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    Berkman Scores Career-High 26 & Reaches 1,000, but Liberty Falls to Minnesota, 77-65

    Nov 27, 2022 | Charlottesville Va | Women's Basketball

    Liberty’s Mya Berkman tallied a career-high 26 points to become the 20th member of the Lady Flames’ 1,000-point club, Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena. However, Minnesota put a damper on her celebration with a 77-65 victory in the final game of the Cavalier Classic.

    Liberty, which dropped both of its Cavalier Classic contests, falls to 2-4 with its third straight defeat. Berkman’s 1,000th point came on a layup with 7:18 to play in the contest, and the redshirt senior also grabbed 11 boards for her 10th career double-double. Kennedi Williams added a career-high 21 points of her own, but the Lady Flames shot just 38.7 percent (24-of-62) as a team.

    Minnesota is now 4-2 this season and 2-0 all-time against the Lady Flames. Katie Borowicz scored a career-high 21 points and dished out five of her team’s 18 assists. The Golden Gophers made 46.9 percent (30-of-64) of their field goals, aided by 48 points in the paint.

    Box Score Highlights
    Liberty Individuals: Berkman – 26 points, 11 rebounds, 10-15 FG; Williams – 21 points, 3 assists, 7-9 FG, 7-7 FT; Bella Smuda – 8 points, 5 rebounds; Emma Hess – 5 points, 3 assists, 3 blocks.

    Minnesota Individuals: Borowicz – 21 points, 5 assists, 5 steals, 9-11 FG; Alanna Micheaux – 15 points, 9 rebounds; Amaya Battle – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, Angelina Hammond – 8 points.

    Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the foul line but only 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from beyond the three-point arc. The two teams each grabbed 38 rebounds, with the Lady Flames’ 15 offensive boards leading to 16 second-chance points. Liberty was outscored in bench points for the first time this season, as the Golden Gophers’ reserves tallied 27 points to Liberty’s 11.

    Turning Point
    Berkman opened the second-half scoring with a three-point play, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 36-34.

    Isabelle Gradwell countered with a three-pointer on the Golden Gophers’ next offensive trip, initiating a 14-5 Minnesota surge over the next seven minutes.

    Liberty was unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the evening.

    Game Summary
    First Quarter

    • Minnesota emerged with a 16-15 edge after a first quarter which featured four lead changes.
    • Alanna Micheaux led all players with eight points for the Golden Gophers, while the Lady Flames enjoyed a 14-9 rebounding advantage.

    Second Quarter

    • Berkman went to work in the second quarter with nine points and five rebounds.
    • However, Minnesota guard Borowicz hit two early triples and scored 11 points of her own as the Golden Gophers outscored Liberty, 20-16, to take a 36-31 halftime lead.

    Third Quarter

    • Minnesota built a trio of 11-point leads during the third quarter, including a 55-44 cushion at the conclusion of the period. The Golden Gophers doubled up the Lady Flames on the boards during the third stanza, 14-7.

    Fourth Quarter

    • Liberty recorded its highest-scoring quarter of the contest in the fourth session, dropping in 21 points on 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the field. Berkman and Williams combined for 19 of the Lady Flames’ tallies.
    • However, Minnesota shut the door on a Liberty comeback by posting 22 fourth-quarter points, including 10 by Amaya Battle.

    Notes and Nuggets

    • Berkman’s 20-point game was her first of the season and the fourth of her career. Her 26 tallies were the most by a Lady Flame since Jan. 3, 2021, when Ashtyn Baker posted 27 against Lipscomb.
    • Berkman’s second double-double in as many days was her third of the season and the 10th of her career.
    • Williams’ 21 points shattered her previous career high of 13. She and Berkman are the first Liberty duo to score 20+ points in a game since March 7, 2020, when Emily Lytle had 29 and Asia Todd added 20 at Kennesaw State.
    • Williams connected on all seven of her free throws and has now made 14 in a row since missing her first foul shot attempt this season.
    • Hess had not blocked a shot this season and had only posted four blocks in her career before rejecting a career-high three Minnesota shots on Sunday.
    • Liberty drops to 2-7 all-time against Big Ten opponents.
    • The Lady Flames’ current three-game losing streak is their longest since dropping five in a row between Nov. 8-24, 2019.

    Up Next
    Liberty will continue its trek around the Commonwealth with a visit to old Big South Conference rival Radford (3-3) on Dec. 4. Tipoff is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. inside the Dedmon Center for the 71st all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Highlanders.

    Pictured in Main Photo: #20 Mya Berkman