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Green Sets Record With 100th Conference Win
Liberty improves to 17-9 overall and 9-2 in conference action. Green is now 100-9 in Big South competition, eclipsing former Radford coach Luby Lichonczak's total of 99 conference wins.
His record-breaking victory came in style, as the Lady Flames scored their most points ever in a conference game, eclipsing the 88 points they scored at Radford on Feb. 1, 1997. Liberty was on track for its largest margin of victory in a Big South conference game before Tina DeCarvalho closed the game's scoring with a CSU three-pointer with two seconds left.
Liberty now owns a one-half game lead over High Point atop the Big South standings. Radford fell a game behind with its loss to Coastal Carolina, Monday evening.
The Lady Buccaneers leave Lynchburg at 10-16 overall and 2-9 in Big South play after losing their 20th-consecutive game in the head-to-head series with the Lady Flames.
Neither team scored for the first 2:10 of play, before Charleston Southern's Shaunte Small broke the ice with a lay-up.
Liberty did not score until Rachel Hammond tied the score with a pair of free throws at the 16:48 mark.
The Lady Flames' initial field goal, a Jamie Feagin jumper from inside the paint, 14:42 before the half, came in the midst of a 6-0 run by the home team. Roli-Ann Nikagbatse's fast break lay-up 2:57 later capped the run with Liberty on top by a 10-4 margin.
Liberty's lead still stood at six, 17-11, after the Lady Buccaneers' Keena Wicker made a jumper with 9:39 showing on the first-half clock. Wicker was the lone offensive bright spot for the visitors in the opening half, scoring 11 of her team's 15 points.
After Wicker's hoop, the Lady Flames closed the half on a 31-4 run. Included in the extended surge was a scoreless drought by the Lady Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Liberty found its shooting touch, making 11 of its final 17 field goals of the opening half. Megan Frazee scored the final four points of the run, including a jumper from just inside the three-point arc, two seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded with Liberty on top, 48-15.
Megan Frazee's 12 points and Moriah Frazee's 11 markers led Liberty to its highest-scoring first half of the year. The Lady Flames shot 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the field, 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from three-point range and 80 percent (12-of-15) from the free throw line in the opening half.
Michelle Parker, the shortest player on the Liberty roster at 5-6, led all players with five rebounds before halftime. Her efforts contributed to a 29-10 rebounding edge for the homestanding Lady Flames.
Charleston Southern managed just a 23.3 percent (7-of-30) field goal percentage before the half, misfiring on all nine three-point tries. The Lady Buccaneers also committed 11 first-half turnovers.
The Lady Buccaneers did not reach the 20-point plateau until Keena Wicker crafted a three-point play with 13:10 left. Before her basket, Liberty had scored 15-straight points to take a 67-19 lead. Nikagbatse scored six markers during the run.
Charleston Southern bounced back with its best run of the game, a 9-2 surge which cut its deficit to 69-28 with 10:40 left. Pam Tolbert's lay-up finished the run.
The Lady Buccaneers would get no closer the rest of the way, and the Liberty lead ballooned to as many as 54 points on Egle Smigelskaite's two free throws with 11 seconds remaining. The Lady Flames' 91-40 win marked their third 90-plus point effort of the year, but their first since a 97-27 victory over Columbia Union on Nov. 16.
Twelve different Lady Flames made a mark in the scoring column, including four players who reached double figures. Megan Frazee led the way with 16 points and six rebounds, while Moriah Frazee chipped in with 14 points and five boards.
Nikagbatse matched a career high with 13 points and added three of her team's 17 steals. Leslie Jones rounded out the Lady Flames' double-digit scoring efforts with a career-high 10 markers. She hit both of her three-point attempts.
Parker equaled a career best with six rebounds to go along with a game-high six assists. She shared the team rebounding lead with Megan Frazee and Feagin. Liberty outrebounded Charleston Southern by 34 caroms, 59-25, its most sizable margin of the season.
Liberty ended the game at 48.5 percent (32-of-66) from the floor and made half a dozen three-pointers.
Wicker scored more than half (21) of Charleston Southern's points. As a team, the Lady Buccaneers shot only 27.4 percent (17-of-62) from the floor, including a one-of-17 effort from three-point range.
Charleston Southern will now prepare for its final road game of the regular season. The Lady Buccaneers travel to Winthrop for a contest against the Eagles, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Liberty will wrap up a three-game homestand Saturday at 7 p.m., when UNC Asheville visits the Vines Center. The Flames' final home contest of the season will feature Senior Night festivities, and Liberty's senior quartet of Feagin, Jones, Parker and Karolina Piotrkiewicz will be honored prior to tip-off.