Saturday, February 18, 2012

Big South stunners: Liberty, Radford go down

Just another Saturday in the Big South? Not hardly....

Winthrop 71, Liberty 69: The Lady Flames brought an 11-game winning streak into this contest and had won by 25 points when these teams met in Lynchburg in late January. But the Eagles made hay from the 3-point line (10 of 32 3-pointers) and by converting Liberty's numerous mistakes (23 turnovers) into points (20). Avery Warley led Liberty (17-8, 12-2 Big South) with 19 points and 15 rebounds and Tolu Omotola added a season-high16 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent a Winthrop team that came in averaging 70.1 points a game from doing its thing and winning for the fourth time in five games. With the victory, the Eagles (14-11, 8-5) slipped into third place in the conference standings. Meanwhile, the saving grace for Liberty is that second-place High Point also lost Saturday (77-72 to Charleston Southern), meaning the Lady Flames will maintain their two-game lead atop the standings. It was High Point's fourth straight loss.

Presbyterian 52, Radford 49: Kristen Stevens' 3-pointer with 12 seconds left brought an end to Radford's seven-game winning streak.Ashley Buckhannon led Radford (14-11, 8-6 Big South) with 15 points and freshman Ayana Avery came off the bench to chip in 13. But Highlanders star and leading scorer Da'Naria Erwin Spencer (17.4 ppg), who had scored at least 21 points in five of her last six games, was limited to just 8 points against the Blue Hose on 3-of-10 shooting. The loss dropped Radford from third place into a fourth-place tie with Charleston Southern.

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