ROANOKE, VA Liberty University captured their sixth consecutive Big South tournament title with a 57-33 championship game victory over seventh-seeded Coastal Carolina in the 2002 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference women's basketball tournament.
Liberty (23-7) broke open a close contest with an 11-0 run midway through the second half and limited Coastal Carolina to only 13 second half points in winning their 15th consecutive league tournament game. Freshman center Katie Feenstra scored 15 points and freshman guard Kristal Tharp added 12 for the winners.
Coastal Carolina (11-18), the first seven seed to make the finals in league tournament history, was led by BSC Tournament MVP Nikki Reddick's 13 points. Forward Crystal Brown added 12 points and seven boards. Coastal Carolina shot only 17.2 percent for the game and their point total was the lowest for one team in tournament history. The combined point total of the two teams also was an all-time tournament low.
Trailing 24-20 at the half, Coastal stayed in the game and trailed 32-28 with 13:39 remaining on Reddick's third second-half basket. Liberty, however, proceeded to score 18 of the next 21 points, taking a commanding 50-31 lead with just under four minutes to play. Liberty held Coastal Carolina to just two baskets over the final 13:39 of play.
Liberty advances to the NCAA Tournament later this month against a yet to be determined opponent.
All-Tournament Team: Coastal Carolina's Nikki Reddick was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2002 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference women's basketball tournament. Joining Reddick on the All-Tournament team were Katie Feenstra and Kristal Tharp of Liberty, Ces Champagne of Charleston Southern, and Stephanie Pannell of Winthrop.