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    Liberty Completes Season Sweep with 61-45 Win at Jacksonville

    Feb 12, 2022 | Jacksonville Fla | Women's Basketball

    When Liberty and Jacksonville squared off 25 days ago, the Lady Flames’ 49-48 victory was not secure until the final buzzer sounded. The Lady Flames removed much of the drama Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium, never trailing during a 61-45 victory. Dee Brown scored a season-high 17 points as Liberty completed a season sweep of the Dolphins.

    Liberty improves to 23-2 overall and 11-1 in ASUN play with its eight straight win overall and its eighth consecutive head-to-head win over JU. The Lady Flames employed their customary formula of strong defense (Jacksonville shot 31.9 percent and committed 16 turnovers) and post play (31-20 rebounding advantage and 34-18 edge in points in the paint).

    Jacksonville falls to 13-9 overall and 6-5 in the conference despite a 13-point afternoon by Asiah Jones. The Dolphins lost just their second ASUN home game of the season.

    Box Score Highlights
    Liberty Individuals: Brown – 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists; Mya Berkman – 13 points, 7 rebounds; Bridgette Rettstatt – 13 points, 5 rebounds; Priscilla Smeenge – 7 points, 7 rebounds.

    Jacksonville Individuals: Jones – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks; Taylor Hawks – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists.

    Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 49 percent (24-of-49) from the field. Jacksonville kept it close for much of the game by sinking 80 percent (12-of-15) of its free throws. JU blocked seven Liberty shots. Both teams were a bit sloppy, with Liberty committing 17 turnovers and Jacksonville finishing with 16 miscues.

    Turning Point
    With Liberty owning a 12-point lead (49-37) heading to the fourth quarter, the Lady Flames closed out the win with defense and rebounding.

    Liberty outrebounded the Dolphins 14-2 during the period and held the home team to eight points on 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from the floor.

    Game Summary
    First Quarter

    • Liberty raced out to an early 14-4 lead, sparked by seven early Bridgette Rettstatt points.
    • Jacksonville hit a pair of triples late in the quarter, pulling within 19-14 by the end of the opening stanza.

    Second Quarter

    • Priscilla Smeenge opened the second quarter scoring with a driving layup. But that was the Lady Flames’ only made field goal for the first six minutes of the period. Khalela Hayes trimmed the visitors’ lead to 21-20 on a hoop at the 6:03 mark.
    • Dee Brown scored the last eight points of Liberty’s 11-2 half-closing burst, sending the Lady Flames to the intermission with a 32-22 cushion. Brown led all players with 11 first-half points, and Liberty scored 14 points off JU’s 13 turnovers.

    Third Quarter

    • Liberty’s lead got as large as 15 points (40-25) during a third quarter where Mya Berkman tallied eight of the Lady Flames’ 17 points. Liberty was on top by a dozen (49-37) heading to the final period.

    Fourth Quarter

    • Points came at a premium during the final period, with Liberty outscoring Jacksonville, 12-8. The Lady Flames’ lead remained in double figures throughout the final stanza.

    Notes and Nuggets

    • Brown’s 17 points eclipsed her previous career high of 15.
    • Rettstatt’s 13 points put her into double figures for the seventh time in nine career matchups with JU.
    • Berkman tallied 10 of her 13 points after halftime for the Lady Flames.
    • Smeenge’s seven rebounds were just one shy of her career high.
    • Saturday’s win improved Liberty’s record to 50-18 against ASUN opponents since joining the conference prior to the 2018-19 season.
    • The Lady Flames are 5-11 when facing ASUN opponents in Florida but 3-0 at Swisher Gymnasium.
    • Liberty is off to its best start to a season since the 2007-08 Lady Flames opened the year at 24-2.
    • The Lady Flames have only trailed for 52 seconds during their last 11 halves of basketball, dating back to the second half against North Alabama on Jan. 27.”
    • Liberty has held 11 of its 25 opponents to 50 points or fewer this season, including Jacksonville twice.

    Up Next
    Liberty will remain in the River City for a Thursday visit to North Florida. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. as the Lady Flames seek their first-ever victory at UNF Arena and a season sweep of the Ospreys.