LYNCHBURG, Va. – Olivia Noah’s third 3-point shot turned out to be her biggest Monday night against Liberty.
Noah's trey in overtime gave North Alabama's women's team the cushion they needed to hold off Liberty 76-71 for their fourth consecutive ASUN viictory.
The play, however, was set up by senior Emma Wallen during the Lions' last time-out with 2:37 remaining.
Head coach Missy Tiber credited senior guard Emma Wallen with suggesting the play that put the ball in Noah's hands.
“I gotta give coach Emma Wallen the credit," Tiber said, laughing. “ She made that call to give Noah that three on the inbound. We hadn’t run that play all game and she made the call during the time-out. That’s one of those situations with an experienced team. You gotta value their opinions and we went with it.”
Noah scored on a layup and traded baskets with Liberty guard Keyen Green before her third 3-pointer. Liberty scored one more basket to come within a single point with under 45 seconds to play.
Ivy Wallen put the game on ice for UNA (13-3, 4-0 ASUN) with a step-back trey with 19 seconds left and added an insurance free throw.
Noah finished with 13 points on a 5 of 8 shooting performance. Ivy Wallen finished with 16 points and six assists. Brittany Panetti scored 14 points and Kenysha Coulson rounded out the top scorers for the Lions with 12 points.
Liberty forced regulation by erasing a 64-52 deficit with a 15-3 run in the final three minutes of regulation.
Green tied the game at 67 with 2.2 seconds remaining following two free throws. UNA called timeout to move the ball to half court, but could not get a shot off.
FGCU (17-2 overall, 4-0 ASUN) won 72-50 at North Florida on Monday. The No. 25 Eagles will represent the first ranked Division I team to visit Flowers Hall. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.
Bridgette Rettstatt led Liberty (9-8 overall, 2-2 ASUN) with game-high totals of 17 points and 12 rebounds.
After trailing 15-11 at the end of the first quarter, UNA shot 43.8 percent from the floor in the second to grab a 32-31 lead heading into the break. Neither team led by more than four points in the second half until the Lions stretched the lead to 12 with 2:59 remaining.
UNA hosts Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday with first place in the ASUN on the line. The No. 25 Eagles represent the first ranked Division I team to visit Flowers Hall. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.