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    Defense Does It Again in Liberty’s 64-51 Win Over Lipscomb

    Feb 9, 2022 | Lynchburg Va | Women's Basketball

    Head Coach Carey Green Press Conference

    Priscilla Smeenge Press Conference

    Mya Berkman Press Conference

    Top Plays

    One of the nation’s top-ranked defensive squads was at it again, Wednesday evening at Liberty Arena. Liberty held Lipscomb to 32.1 percent from the field in a 64-51 victory, the Lady Flames’ 10th consecutive home win.

    Liberty (22-2, 10-1 ASUN) never trailed as it improved to 8-0 all-time against the Bisons with its seventh win in a row overall. The Lady Flames, who got 14 points and eight boards from Mya Berkman, have now won 10 or more conference games for 23 straight seasons, dating back to Carey Green’s first year as head coach (1999-2000).

    Lipscomb (8-15, 3-7 ASUN) hit eight triples on the evening. However, the Bisons were outmatched in the interior, being outrebounded 48-32 and outscored inside the paint 30-12.

    Box Score Highlights
    Other Liberty Individuals: Bella Smuda – 9 points, 5 rebounds; Dee Brown – 8 points, 10 rebounds; Priscilla Smeenge – 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals.

    Lipscomb Individuals: Jalyn Holcomb – 14 points, 4-8 3FG; Casey Collier – 10 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists; Blythe Pearson – 9 points, 4 rebounds.

    Key Team Stats: The Lady Flames were not proficient from the field either, finishing at 38.2 percent (21-of-55). However, Liberty got to the foul line a season-high 26 times, making 18 of them for 69.2 percent. Lipscomb was just 7-of-10 at the free throw line on the night. The Lady Flames collected 17 offensive rebounds and scored 27 bench points to the visitors’ eight.

    Turning Point
    Lipscomb headed to the locker room at halftime with a little momentum, after Holcomb’s buzzer-beating three-pointer trimmed their deficit to 10 (32-22).

    Liberty then more than doubled its lead with a 14-3 run to begin the second half. Seven different players scored hoops during the prolonged surge, which ended with Liberty owning its largest lead of the night (46-25) with 3:00 to play in the third.

    Despite a late comeback effort, Lipscomb never got any closer than a dozen points down the rest of the way.

    Game Summary
    First Quarter

    • Dee Brown tallied five points during Liberty’s 7-0 burst to open the game. The host Lady Flames led throughout the first period, taking a 17-10 advantage into the second stanza. Liberty won the first-quarter rebounding battle 17-6, grabbing eight offensive boards.

     Second Quarter

    • Liberty extended its lead to 13 points twice in the second quarter, but Lipscomb stayed within striking distance by hitting four triples during the stanza. Holcomb’s deep connection at the halftime buzzer trimmed the Bisons’ deficit to 32-22.

    Third Quarter

    • Liberty outscored Lipscomb by an 18-11 count during the third period, bolstering its lead to 50-33. The Lady Flames shot 57.1 percent (8-of-14), as compared with 22.2 percent (2-of-9) for the Bisons.

    Fourth Quarter

    • Turning up the defensive pressure, Lipscomb used a 10-2 run to pull within 12 (59-47) on Holcomb’s triple with 2:45 to play. That was as close as the Bisons got, though, as Liberty shot 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to offset 1-of-10 shooting from the field.

    Notes and Nuggets

    • With her team-high 14 points on 5-of-6 from the field on Wednesday, Berkman is now averaging 15.7 ppg on 82.6 percent (19-of-24) field goal shooting against Lipscomb over the last two seasons.
    • Brown’s game-high 10 rebounds marked her second career game with double-digit boards.
    • Smeenge equaled her career highs for blocks (3) and steals (3), pacing all players in both categories.
    • Liberty is now 307-56 in conference play over the last 23 seasons, including 19 years in the Big South (1999-2018) and four in the ASUN (2018-22).
    • The Lady Flames finished 6-0 against the ASUN West Division teams this season, contributing to the East Division’s 28-8 overall record in cross-division play.
    • Liberty entered the game ranked No. 2 nationally in field goal percentage defense (32.8) and No. 5 nationally in scoring defense (51.5 ppg), before almost exactly at those averages on Wednesday. The Lady Flames have held all 24 opponents below 50 percent field goal shooting this year.
    • The Lady Flames improved to 13-1 at home this season and 25-1 in two seasons at Liberty Arena. Liberty has won 19 straight home meetings with ASUN opponents.
    • Liberty has only trailed for 52 seconds during its last nine halves of basketball, dating back to halftime of the Jan. 27 home matchup with North Alabama.
    • Wednesday served as Liberty’s annual Play4Kay game, in support of breast cancer awareness and research.

    Up Next
    Liberty will head to Jacksonville for its next two games, beginning with a Saturday matinee against the Jacksonville Dolphins (13-8, 6-4 ASUN). Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. inside Swisher Gymnasium for a rematch of the Lady Flames’ thrilling 49-48 victory on Jan. 19 at Liberty Arena.