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    Berkman Leads Way in Liberty’s 1st Win of 2022-23

    Nov 10, 2022 | Lynchburg Va | Women's Basketball

    Liberty’s Mya Berkman needed only 19 minutes to record her first double-double of 2022-23 (game-high 19 points, game-high 11 rebounds). Her efforts helped the Lady Flames control the paint in their first win of the season, a 69-41 victory over Salem, Thursday evening at Liberty Arena.

    Liberty evens its record at 1-1 after outscoring Salem in the paint 32-10 and converting 16 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. The Lady Flames raced out to a 40-13 halftime advantage and cruised to victory from there.

    Salem, which classified the game as an exhibition, remains at 0-0 on the season. Emerson Wells led the Tigers with 12 points in their first-ever meeting with Liberty, but Salem shot just 30.2 percent (16-of-53) from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

    Box Score Highlights
    Liberty Individuals: Berkman – 19 points, 11 rebounds, 7-8 FG, 5-5 FT; Emma Hess – 9 points, 3-6 3FG; Bella Smuda – 9 points, 5 rebounds; Pien Steenbergen – 8 points; Kennedi Williams – 5 assists, 3 steals.

    Salem Individuals: Wells – 12 points; Nerea Arambarri-Fernandez – 8 points, 7 rebounds; Elena Pericic – 7 points; Liliani Krause – 6 points, 6 rebounds.

    Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 40.6 percent (26-of-64) for the night, including 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from three-point range. The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle, 45-37, and tallied 22 assists on 26 made field goals. Liberty came up with 10 seals and totaled 28 bench points with 10 different players scoring points.

    Turning Point
    Nerea Arambarri-Fernandez’s three-pointer with 2:00 to play in the opening quarter pulled the visitors within eight (17-9).

    Emma Hess answered with a triple of her own on Liberty’s ensuing possession, kick-starting a 23-4 Lady Flames run to close out the first half.

    Berkman accounted for Liberty’s final nine points of the half as the Lady Flames took a 40-13 lead into the locker room.

    Game Summary
    First Quarter

    • Hess knocked down three of Liberty’s four triples during the first quarter, helping the Lady Flames build a 20-9 lead through 10 minutes of play.

    Second Quarter

    • Liberty outscored the Tigers, 20-4, in the second period to extend their advantage to 27 points (40-13) at the half. Berkman totaled nine points and six boards during the stanza.
    • The Lady Flames tallied 20 points in the paint during the opening half to Salem’s two and recorded assists on all 16 of their made field goals.

    Third Quarter

    • The Lady Flames went cold at the offensive end during the third period, shooting 20 percent (3-of-15) and missing 10 straight field goals at one point.
    • Liliana Krause scored six points for the Tigers, who beat Liberty 13-9 during the quarter to trim their deficit to 49-26.

    Fourth Quarter

    • Liberty regained its offensive rhythm in the final period, tallying its third 20-point session of the contest. Pien Steenbergen opened the scoring with back-to-back triples and notched all eight of her points in the fourth.

    Notes and Nuggets

    • Berkman’s double-double was her first of the season and the eighth of her career.
    • Hess matched a career high with her three triples made.
    • Nyah Stallings’ first five points of the season equaled her career high from the 2020-21 campaign.
    • Breya Busby, Emily Howard and Caroline Shiery each made their collegiate debuts on Thursday, with Howard tallying her first two points.
    • The Lady Flames improved to 29-3 all-time at Liberty Arena and have yet to lose back-to-back games at the facility.
    • Liberty recorded its first-ever win over Salem, one season after the Lady Flames notched their inaugural victories over eight different opponents.

    Up Next
    Liberty will conclude its three-game season-opening homestand on Nov. 17, when Hampton (1-0) travels to Liberty Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. as the Lady Flames attempt to post their fourth victory over the Lady Pirates in as many seasons.