Brown jumper sends Liberty to NCAA Tournament

Edited by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net
 

A Devon Brown jumper with 4.2 seconds left sent Liberty to the NCAA Tournament with a 68-66 win over Gardner-Webb in the championship game of the Big South Tournament on Sunday.

Brown, a 2008 Waynesboro High School grad, led all players with 24 points and was named the Big South Tournament most valuable player. The Big South title is the third in a row for Liberty, which is 27-5 in 2009-2010.

Gardner-Webb, the Big South regular-season champion, fell to 28-4 with the loss, which ended a 16-game winning streak.

Brown is the first freshman Big South Tournament MVP since Liberty’s Elena Kisseleva won the honor in 1997.

The win came after Liberty blew a 20-point lead with 9:41 to go, when Dominique Hudson completed a three-point play at the 2:32 mark to give Gardner-Webb a 62-60 lead.

Brown responded with a three-point play of her own 19 seconds later, putting Liberty back on top, 63-62. Two more charity tosses by Dominique Hudson at the 1:57 mark provided the Bulldogs with their final lead of the afternoon, 64-63.

Dymond Morgan tied the score at 64-all at the 1:26 mark by splitting a pair of free throws and Brown drove to the hoop to make a contested basket with 31.3 seconds left, setting the stage for the action-packed closing sequence.

Brown was key for the Lady Flames down the stretch, scoring 13 of the team’s final 18 points. She also pulled down eight boards, setting a new Liberty freshman rebounding record with 268 caroms this season. On the defensive end, Brown came up with four of the Lady Flames’ 13 steals.

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