3-Point Shooting, Defense Propel Vanderbilt Past Liberty in WNIT 2nd Round
Iyana Moore hit seven of Vanderbilt’s nine three-pointers, while the Commodores’ defense forced 23 turnovers and limited Liberty to a season-low point total, Monday evening at Memorial Gymnasium. As a result, Vanderbilt ended the Lady Flames’ successful season with a 71-45 victory in the Postseason WNIT second round.
Liberty wraps up the year at 28-5, matching the program record for victories. The Lady Flames also won their first-ever Postseason WNIT contest, last Wednesday versus Campbell.
Vanderbilt improves to 16-18, moving on to a third-round WNIT matchup at Middle Tennessee on Thursday. The Commodores scored 28 points off the Lady Flames’ 23 turnovers on the night.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 13 points, 10 rebounds; Mya Berkman – 6 points, 10 rebounds, Emma Hess – 6 points, 2-5 3FG.
Vanderbilt Individuals: Moore – 25 points, 7-11 3FG; Sacha Washington – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 9-10 FT; Jordyn Cambridge – 15 points, 4 steals.
Key Team Stats: Vanderbilt shot 44.7 percent (21-of-47) from the field, including 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from long range. The Commodores finished at 20-of-24 from the foul line for 83.3 percent. Liberty shot a season-low 28.3 percent (17-of-60) from the floor and hit only 3 of 20 triples for 15 percent. Liberty outrebounded its host, 44-29, turning 25 offensive boards into 16 second-chance points. The Lady Flames notched 18 bench points to Vanderbilt’s seven, scoring more bench points than its opponent for the 25th time in 33 games this season.
Vanderbilt posted an 18-4 run spanning the second and third quarters, turning a 25-20 lead into a commanding 43-24 advantage.
Three different Commodores hit triples during the extended surge, and Liberty never got back within single digits the rest of the night.
- After Vanderbilt missed its first seven field goal attempts to start the game, Iyana Moore opened an 8-0 Commodore run with back-to-back triples. The Lady Flames trailed 12-8 minutes after shooting 3-of-16 with four turnovers during the first 10 minutes of play.
- Bella LaChance scored the last five points of a 6-0 Vanderbilt surge late in the opening half, extending the home team’s lead to 11 points (31-20). Liberty then trimmed it to 31-22 at the intermission. The Commodores turned Liberty’s eight first-half turnovers into 10 points.
- Vanderbilt broke the game open during the third quarter, outscoring Liberty by a 20-7 count. The Commodores turned eight Lady Flames miscues into 12 points on their way to a 51-29 advantage through three periods.
- Bridgette Rettstatt finished her career with a nine-point, three-rebound fourth period. But Liberty was still outscored 20-16 for the stanza and trailed by as many as 30 points.
- Liberty lost by 26 points after its first four losses of the season had come by a total of 16 tallies.
Notes and Nuggets
- Playing the 143rd and final game of her career, Rettstatt paced Liberty in points (13), rebounds (10) and blocks (2) for her sixth double-double of the season and the 14th of her career.
- Rettstatt pulled down double-digit rebounds for the sixth straight game, marking the longest streak by a Lady Flame since Avery Warley did so in six consecutive outings spanning Jan. 23-Feb. 11, 2012.
- Rettstatt finishes her career with 1,227 points (No. 9 all-time at Liberty) and 863 rebounds (No. 7 all-time at Liberty).
- Berkman’s 10 rebounds on Monday give her eight 10-rebound games this season and a dozen for her career.
- With her two triples on Monday, Hess finishes her freshman season as the team leader with 29 three-pointers.
- The Lady Flames won 28 games in a season for the third time in program history (also 28-1 in 1997-98 and 28-4 in 2007-08).
- Liberty falls to 0-3 all-time against Vanderbilt and 1-19 all-time against SEC opponents. The Lady Flames have lost 18 straight meetings with SEC foes since an 80-76 win at Kentucky on Dec. 12, 1998.