Liberty Bounces Back for 63-57 Win at KSU in Regular-Season Finale
Less than 48 hours after suffering a hard-fought setback at the hands of No. 23 FGCU, Liberty got back into the win column during Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale at the KSU Convocation Center. The Lady Flames used a balanced scoring attack and strong post presence to edge Kennesaw State, 63-57.
The Lady Flames finish the regular season at 26-3 overall and 14-2 in the ASUN after completing a regular-season sweep of the Owls. Alyssa Iverson, Kennedi Williams and Mya Berkman tallied 10 points apiece as Liberty equaled the program record for regular-season victories, previously set in 1997-98 (26-0) and 2007-08 (26-3).
Kennesaw State falls to 9-18 overall and 5-11 in ASUN play despite tying the score twice during the fourth quarter. The Owls are 0-9 all-time against the Lady Flames.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Iverson – 10 points, 2-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 assists; Williams – 10 points, 4 assists; Berkman – 10 points, 4-4 FG, 5 rebounds; Bella Smuda – 9 points, 6 rebounds; Dee Brown – 9 points, 6 rebounds; Bridgette Rettstatt – 8 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks.
Kennesaw State Individuals: Amani Johnson – 17 points, 3-5 3FG; Prencis Harden – 13 points; Jah’Che Whitfield – 10 points, 7 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Both teams shot the ball well from the field, with Liberty finishing at 46 percent (23-of-50) and KSU ending up at 43.5 percent (20-of-46). The Lady Flames shot a season-high 92.9 percent (13-of-14) from the free throw line. Liberty owned significant advantages in rebounding (37-19) and points in the paint (36-24).
After KSU’s Bre’Lyn Snipes produced the game’s sixth and final tie (50-50) with a layup at 7:58 of the fourth quarter, Liberty got a three-pointer from Iverson, a layup from Williams and another layup from Berkman on its next three trips to the offensive end.
Now owning a 57-52 lead with 5:52 to play, Liberty never trailed again.
- Both teams got off to a fast start offensively. Liberty shot 61.5 percent (8-of-13) and Kennesaw State shot 50 percent (7-of-14) during an opening period which ended with the visiting Lady Flames on top, 20-17.
- Liberty took its largest lead of the afternoon (31-19) on Smuda’s hoop 5:26 before halftime.
- KSU trimmed its deficit to three (34-31) by halftime after a 14-point first half by Johnson.
- KSU briefly took the lead (46-44) after Johnson’s jumper with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. But the Lady Flames knotted things up at 46-all on two free throws by Williams during the stanza’s final second.
- Liberty pulled out the victory with an efficient fourth quarter at the offensive end. The Lady Flames scored 17 points on 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from the field, 50 percent (1-of-2) from three-point range and 100 percent (4-of-4) from the free throw line.
- Iverson scored seven of her 10 points during the fourth quarter, while the Lady Flames outrebounded their hosts, 9-3.
Notes and Nuggets
- Iverson reached double figures in the scoring column for the second straight game after tallying 10 or more points just three times in her first 51 games as a Lady Flame.
- One day after celebrating her 22nd birthday, Berkman was mired in foul trouble all day, fouling out in 13 minutes. However, she was able to score in double digits for the sixth straight game.
- With her eight points on Saturday, Rettstatt passed Ginny Holloway for 10th place on Liberty’s all-time scoring list, finishing the day with 1,182 career points.
- Liberty improved to 7-1 all-time at the KSU Convocation Center in its first visit to the facility since the 2021 ASUN Women’s Basketball Championship title game.
- The Lady Flames are now 9-0 all-time against the Owls, but seven of the nine matchups have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
- Liberty finished the regular season with a program-record 14 ASUN victories.
- Saturday’s triumph improved Liberty’s all-time record in February under Carey Green to 150-24.
Liberty will enter the 2022 ASUN Women’s Basketball Championship as the East Division’s No. 2 seed. The Lady Flames will host a quarterfinal matchup on March 6 at 2 p.m. inside Liberty Arena versus the winner of Wednesday’s No. 6 East Kennesaw State at No. 3 West Eastern Kentucky first-round matchup.