Post Play, Defense Key Liberty’s 68-48 Triumph at Hampton
Liberty closed out a 3-0 road swing with a 68-48 victory over Hampton, Wednesday at the HU Convocation Center. Strong post play (19 points by Mya Berkman and 11 more from Bridgette Rettstatt) and a stifling defense effort were key to the visitors’ triumph.
Liberty improves to 6-1 with its second three-game winning streak of the young season and its third win over the Lady Pirates in as many years. The Lady Flames are off to their best start since the 2009-10 Liberty squad also opened the year at 6-1.
Hampton falls to 1-6 with its fifth straight defeat. The Lady Pirates shot only 35.2 percent (19-of-54) from the field and were outrebounded, 41-30.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Berkman – 19 points, 5 rebounds; Rettstatt – 11 points, 6 rebounds; Dee Brown – 9 points, 3 rebounds; Nenna Lindstrom – 9 points, 2-4 3FG; Bella Smuda – 8 rebounds, 3 blocks.
Hampton Individuals: Nas Nigatu – 15 points, 3-4 3FG; Madison Buford – 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists; Victoria Davis – 9 points, 3 assists.
Key Team Stats: Liberty finished at 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the field. The Lady Flames doubled up Hampton in points in the paint (36-18) and scored 12 second-chance points to the Lady Pirates’ 0. Liberty tallied 23 bench points to a dozen for Hampton.
A layup by Dlayla Chalokis at 8:39 of the second quarter had Hampton within two points at 19-17. Liberty then took control by outscoring the Lady Pirates 15-5 over the remainder of the opening half. Rettstatt and Berkman combined for 10 of the Lady Flames’ points during that extended surge.
Owning a 34-22 halftime advantage, Liberty maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
- Hampton scored the game’s first five points before Liberty responded with a 7-0 run. The Lady Flames did not trail again and took the lead into the second quarter for the seventh straight game this season, 17-15.
- Coming off a Navy All-Classic honor over the weekend, Dee Brown led the way with six points, two rebounds during the stanza.
- Mya Berkman (seven points) single-handedly matched Hampton’s scoring output in the second quarter, as Liberty built a 12-point lead (34-22) by halftime.
- Berkman totaled 11 points during the opening half, while the Lady Pirates turned it over 11 times.
- Nenna Lindstrom came off the bench to score nine points during a 13-0 Liberty run which extended the visitors’ advantage to 29 points (56-27).
- Liberty had the Lady Pirates doubled up on the scoreboard (56-28) after holding Hampton to 2-of-17 shooting during the third period.
- Hampton outscored Liberty by a 20-12 count in the fourth quarter, getting as close as 19 at one point. But it was too little, too late for the Lady Pirates.
Notes and Nuggets
- Berkman led the Lady Flames in scoring for the fifth time in seven games to start the season. Her production on Wednesday gives Berkman 622 career points, moving her into 50th place on Liberty’s career scoring list.
- Rettstatt has now scored in double digits in three consecutive matchups with Hampton, averaging 13.0 ppg against the Lady Pirates for her career.
- Lindstrom’s nine points equaled her career high, and her two triples give her 50 as a Lady Flame.
- After dishing out eight assists versus Hampton last season, Kennedi Williams recorded a team-high five assists on Wednesday and matched her career high of three steals.
- Hampton is now 11-8 all-time against Liberty, but the Lady Flames have won eight consecutive meetings with their in-state foes.
- Liberty has won its last 12 matchups against Big South Conference opponents and is 4-0 against Big South foes since leaving the conference following the 2017-18 season.
Liberty will return home for its next three contests, beginning with a Saturday matchup against defending Big South champion High Point (2-4). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. for the 57th all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Panthers.