Richmond Spoils Liberty’s Season Opener, 69-48
Addie Budnik scored nine of her game-high 21 points during a 15-0 second quarter run which helped Richmond take control of Monday’s 2022-23 season opener at Liberty early on. The Spiders went on to claim a 69-48 victory over the Lady Flames inside Liberty Arena.
Liberty opens the year at 0-1 after losing just its third home game in three seasons playing at Liberty Arena. The Lady Flames shot just 29.6 percent (16-of-54) for the game.
Richmond is 1-0 after knocking down nine three-pointers at a 45 percent clip and outscoring the Lady Flames, 42-21, during the middle two quarters. The Spiders improve to 22-4 all-time against the Lady Flames.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Dee Brown – 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2-4 3FG; Pien Steenbergen – 9 points; Mya Berkman – 8 points, 7 rebounds.
Richmond Individuals: Budnik – 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists; Grace Townsend – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists; Siobhan Ryan – 13 points, 3-5 3FG.
Key Team Stats: Liberty took 31 of its 54 field goal attempts from beyond the three-point arc but hit only seven for 22.6 percent. Richmond shot 47.8 percent (22-of-46) from the field and 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the line. Liberty won the rebounding battle, 35-28, aided by 16 offensive boards. Richmond more than doubled up Liberty in points in the paint (26-12) and scored 20 points off the Lady Flames’ 17 turnovers.
Liberty’s Pien Steenbergen hit a baseline jumper at 6:48 of the second quarter to give the Lady Flames what proved to be their last lead of the game, 19-18.
The Lady Flames did not score again for the next 6:15, during which time Richmond fashioned its aforementioned 15-0 run. Budnik scored nine of those points, including a three-pointer which extended the Spiders’ lead to 33-19, 55 seconds before halftime.
Richmond’s advantage got no smaller than eight points the rest of the way.
- Liberty reeled off an early 9-0 run, capped off by a Dee Brown triple at the 6:13 mark, and led for the remainder of the opening period.
- The Lady Flames’ lead stood at 17-15 after 10 minutes of play where they knocked down three triples. Jordan Bailey hit one of the trifectas, contributing five points and four boards.
- Liberty had only scored two points during the second period before Alise Markova hit a triple during the waning moments of the half. The Lady Flames shot just 15.4 percent (2-of-13) for the stanza and trailed, 33-22, at the intermission. Richmond outscored Liberty by an 18-5 count for the period.
- The Spiders continued their momentum from the second quarter into the third, scoring 24 points on 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the field and hitting four three-pointers. Richmond took its largest lead of the contest to that point (57-38) at the end of the period.
- Pien Steenbergen and Alise Markova hit back-to-back three-pointers midway through the final period to pull the Lady Flames within 15 (63-48). However, Richmond kept the Lady Flames off the scoreboard the rest of the contest.
Notes and Nuggets
- Liberty’s lone freshman to play on Monday, Steenbergen was the Lady Flames’ second-leading scorer with nine points.
- Markova hit two three-pointers for the first time in her career. She shot 2-of-5 from long range after going 2-of-15 last season.
- Emma Hess made her first career start.
- The Lady Flames are now 28-3 all-time at Liberty Arena, and Monday’s game marked their largest margin of defeat in facility history.
- Liberty had won four straight home meetings with A10 opponents since a 65-45 setback to Richmond, Nov. 22, 2004. That Lady Flames team went on to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
- Monday tipped off Liberty’s 48th season of women’s basketball.
Liberty will continue its three-game season-opening homestand on Thursday, welcoming Salem to Liberty Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff. It will mark the Lady Flames’ first-ever meeting with the Tigers.