Clinton, S.C. – Three Blue Hose players found themselves in double figures led by Tess Santos at 19, Janie Miles at 14 and Macee Tamminen with 13 off the bench but it was not enough for the Blue Hose who fell to Liberty 76-64 in the Big South opener at the Templeton Center on Tuesday night.
Player of the Game
Santos dropped a career high 19 points on 5-5 shooting from the floor including 3-3 from three and 6-6 from the free throw line, she also led the team with five rebounds. Miles scored 14, her sixth double figure performance of the season and Tamminen had her second straight game with 10-plus points scoring 13. Cortney Storey tied her season highs with eight assists and four steals
Stat of the Game
Liberty finished the game with a 38-8 advantage in points in the paint, the Blue Hose tried to counter that with a 39-21 advantage in points from behind the arc. Over the last two games PC has a 28-8 advantage in made three-pointers.
The first half stayed tight for the majority of the half as neither team ever led by more than three until the 8:15 mark of the second quarter when Santos drained a three giving the Blue Hose a five-point lead at 21-16. Santos hit a second three just 1:50 later giving the Blue Hose an eight-point lead at 24-16.
The reigning Big South Freshman of the Week, Tamminen would hit a three at the 4:01 mark giving PC its largest lead at 29-20 but Liberty responded with 9-0 run of its own tying the game at 29-29. The Blue Hose out-scored Liberty 8-4 down the stretch and took a 37-33 lead into the break.
Liberty used a 19-5 run in the first four-plus minutes of the third period to take a 52-42 lead. PC responded with an 18-10 run over the next seven minutes to pull within two at 62-60 but that was as close as it could get.
Tamminen drained back to back threes to get the run started and then Storey scored all six of her points in a row to close the third period at 62-54. Santos and Miles opened the fourth with a pair of threes to get the Blue Hose within two at 62-60 but Liberty would finish on a 14-4 run to win 76-64.
“Tonight we demonstrated how we can be when we’re at our best, but also how small errors can really cost us defensively,” said coach Todd Steelman. “We have to give multiple efforts on the defensive end to not only get stops, but finish with the rebound. In the second half we didn’t play with the same energy and communication that we did early in the game. It was great to see Tess (Santos) and Macee (Tamminen) contribute offensively tonight and Cortney (Storey) and Janie (Miles) were as reliable as ever. Now we have to put four good quarters together and see how things play out for us. We’re a work in progress and we did make some positive strides.”
For the Record
With this result the Blue Hose move to 3-9, 0-1 in Big South play while the Flames go to 6-7, 1-0.
PC made 13 threes one game after tying the Division I era record for threes with 15.
This was their fourth game with 10-plus made threes and the second highest overall.
15 assists as a team ties their second most as a team this season.
Santos had a career day scoring 19 points and five rebounds. She shot 5-5 from the field including 3-3 from three-point range and made 6-6 from the free throw line.
One game after scoring a career high 15 on 5-9 three-point shooting Tamminen would score 13 points on 4-8 shooting from three. She has 28 points over the last two with 27 coming from behind the arc.
Storey tied her season highs in assists and steals with eight and four.
Miles tallied her sixth double-digit scoring effort of the season with 14 points on four made threes.
The Blue Hose take to the road to face the Longwood Lancers on Saturday, January 6 at 2:00 p.m.