North Alabama Posts OT Win After Late Liberty Comeback
Liberty's Keyen Green knocked down two clutch free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining in Monday evening's clash with North Alabama, punctuating a furious 15-3 run and forcing overtime. However, the Lions pulled out a 76-71 victory during the extra session at the Vines Center to remain in a tie for first place in the ASUN standings.
Liberty (9-8, 2-2 ASUN) trailed the Lions 64-52 after Olivia Noah's three-pointer found the bottom of the net with 2:59 to play in the fourth quarter. Bridgette Rettstatt's seven points within a 1:17 stretch and Green's big free throws improbably sent the Lady Flames to their first overtime contest of the season. However, Liberty unfortunately finished the overtime session with more turnovers (5) than points (4).
North Alabama (13-3, 4-0 ASUN) is still tied with FGCU atop the ASUN ledger after picking up its first-ever victory over the Lady Flames. Ivy Wallen led four Lions in double figures with 16 points, including the game's final four tallies. Her stepback three-pointer gave North Alabama a four-point lead with only 20 seconds remaining in overtime.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Bridgette Rettstatt – 17 points, 12 rebounds; Keyen Green – 16 points, 8 rebounds, 8-10 FG; Audrey Clark – 11 points; Ashtyn Baker – 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists.
Other North Alabama Individuals: Brittany Panetti – 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks; Olivia Noah – 13 points, 3-5 3FG; Kenysha Coulson – 12 points, 6 rebounds.
Key Team Stats: Liberty attempted 24 more field goals than North Alabama but finished with its second lowest field goal percentage (34.2 percent, 27-of-79) on the year. The Lions knocked down nine triples and shot 84 percent (21-of-25) from the foul line. Liberty outrebounded North Alabama by a 50-37 count, converting 23 offensive rebounds into a season-high 24 second-chance points. The Lions blocked nine shots to Liberty's zero.
After Panetti fouled out at the end of regulation, North Alabama freshman Noah stepped up in overtime. She scored the session's first points on a driving layup at the 3:13 mark and then gave her team the lead for good with a three-pointer 42 seconds later.
Clark's reverse layup at the 44-second mark pulled the Lady Flames within 72-71. Wallen then countered with the aforementioned dagger three-pointer from the right wing. Liberty misfired on a pair of three-point tries during the final 10 seconds.
• Bridgette Rettstatt scored the Lady Flames' first six points of the evening, and the home team never trailed during a first period where the two teams combined to shoot just 34.4 percent (11-of-32).
• Kennedi Williams' buzzer-beating layup gave Liberty a four-point lead (15-11) at the end of the opening stanza.
• Jaylin Austin's layup 6:13 before halftime punctuated a 7-0 North Alabama run, providing the visiting Lions their first lead of the contest at 21-20.
• The Lions took that same margin (32-31) into halftime despite a 10-point, eight-rebound first half by Rettstatt.
• Aided by 9-of-10 free throw shooting during the third period, the Lions owned a two-point advantage (50-48) entering the final 10 minutes.
• Liberty missed nine of its first 10 field goals to start the fourth quarter, enabling North Alabama to build its 12-point lead. The Lions knocked down a trio of three-pointers during an 11-2 burst which made the score 64-52.
• The Lady Flames were then able to tie things up by scoring on six of their last seven trips to the offensive end over the final 2:37. The surge featured a trio of three-point possessions, with old-fashioned three-point plays from Rettstatt and Green along with Asia Todd's corner triple.
• North Alabama was efficient at the offensive end during overtime, making three of its four field goal attempts, including both three-point tries. Meanwhile, Liberty turned the ball over five times after totaling only 10 turnovers during regulation.
Notes and Nuggets
• Rettstatt's 17 points marked a season high, while her 12 rebounds led all players.
• Rettstatt has now scored in double figures during all four ASUN games this season and recorded three double-doubles in conference play.
• Rettstatt, who has reached double digits in 16 of 20 career ASUN contests, moved into 50th place on Liberty's career scoring list with 596 points.
• Green scored 12 of her 16 points after halftime. The redshirt junior has now tallied 79 points during ASUN play with 56 of those points coming after halftime.
• One game after shooting 9-of-20 from the foul line, Green knocked down 8-of-10 on Monday including all five of her fourth-quarter attempts.
• Clark's 11 points marked a career high for the freshman and made her the eighth different Lady Flame to score in double figures this season.
• After pulling down a career-high nine rebounds versus Jacksonville on Saturday, 5-6 point guard Baker grabbed eight more boards on Monday.
• Asia Todd made multiple three-pointers for the fourth straight game and is shooting 50 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc during conference play.
• Monday's game marked just the Lady Flames' third loss in their last 11 outings and their first setback to a team ranked outside the Top 25 since a Nov. 24 loss at James Madison.
• Liberty fell to 2-4 at the Vines Center this season. The Lady Flames are 7-4 when playing away from Lynchburg in 2019-20.
• The Lady Flames are now 0-4 in games decided by five points or fewer this season.
• Liberty had not played an overtime game at the Vines Center since Nov. 22, 2014. That day, the Lady Flames recorded a 76-75 overtime triumph over Saint Joseph's.
The Lady Flames will wrap up their three-game homestand on Saturday at 4 p.m. when Lipscomb (4-13, 1-3 ASUN) visits the Vines Center. Liberty is 3-0 all-time versus the Bisons.
Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Vines Center)
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 4 p.m.