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Phills Keys No. 24 FGCU's 74-65 Triumph at Liberty

February 1, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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With her team trailing at halftime of Saturday afternoon's contest at the Vines Center, No. 24 FGCU's Kerstie Phills exploded for a 13-point third quarter. The Eagles took the lead for good during that stanza and held on for a 74-65 triumph at Liberty.

Liberty (11-10, 4-4 ASUN) led by as many as seven points during the first half and got an outstanding effort from Emily Lytle (19 points, 10 rebounds, 5-9 3FG). However, the Lady Flames could not overcome FGCU's 14 three-pointers and fell to 0-5 all-time against the Eagles.

FGCU (21-2, 8-0 ASUN) completes a regular-season sweep of the Lady Flames after overcoming its largest deficit during ASUN play thus far in 2019-20. Phills finished with 16 of her season-high 19 points during the second half as the Eagles extended their winning streaks to six straight road victories, 10 consecutive wins overall and 36 straight triumphs against ASUN opponents.

Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Ashtyn Baker – 11 points, 4 assists; Keyen Green – 9 points, 8 rebounds, 7-10 FT.

Other FGCU Individuals: Nasrin Ulel – 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists; Keri Jewett-Giles – 12 points, 4 assists, 3 steals; Ashli O'Neal – 12 points.

Key Team Stats: Liberty shot a better percentage from the field than FGCU (43.4 percent to 41.8 percent) and knocked down a season-high nine triples at a 56.3 percent clip (9-of-16). However, FGCU tied the Vines Center record with its 14 made triples and took advantage of Liberty's 20 turnovers. FGCU outrebounded the Lady Flames during the teams' first meeting this season on Jan. 6, but Liberty had the upper hand on the boards Saturday, 35-30.

Turning Point
The score was deadlocked at 41-all with six minutes remaining in the third quarter when FGCU scored seven straight points in a 1:07 span to claim the lead for good. Phills tallied the run's final five points, including a layup at the 4:44 mark which gave her team a 48-41 lead and necessitated a timeout by Liberty Head Coach Carey Green.

Liberty went 4:30 between made field goals during the third quarter as the Eagles took control.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• Asia Todd scored five points during a 9-3 game-opening run for the Lady Flames. Liberty led 13-11 after a first quarter where FGCU missed nine of its 12 three-point attempts.

Second Quarter
• Liberty built a 30-23 lead midway through the second quarter, following back-to-back three-pointers by Audrey Clark and Emily Lytle. The Lady Flames maintained the lead until halftime, although FGCU pulled within a single point (34-33) on Keri Jewett-Giles' bank shot from near midcourt at the halftime buzzer.

• The first-half stats illustrated the contrast in styles between the two teams, as eight of FGCU's nine field goals were triples and Liberty enjoyed a 22-9 rebounding advantage.

Third Quarter
• Lytle scored eight third-quarter points for the Lady Flames, but her teammates totaled just four as FGCU outscored Liberty 20-12 during the decisive 10-minute period.

Fourth Quarter
• Liberty got no closer than six during the final stanza as the Eagles shot 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the field and hit two more triples to close out their triumph.

Notes and Nuggets
• Lytle's five three-pointers were a season high and matched the redshirt junior's career high. Her 19 points were Lytle's most since a season-high 20-point effort versus East Carolina on Dec. 3.

• Lytle equaled her career high of 10 rebounds while posting her third career double-double, all of which have come this season.

• Baker scored in double digits for the fourth straight game, matching the longest streak of her career.

• Green, who matched a season low with four field goal attempts, saw a streak of eight straight games scoring in double figures halted on Saturday.

• Phills has now played a key role in each of FGCU's victories at the Vines Center. She hit the game-winning layup in her team's 65-64 triumph in Lynchburg last season (Feb. 9, 2019).

• FGCU is the only ASUN team Liberty has yet to defeat during its two years in the conference.

• Liberty has lost back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game losing skid spanning Nov. 8-24.

• The Lady Flames are now 0-3 versus Top 25 opponents this season and have lost 31 consecutive meetings with Top 25 foes since a win over No. 16/16 DePaul on March 22, 2005.

• FGCU was the first Top 25 team to visit the Vines Center since Dec. 7, 2008, when No. 14/13 Auburn topped the Lady Flames, 64-53.

• Liberty falls to 6-2 on Saturday this season, with both losses coming to Top 25 foes (also a 68-55 loss to No. 7/5 Oregon State on Nov. 30).

Up Next
Liberty will face Kennesaw State (9-10, 3-5 ASUN) for the first time this season, Monday at 7 p.m. at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames won both regular-season meetings with the Owls a season ago.

Date: Monday, February 3, 2020
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center)
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 7 p.m.