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    Fast Start Fuels Lady Flames’ 4th Straight Win

    Dec 4, 2021 | Lynchburg Va | Women's Basketball

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    Liberty raced out to a 22-5 advantage through the first quarter of Saturday evening’s matchup with former Big South rival High Point at Liberty Arena. The Lady Flames never looked back, claiming a 70-47 victory for their fourth straight win.

    The Lady Flames are now 7-1 to start a season for the first time since 2007-08, thanks to their usual formula of rebounding (+21 rebound margin) and defense (High Point shot 28.6 percent from the field). The last current player remaining from High Point’s most recent visit to Lynchburg (2018 Big South Championship semifinal), Bridgette Rettstatt posted her 10th career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

    Defending Big South champion High Point falls to 2-5 with its fourth straight setback. Jaden Wrightsell led all scorers with 16 points, but her team was just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from three-point range and managed a season-low point total.

    Box Score Highlights
    Other Liberty Individuals: Mya Berkman – 15 points, 7-11 FG; Dee Brown – 10 points, 3 rebounds; Emma Hess – 7 points; Bella Smuda – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocked shots.

    Other High Point Individuals: Courtney Meadows – 7 points, 3 rebounds; Nakyah Terrell – 6 points, 3 rebounds; Jordan Edwards – 6 points.  

    Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 45.5 percent (30-of-66) from the field, aided by 44 points in the paint. The Lady Flames grabbed 51 rebounds to High Point’s 30, with 16 offensive boards leading to 17 second-chance points. Liberty committed a season-low 11 turnovers.

    Turning Point
    The Lady Flames could not have scripted a better first quarter, shooting 10-of-13 compared with 1-of-12 for High Point. Seven Liberty players scored points as the home team set the tone for the contest with its early 22-5 lead.

    It was an opening act reminiscent of the last time High Point played at Liberty. On March 10, 2018, the Lady Flames led 25-9 at the end of the first quarter, propelling them to a 78-54 triumph over High Point in the Big South Championship semifinals at the Vines Center.

    Game Summary
    First Quarter

    • Liberty hit its first seven field goal attempts of the night, while High Point missed its first nine tries. Rettstatt’s triple from the left wing with 3:54 to play in the first period gave the Lady Flames a 15-0 advantage.
    • For the fourth time this season, Liberty held its opponent to five points or fewer during the first quarter. The Lady Flames emerged with a 22-5 lead after shooting 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the field.

    Second Quarter

    • Meadows got High Point’s offense going with a trio of layups in the second quarter. One at the 4:01 mark got the Panthers back within single digits at 26-17.
    • Liberty halted the visitors’ momentum with a quick 7-0 burst and took a 15-point lead (39-24) into halftime. Berkman led all players with 13 first-half points, while the Panthers shot just 34.6 percent (9-of-26) as a team.

    Third Quarter

    • Rettstatt made as many field goals (3) as High Point in the third quarter as Liberty outscored the Panthers, 15-9, building a 54-33 cushion through three.

    Fourth Quarter

    • Wrightsell scored nine of her 16 points during the final period. But Liberty outscored High Point for the quarter, 16-14, led by Smuda (6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks).

    Notes and Nuggets

    • Berkman was the Lady Flames’ leading scorer for the sixth time in eight games this season with her 15 points.
    • Rettstatt’s second double-double this season saw her tie her season high of 13 points and grab a season-best 13 rebounds. That ties Berkman’s Liberty Arena single-game rebounding record from the Nov. 18 win over James Madison.
    • Smuda’s four blocked shots equaled her career high from Sunday’s win over Bowling Green.
    • Jordan Bailey pulled down a career-high eight rebounds off the bench.
    • Carey Green was honored pregame for his 500th win, which came Sunday against Bowling Green at the Navy Classic. Saturday marked the 50th time he has coached against High Point, and Green now owns a 39-11 record against the Panthers.
    • Liberty has won its last 13 meetings with Big South opponents and is 5-0 versus conference foes since leaving the conference after the 2017-18 season. The Lady Flames defeated their second Big South foe in four days, following a 68-48 victory at Hampton on Wednesday.
    • The Lady Flames improved to 16-1 at Liberty Arena, including 4-1 this season.
    • Liberty held its opponent below 50 points for the second straight game and the fourth time this season. Opponents are tallying just 53.2 ppg versus the Lady Flames this year.

    Up Next
    Liberty will continue its three-game homestand Tuesday at 7 p.m. when Virginia Tech (7-1) becomes the first ACC basketball team to visit Liberty Arena.