SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – On a Saturday afternoon when points were difficult to come by at the South Padre Island Convention Centre, Liberty’s Bridgette Rettstatt became the program’s 19th 1,000-point scorer. She was one of three Lady Flames to reach double digits as Liberty grinded out a 54-32 victory over South Padre Island Classic host UTRGV.
The Lady Flames improve to 11-1 with their eighth consecutive victory and their second in as many days at the South Padre Island Classic. Liberty is off to its best start to a season since 2007-08, which was the last time the Lady Flames went unbeaten at a pair of regular-season tournaments. Liberty also went 2-0 at last month’s Navy Classic in Annapolis, Md.
Post players Jordan Bailey (career-high 16 points), Mya Berkman (11 points) and Rettstatt (10 points) led the way offensively, while Liberty limited UTRGV (4-7) to a season-low 32 points on 22.6 percent (12-of-53) field goal shooting.
Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Bailey – 16 points, 4-7 3FG; Berkman – 11 points, 6 rebounds; Rettstatt – 10 points, 7 rebounds; Bella Smuda – 8 points, 5 rebounds; Dee Brown – 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals.
UTRGV Individuals: Taylor Muff – 9 points; Sara Bershers – 7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks.
Key Team Stats: On a day when it shot just 37 percent (20-of-54) from the floor and was even (39-39) on the glass, Liberty knocked down seven triples at a 38.9 percent clip and converted the Vaqueros’ 20 turnovers into 24 points. Liberty also outscored UTRGV in bench points, 29-7.
UTRGV led for most of the opening quarter, including an 11-8 edge following Burcu Soysal’s layup at the 3:05 mark.
Those were the Vaqueros’ last points for 9:14, during which time Liberty took the lead for good with a 14-0 run. The extended surge featured seven points by Bailey and the shot which put Rettstatt into the 1,000-point club—a corner three-pointer from right in front of the UTRGV bench at 8:56 of the second period.
• Liberty, which committed seven turnovers in the first quarter, fell behind 7-2 early on.
• Centers Mya Berkman and Bella Smuda combined for 8 points, 6 rebounds during the opening period, helping the Lady Flames recover to take a one-point (12-11) edge.
• Liberty kept UTRGV off the scoreboard for 6:09 to begin the second period, opening up a 22-11 advantage after the aforementioned 14-0 run.
• The Lady Flames led 27-17 at the intermission after holding UTRGV to six second-quarter points on 2-of-15 shooting.
• Liberty continued its defensive pressure during the third period, doubling up the host Vaqueros, 14-7. Bailey’s three-pointer during the closing seconds sent the Lady Flames to the final period with a 41-24 lead.
• The Lady Flames clinched their victory with one more stanza of stout defense. The Vaqueros scored only two points before knocking down a pair of triples during the final 61 seconds.
• Meanwhile, Liberty’s “4” players showed off their shooting ability, with Bailey, Rettstatt and Alise Markova each knocking down triples during the fourth quarter.
Notes and Nuggets
• After missing her first five shot attempts of the game, Rettstatt recovered to score in double digits for the eighth straight outing. She now ranks 19th in program history with 1,009 career points after tallying a team-high 34 markers during the two-day South Padre Island Classic.
• All three double-digit scoring efforts of Bailey’s career have come this week, as she set new career highs for points (16) and triples (4) on Saturday.
• Playing her second career game in her home state of Texas, scored in double digits for the ninth time in 12 games this season with her 11 tallies.
• Liberty has now held seven of 12 opponents to 50 points or fewer this season, four of whom have been held to 40 or fewer.
• The Lady Flames improve to 1-1 all-time against UTRGV, formerly known as Texas Pan-American. The Vaqueros are the fourth team Liberty has defeated for the first time in 2021-22, also including Bowling Green, Grand Canyon and Ohio.
• Liberty boosted its all-time record against opponents from Texas to 3-8 with its first win over a Lone Star State opponent since a 70-61 triumph over Houston on Nov. 24, 2007.
• The Lady Flames are now 5-0 away from Lynchburg this season (3-0 road, 2-0 neutral) and 3-0 all-time against WAC opponents, with two of the three victories coming this weekend.
Following a 12-day break from competition for Christmas, Liberty will return home to close out its non-conference schedule. The Lady Flames will play host to Shepherd on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. inside Liberty Arena.