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Lady Flames Score Season-High 94 in Road Win

February 27, 2010  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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LaKendra Washington finished with 12 points, four assists and three steals during the Lady Flames' 94-66 victory at UNC Asheville.

LaKendra Washington finished with 12 points, four assists and three steals during the Lady Flames' 94-66 victory at UNC Asheville.

Liberty used an aggressive defense and balanced scoring to post its sixth consecutive road win, Saturday afternoon at the Justice Center. The Lady Flames forced 28 turnovers and put six players in double figures, leading to a season-high point total in their 94-66 victory over UNC Asheville.

Led by Avery Warley's 22 points and 10 rebounds, Liberty improves to 21-5 overall and 11-2 in the Big South. The Lady Flames have now defeated the Bulldogs each of the last 13 times the two teams have squared off at the Justice Center.

UNC Asheville actually shot a better percentage from the field than Liberty, 47.7 percent to 46.5 percent, but the Bulldogs fell for the seventh time in eight games. UNC Asheville is now 7-20 overall and 2-12 in conference action.

Liberty raced out to a 5-0 lead, getting a Devon Brown three-pointer from the left corner and a Warley layup on its first two possessions of the afternoon.

UNC Asheville countered with an 8-2 run, taking its first lead of the game on Kelli Riles' driving, right-handed layup at the 15:01 mark. Her second hoop of the early-going made the score 8-7, Bulldogs.

The Lady Flames reclaimed the lead just 11 seconds later, on another close-range connection by Warley.

Liberty's bench players then helped the visitors break the game open, scoring 15 consecutive Lady Flames points between 13:42 and 9:30. The bench production contributed to a 17-0 Liberty surge, which concluded with LaKendra Washington's hoop, 6:33 before halftime. The run boosted the Lady Flames' lead to 38-20.

The Bulldogs battled back with a 7-1 burst, cutting the gap to 39-27 on Grace Blaylock's three-pointer at 4:39.

Liberty held UNC Asheville to just one made field goal during the remainder of the opening period, building a 23-point advantage before taking a 54-33 lead into the locker room.

The Lady Flames shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38) from the field during their highest-scoring half of the season, including 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range. UNC Asheville hit 61.1 percent (11-of-18) of its field goals, but the Bulldogs were victimized by 21 first-half turnovers. Liberty converted UNC Asheville's miscues into 29 points before the break.

The Lady Flames also scored 26 first-half points in the paint and got nearly half (26) of their points from bench players. Meanwhile, the Big South Conference's top two rebounding teams each grabbed the same number of rebounds (16) during the opening 20 minutes.

Warley led all players with 11 points before the break and added four boards. Washington and Danika Dale each contributed nine points off head coach Carey Green's bench. On the glass, Kylee Beecher's five caroms paced the Lady Flames in the opening stanza.

Riles led the homestanding Bulldogs in both points (9) and rebounds (5) before halftime, while Lindsey Thompson chipped in seven points.

Liberty held UNC Asheville to one made field goal in the first 6:16 of the second half, taking a 71-38 advantage when Warley sank both of her free throws at 14:05. The redshirt sophomore's charity tosses put her over the 20-point mark for the second straight game.

The Lady Flames' lead hovered between 28 and 33 points for the remainder of the contest, and the final score ended up at 94-66. It was the second-most points Liberty has ever scored in a Big South Conference game and the most points the Lady Flames have tallied in any contest since a 99-42 home win over Charleston Southern on Feb. 18, 2008.

Liberty shot 46.5 percent (33-of-71) on the afternoon, including 54.5 percent (6-of-11) on three-pointers. The Lady Flames also got to the free throw line a season-high 40 times, making 22 of their attempts for 55 percent.

UNC Asheville finished at 47.7 percent (21-of-44) on field goals and made six triples of its own. However, the Bulldogs' 28 turnovers led to nearly half (42) of Liberty's points.

Other categories which saw a decided Liberty advantage were points in the paint (50-23), second-chance points (22-4) and bench points (40-24). The bench point total was a new season high for the Lady Flames, as three reserves scored in double digits.

Liberty owned the upper hand in rebounding, 43-33, led by a season-best 27 offensive caroms. The Lady Flames also distributed 22 assists and came up with 16 steals.

Warley's double-double was her eighth of the season and the seventh in her last 10 appearances. She was joined in double figures in the scoring column by Jelena Antic (13 points), Beecher (12), Brown (12), Washington (12) and Dale (10).

Beecher nearly completed a double-double of her own, tying a season high with nine rebounds. Dymond Morgan added a team-high five assists.

Kiana Rainey led UNC Asheville's offensive attack with 13 points. Lindsey Montgomery added 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, accounting for her conference-high 11th double-double. Kendall Shepard led all players with eight assists.

Liberty will play its final road game of the regular season Monday, when the Lady Flames travel to Presbyterian College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Templeton Center. Liberty will attempt to complete a season sweep of the Blue Hose, after claiming a 73-27 win over Presbyterian College, Jan. 16 at the Vines Center.

UNC Asheville will continue its three-game, season-ending homestand Monday evening. Radford will visit the Justice Center, with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.