Liberty Dominates Paint in 75-63 Victory Over North Alabama
Liberty utilized a significant size advantage against North Alabama, Thursday afternoon at Liberty Arena. Starting post players Mya Berkman and Bridgette Rettstatt combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds during the Lady Flames’ 75-63 triumph.
Liberty, which improves to 18-2 overall and 6-1 in the ASUN, racked up 52 points in the paint and boasted an impressive 23-to-8 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Lady Flames have now won three straight games overall, four consecutive meetings with North Alabama, eight straight home games and 17 consecutive home matchups with ASUN foes.
North Alabama falls to 7-11 overall and 2-4 in ASUN play with its third straight loss. After a hot-shooting start to the game, the Lions connected on just 2-of-11 three-pointers during the second half.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Berkman – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists; Rettstatt – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists; Jordan Bailey – 10 points; Emma Hess – 9 points, 3-6 3FG; Dee Brown – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists.
North Alabama Individuals: Skyler Gill – 13 points; Alexis Callins – 13 points, 3-3 3FG; Macey Lee – 9 points, 7 rebounds; Hina Suzuki – 8 points, 7 assists.
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 50 percent (33-of-66) from the field, while UNA finished at 37.5 percent (21-of-56). The visiting Lions made 10 three-pointers to Liberty’s five. The Lady Flames won the rebounding battle by a 40-31 count. Liberty’s points in the paint (52), assist (23) and turnover (8) totals were all the Lady Flames’ second-best figures of the season.
North Alabama led for much of the first half, including a 37-33 edge following two Callins free throws at the 2:00 mark of the second quarter.
Three-pointers from Hess and Bailey on Liberty’s next two possessions kick-started a 12-0 run which wrapped into the third quarter.
Rettstatt scored the first four points of the second half to close out the surge with Liberty owning a 45-37 lead. The home team never trailed again.
- Mya Berkman scored six points during Liberty’s 8-2 run to open the game.
- North Alabama controlled the remainder of the opening period, hitting six triples to build a 23-17 advantage.
- Another three-pointer, this one courtesy of Macey Lee at the 7:51 mark, gave the Lions their largest lead of the first half (26-19).
- The aforementioned back-to-back three-pointers by Hess and Bailey ignited an 8-0 half-ending burst which sent Liberty to the locker room on top, 41-37. The 37 points were the most Liberty has allowed in the first half all season, aided by UNA’s eight triples.
- After being held scoreless during the first half, Bridgette Rettstatt exploded for 10 third-quarter points. Her outburst helped the Lady Flames lead by as many as 11 on their way to a 59-50 edge through three periods.
- Twelve of Liberty’s 16 fourth-quarter points came inside the paint as the Lady Flames closed out their victory. Liberty’s lead reached 17 twice during the final stanza.
Notes and Nuggets
- Berkman paced all players in both points (19) and rebounds (8) and tied her career high of three assists, despite playing only 23 minutes. She has now scored 52 points in 56 minutes in three meetings with North Alabama during the past two seasons.
- All 14 of Rettstatt’s points came after halftime, as she hit her first seven field goal attempts to begin the second half. She reached double figures for the 12th time in her last 14 games.
- Hess matched a career high with three triples made and blocked a career-high two shots.
- Liberty point guards Kennedi Williams and Alyssa Iverson combined for nine assists and zero turnovers in 36 minutes.
- The Lady Flames improved to 134-3 under Carey Green when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, including 7-1 this season.
- Liberty is now 6-2 all-time against North Alabama, which joined the ASUN Conference in 2018-19 along with the Lady Flames.
- The Lady Flames are 11-1 at Liberty Arena this season and 23-1 all-time at the facility.
- Liberty’s 18-2 record equals the team’s second-best 20-game start to a season, matching the 18-2 start posted by the 2007-08 Lady Flames.
Liberty will remain at home Saturday for its first-ever meeting with ASUN West Division-leading Jacksonville State. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Liberty Arena.