Lady Flames Tip Off ASUN Play with 65-49 Victory at Stetson
Liberty tipped off ASUN Conference play and the year 2022 much the same way it closed out non-conference action in 2021. Strong post play and another impressive defensive effort propelled the Lady Flames past Stetson, 65-49, Wednesday evening at the Edmunds Center.
Despite only having nine players available for the conference opener, Liberty improves to 13-1 with its 10th consecutive win. Paced by the post duo of Mya Berkman (21 points, 9-10 FG, 6 rebounds) and Jordan Bailey (14 points, 8 rebounds), the Lady Flames start off ASUN play with a win for the third year in a row.
Stetson falls to 7-7 overall and begins ASUN action at 0-1 after losing its fifth straight head-to-head meeting with the Lady Flames. The Hatters shot just 37.8 percent (17-of-45) from the field and committed 19 turnovers, becoming the ninth opponent Liberty has held below the 50-point mark in 14 games this season.
Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Kennedi Williams – 9 points, 7 assists; Nenna Lindstrom – 9 points, 3-10 3FG; Dee Brown – 8 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals.
Stetson Individuals: Tatiana Streun – 12 points; Mali Morgan-Elliott – 7 points, 2-4 3FG; Yazz Wazeerud-Din – 7 points, 3 steals; Jamiya Turner – 6 points, 7 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the floor, outscoring the Hatters inside the paint, 34-26. The Lady Flames recorded 21 assists on their 24 made field goals. Liberty won the rebounding battle, 31-25, and scored 16 points off Stetson’s 19 turnovers. The Hatters became only the third opposing team to outscore Liberty in bench points in 2021-22, by a 18-4 margin.
Kiya Turner got Stetson off to a fast start in the third quarter, tallying a three-point play at the 8:47 mark which pulled her team within 32-30.
However, the Hatters shot just 2-of-10 and committed five turnovers during the remainder of the period as Liberty broke the game open with a 17-4 run. Dee Brown punctuated the surge with a three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer, sending the visitors to the final period with a 49-34 advantage.
Liberty’s lead remained at a dozen points or larger the rest of the way.
- Mya Berkman scored 10 first-quarter points on 4-of-4 from the field to pace the Lady Flames.
- However, Stetson shot 7-of-9 from the foul line, including five free throws during the stanza’s final 23 seconds which gave the Hatters a 16-15 edge through 10 minutes. It was only the second time this season that Liberty trailed at the end of the first quarter.
- Aided by a pair of Nenna Lindstrom triples, Liberty opened the second quarter on a 14-4 run. The Lady Flames led 29-20 on Berkman’s transition layup, 3:55 before halftime.
- The host Hatters then tallied five of the half’s final six points, pulling to within five (32-27) at the intermission.
- Liberty outscored Stetson 17-7 during the pivotal third period, despite Berkman being held scoreless. Brown sparked the Lady Flames with five points and five boards for the stanza.
- The duo of Berkman and Bailey sealed the Liberty win during the fourth quarter, combining for 15 of the Lady Flames’ 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field.
Notes and Nuggets
- Berkman’s game-high 21 points marked her third career 20-point outing and second this season. She also came up with a career-high three steals.
- Dating back to Thursday’s win over Lee, Berkman made 14 straight field goal attempts before misfiring during the fourth quarter.
- Berkman’s 90 percent field goal shooting (9-of-10) on Wednesday is tied for fifth best in program history, with a minimum of 10 attempts.
- Berkman scored her 700th career point on Wednesday and moved to within six rebounds of 500.
- Making her first career start, Bailey scored in double figures for the fourth time in five games with her 14 markers and matched her career high of eight boards.
- Also appearing in the starting lineup for the first time, Lindstrom equaled career highs for points (9) and three-pointers (3).
- Williams’ seven assists fell one shy of her career high, and the point guard has now dished out 15 helpers in the last two games.
- Brown set a new career high of six assists while tying her career best of nine rebounds.
- Four of Liberty’s five starters set career highs for minutes played, including Brown (39), Bailey (36), Lindstrom (34) and Berkman (33).
- Liberty has now recorded 45 assists on 50 made field goals during its last two games.
- The Lady Flames have posted a winning streak of 10 games or longer during back-to-back seasons. Liberty went on an 11-game winning streak between Dec. 9, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021.
- Liberty’s last eight victories have all come by 15 points or more.
- Liberty has won nine straight January games and is 153-27 during the month under Carey Green.
- The Lady Flames improve to 4-10 when facing ASUN opponents in Florida since joining the conference in 2018-19, as compared with a 36-7 mark in all other states.
Liberty will now prepare for its ASUN Conference home opener, Saturday against Kennesaw State (4-7, 0-0 ASUN). Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. for the Owls’ first visit to Liberty Arena.