Rettstatt Shines in 65-53 Senior Day Win Over Stetson
One of six seniors honored prior to tipoff on Saturday at Liberty Arena, Liberty’s Bridgette Rettstatt racked up 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Her efforts helped propel the Lady Flames past Stetson, 65-53, for Liberty’s 10th straight win.
Liberty (25-2, 13-1 ASUN) remains tied with FGCU atop the ASUN East Division standings entering the final week of the regular season. Aided by strong efforts from Kennedi Williams (11 points, six assists) and Mya Berkman (10 points, 13 rebounds), the Lady Flames become the nation’s first NCAA Division I women’s basketball team to reach 25 wins this season.
With the win, Liberty clinches a first-round bye and quarterfinal round home game for the ASUN Women’s Basketball Championship. The Lady Flames have won a program-record 13 ASUN contests this season.
Stetson (16-11, 9-5 ASUN) entered the game on an eight-game winning streak, highlighted by a triumph at FGCU last Saturday. However, a -14 rebound margin and 16 turnovers helped to negate a 19-point afternoon by Alyssa Hargrove.
Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Emma Hess – 9 points; Priscilla Smeenge – 3 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals.
Other Stetson Individuals: Kiya Turner – 10 points; Tatiana Streun – 8 points, 2-4 3FG.
Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 51 percent (26-of-51) from the field, as compared with 44.2 percent (19-of-43) for the Hatters. The Lady Flames outrebounded the visitors, 35-21, with a dozen offensive boards leading to 10 second-chance points. Liberty scored 14 bench points to Stetson’s three.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Liberty was firing on all cylinders during the second 10 minutes. The Lady Flames scored 23 points on 70 percent (7-of-10) from the field and 80 percent (4-of-5) from three-point range.
The offensive outburst enabled Liberty to extend its advantage to 11 points (37-26) at the intermission. Stetson got no closer than eight during the second half.
- Rettstatt got off to a fast start on Senior Day, tallying 10 first-quarter points. She posted Liberty’s final eight tallies of the stanza, helping the Lady Flames build a 14-9 advantage.
- Williams scored seven of the Lady Flames’ 23 points during the pivotal second period. The Lady Flames led by as many as a dozen before taking a 37-26 cushion into halftime.
- Stetson chipped a point off its deficit in the third quarter, converting six Liberty turnovers into six points. Hargrove scored seven points during the stanza as the Hatters pulled to within 51-41 with 10 minutes left.
- Stetson twice pulled within eight points during the final period, including 57-49 on a Hargrove hoop with 4:32 to play. However, the Hatters made only one field goal the rest of the afternoon.
- Rettstatt helped the Lady Flames right the ship, getting a putback hoop and steal on the game’s next two possessions after the Hatters had gotten within eight.
Notes and Nuggets
- Rettstatt tied her season high of 24 points for her second 20-point game of the season and the sixth of her career. She moved past Moriah Frazee and Emily Lytle into 13th place on Liberty’s career scoring list with 1,159 career points.
- Rettstatt was joined as part of the Senior Day ceremony by Jordan Peters, Nenna Lindstrom, Dee Brown, Alyssa Iverson and Priscilla Smeenge. For Rettstatt and Lindstrom, it was their second Senior Day celebration, as the duo was also honored last season before returning as “super seniors” in 2021-22.
- Rettstatt was one of numerous Lady Flames who were unavailable during Liberty’s 65-49 ASUN-opening victory at Stetson on Jan. 5, as only nine Liberty players dressed for the contest in DeLand. On Saturday, Brown missed her first game of the season due to injury.
- Williams equaled her season high of 11 points.
- Berkman’s double-double was her fifth of the season and the sixth of her career. Her 13 rebounds matched the Liberty Arena single-game record. Berkman (Nov. 18, 2021 vs. James Madison) and Rettstatt (Dec. 4, 2021 vs. High Point) each recorded 13-rebound games at home earlier this season.
- Smeenge dished out a career-high four assists and matched her career best of three steals.
- Liberty has recorded 11 straight home wins, improving to 26-1 all-time at Liberty Arena. The Lady Flames have defeated 20 consecutive ASUN opponents in Lynchburg.
- The Lady Flames’ 25 wins this season are their most since the 2014-15 season, when Liberty went 26-7.
- Liberty improved to 136-3 under Carey Green when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, including 9-1 this season. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames have held all 27 opponents below the 50 percent mark this season and entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally for field goal percentage defense (32.5).
- Liberty has now won six straight head-to-head meetings with Stetson, improving to 6-3 in the all-time series.
Liberty will close out its regular-season home schedule with a showdown against No. 22 FGCU (24-2, 13-1 ASUN), Thursday at 7 p.m. inside Liberty Arena. The Lady Flames will seek their first-ever win over the Eagles, who dealt Liberty its lone ASUN loss of the season, 73-69 on Jan. 15 in Fort Myers, Fla.