amani Johnson – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists; Jah'Che Whitfield – 9 points, 4 rebounds; Yamani Paul – 8 points, 8 rebounds; Stacie Jones – 8 points, 8 rebounds.

Key Team Stats: The Lady Flames shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the field, including 51.7 percent (15-of-29) after halftime. Kennesaw State ended up at just 30.3 percent (20-of-66) from the floor. KSU won the rebounding battle for the second straight day (41-39), but Liberty had the upper hand in points in the paint (36-26).

Turning Point
Jones' layup with 8:36 to play in the fourth quarter pulled Kennesaw State within one at 42-41. Her team did not score again for the next 6:03 as Liberty recorded the aforementioned 12-0 run.

Kestner (8 points) and Rettstatt (4 points) accounted for all of the Lady Flames' points during the surge, including five on one pivotal possession.

With 5:36 showing on the clock, Kestner knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key, boosting Liberty's lead from 45-41 to 48-41. She was also fouled in the act of shooting. Although Kestner missed on her attempt at a four-point play, Lytle grabbed the offensive board and quickly found Rettstatt for a layup. All in all, the Lady Flames tallied five points in four seconds to more than double their lead.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• Kennesaw State led for most of the opening period following an early 7-0 run. The Owls owned a 14-11 advantage after outrebounding the Lady Flames, 15-8, during the stanza.

Second Quarter
• Ashtyn Baker scored six points in the second period, helping Liberty come back to tie the score at 21-all, 2:32 before halftime.

• However, KSU reclaimed the advantage on its next possession with a Paul hoop and ended up with a 26-22 halftime lead.

• Liberty struggled shooting the basketball during the first 20 minutes, going 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from the field, 9.1 percent (1-of-11) from three-point range and 25 percent (1-of-4) from the free throw line.

Third Quarter
• Lytle posted nine points and five rebounds during the third quarter, helping Liberty take a pair of five-point advantages. Liberty took a 40-37 edge into the final period after outscoring the host Owls 18-11 in the third.

Fourth Quarter
• After shooting 2-of-16 from three-point range during the first three quarters, Liberty connected on all three of its triples in the fourth. Kestner hit two three-pointers during an eight-point stanza, while three of Rettstatt's fourth-quarter tallies came from beyond the arc.

Notes and Nuggets
• Rettstatt led the Lady Flames in scoring for the second straight game, following up her 16-point outing on Saturday. She also pulled down a season-high eight rebounds.

• Kestner set career highs for points (11), three-pointers made (3) and steals (3). She had hit six triples during the season's first nine games before knocking down five in two contests at KSU.

• Lytle scored in double figures for the sixth straight game despite being held without a three-pointer for just the second time this season. Her nine rebounds led all players and marked a season high.

• Kennedi Williams dished out a game-high five assists for her fourth contest this season with five or more helpers. In 41 minutes of playing time in her home state this weekend, she totaled eight assists and zero turnovers.

• Liberty's 60 points marked a season low. It was the first time the Lady Flames have won when scoring 60 points or fewer since Jan. 25, 2020, when they pulled out a 57-48 victory at Stetson.

• The Lady Flames have won 10 consecutive ASUN Conference games and 12 straight meetings with ASUN foes, with four of those meetings coming against Kennesaw State.

• Liberty has won its first two ASUN Conference road games for the first time in three seasons as a conference member.

• Sunday marked the fifth time in seven all-time Liberty-Kennesaw State contests the final margin of victory has been 10 points or fewer.

• For the fourth consecutive game, Alexis Sherard coached in place of Carey Green, who is recovering from a leg injury.

Up Next
Liberty will return home for a two-game ASUN series against North Alabama (3-8, 2-0 ASUN). Tipoff for the series opener at Liberty Arena is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames and Lions are the top two teams in the ASUN standings thus far in 2020-21 and played a pair of overtime contests last season.

The Lady Flames were originally scheduled to host Stetson next weekend. That series has been shifted to Feb. 13-14 at Liberty Arena.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Liberty Arena)
TV: ESPN+
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 2 p.m.