Lindstrom’s Career Day Headlines Liberty’s 68-58 Triumph Over KSU
Making just her second career start, Liberty redshirt senior Nenna Lindstrom exploded for career highs in both points (15) and three-pointers made (5), Saturday afternoon at Liberty Arena. Her efforts helped the Lady Flames win their ASUN home opener and extend their winning streak to 11, 68-58 over Kennesaw State.
Despite playing without three usual starters for the second game in a row, Liberty improved to 14-1 overall, 2-0 in the ASUN and 8-0 all-time against the Owls. The Lady Flames never trailed, shooting 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field and 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from three-point range.
Playing its first game in 19 days, Kennesaw State dropped its ASUN Conference opener and falls to 4-8 on the season. The Owls got 20 points and six rebounds from Amani Johnson, who had scored 45 the last time she visited Lynchburg (March 7, 2020). But the rest of her teammates shot just 15-of-47.
Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Jordan Bailey – 14 points, 4 rebounds; Bella Smuda – 10 points, 5 rebounds; Dee Brown – 5 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists.
Other Kennesaw State Individuals: Bre’Lyn Snipes – 11 points, 5 rebounds; Alexis Poole – 8 points, 6 rebounds; Jah’Che Whitfield – 7 points, 7 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Kennesaw State shot just 37.7 percent (23-of-61) as a team. Liberty enjoyed small advantages in rebounds (36-33) and points in the paint (34-26). The Lady Flames recorded 19 assists on 27 made field goals. Despite a short-handed roster, Liberty outscored KSU in bench points, 20-9. Both teams took care of the ball well, with Liberty turning it over 12 times and Kennesaw State only committing seven turnovers.
Kennesaw State outscored Liberty 11-7 during the first 4:48 of the second half, trimming its deficit to 44-33 on Johnson’s jumper at the 5:12 mark.
The Lady Flames then hit triples on their next three trips to the offensive end, including two by Lindstrom and one from Bailey. That quick burst rebuilt an 18-point lead (53-35) for the home team, and Kennesaw State was never able to close within single digits the remainder of the afternoon.
- Liberty led throughout the opening period, shooting 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the field and knocking down three triples.
- Dee Brown (five assists) was the primary facilitator for the Lady Flames, who owned a 19-11 lead at the conclusion of the quarter.
- Liberty held the Owls scoreless for more than six minutes during the latter part of the second quarter, going on a 13-0 run.
- KSU’s Johnson ended her team’s drought with a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer, but the visitors still trailed by 15 (37-22) at the intermission.
- Both teams were at their best offensively during the third quarter, with Liberty outscoring Kennesaw State by a slim 22-20 margin. Lindstrom knocked down a trio of three-pointers during the stanza, while Johnson countered with eight points for the Owls.
- KSU held Liberty without a field goal for a 5:04 stretch of the final period, using a 9-1 run to trim the gap to 66-56 with 1:46 to play. However, Smuda found Bailey for a layup on the Lady Flames’ ensuing possession to end any hope of a late rally.
- Liberty managed only nine fourth-quarter points on 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from the floor and 33.3 percent (1-of-3) from the foul line.
- Notes and Nuggets
- Lindstrom led the Lady Flames in scoring for the first time with her first career double-digit scoring effort. She has scored 24 points during the first two ASUN games, all of which have come on eight triples.
- Like Lindstrom, Bailey started for the second time in her career on Saturday. Her 14 points marked her fifth time scoring in double digits in the last six outings.
- Smuda reached double figures for the third consecutive home game with her 10 tallies.
- Brown led all players in rebounds (8) and assists (career-high 7).
- Liberty improved to 132-2 under Carey Green when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, including 5-0 this season.
- The Lady Flames knocked down double-digit three-pointers for the third time this season but the first since hitting 11 at Navy on Nov. 27 during the first game of their current winning streak.
- Liberty has now recorded an 11-game winning streak for the second straight season.
- The Lady Flames improved to 20-1 all-time at Liberty Arena with its 14th consecutive home win against an ASUN Conference foe.
- Saturday marked Liberty’s 50th ASUN Conference game since joining the league in 2018-19. The Lady Flames improved to 35-15, including 20-5 at home.
Liberty will remain at home on Wednesday for a battle between two of the top three teams in the ASUN preseason poll. North Florida’s (7-7, 0-2 ASUN) first game at Liberty Arena will tip off at 7 p.m.