LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Liberty wrapped up a two-game ASUN series sweep with a hard-fought 79-73 victory at Bellarmine, Sunday afternoon. The Lady Flames battled back from an early 10-point deficit and needed two defensive stops and four clutch free throws during the final 30 seconds to emerge from Freedom Hall victorious.
Liberty (14-5, 10-2 ASUN) has now won 10 or more conference games for the 22nd consecutive season. But Sunday’s victory was the narrowest of its 10 ASUN wins this year.
Conference newcomer Bellarmine (4-13, 4-8 ASUN) had a shot to tie the game at 75-all with 19 seconds left, but Bella Smuda rebounded Lauren Deel’s miss. Dee Brown then doubled Liberty’s lead with a pair of free throws with 18.1 seconds showing on the clock.
The Knights’ Breia Torrens, who had knocked down four three-pointers on the afternoon, could not make it five, and Brown tracked down her miss. The Lady Flames’ leading scorer on the day, Emily Lytle (17 points) then sealed the victory with two more free throws with just 6.7 ticks left.
Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Smuda – 16 points, 8-9 FG, 6 rebounds; Bridgette Rettstatt – 11 points, 3 assists; Mya Berkman – 10 points, 8 rebounds; Ashtyn Baker – 9 points, 4 assists, 3 steals.
Bellarmine Individuals: Torrens – 16 points, 4-7 3FG; Tasia Jeffries – 16 points; Deel – 12 points, 6 rebounds; Sheniqua Coatney – 9 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks; Kathleen Scott – 7 points, 6 assists, 3 steals.
Key Team Stats: Liberty finished at 49.1 percent (28-of-57) from the field, scoring 40 points in the paint. The Lady Flames shot 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the foul line, including 10-of-12 during the fourth quarter. Bellarmine shot well from three-point range (53.8 percent, 7-of-13) for the second day in a row. The Knights tallied 21 points off Liberty’s 17 turnovers. The Lady Flames outrebounded their eighth straight opponent (35-30), with eight offensive boards leading to 13 second-chance points.