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Lady Flames Open Up Big South Action With Dominating Victory Over Charleston Southern
The Lady Flames shrugged of a sluggish opening 10 minutes of the game and used a 24-4 run to close out the opening half en route to a 78-41 victory over Charleston Southern, Saturday evening, at the Vines Center in both squad's Big South Conference openers.
With the victory, the Lady Flames began their quest for an unprecedented 10-straight Big South crown as Liberty upped it record to 9-4 on the year and 1-0 in conference play, while Charleston Southern falls to 4-8 on the season and 0-1 in league play.
Charleston Southern scored six of the game's first eight points as a jumper by Erica McCoy gave the Buccaneers an early 6-2 edge at the 15:35 mark. Back-to-back jumpers by Megan Frazee (Fr., G, Xenia, Ohio) knotted the score at 6-6 just 30 seconds later.
The Buccaneers continued their game-opening sharp shooting and as back-to-back buckets by Shaunte Small and Pam Tolber gave the visitors a four-point lead, 10-6.
After Michelle Parker (Jr., G, Miami, Fla.) sank a pair of free throws at the 11:49 mark, McCoy converted on 1-of-2 attempts from the line to give Charleston Southern a three-point lead, 11-8, with 10:54 left to play.
However, the Lady Flames stepped up their defensive pressure and held the Buccaneers to just two more field goals over the remainder of the period as Megan Frazee started a 24-4 run with two three-pointers and a lay-up at 8:57.
After a jumper by McCoy in the lane with 6:19 left to play that cut the Lady Flames' lead back to three points, 16-13, Liberty reeled off 14-unanswered points and took a 17-point lead into the locker room at halftime, 32-15.
The Lady Flames continued to dominate in the second half as a lay-up by Megan Frazee pushed Liberty's lead to 21 points, 40-19, at the 18:21 mark. Two minutes later, a jumper by Charleston Southern's Ashley Hutchinson cut Liberty's lead back to 19 points, 42-23, with 16:06 left to play, but a Egle Smigelskaite (So., F, Klaipeda, Lithuania) lay-up two minutes later capped off a 9-0 run for the Lady Flames and Liberty never let the margin slip below 24 points over the remainder of the contest.
Megan Frazee paced the way for the Lady Flames as the freshman netted 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Rachel Hammond (Fr., G, Clearwater, Fla.) came off the bench to net a career-high 13 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, while Karolina Piotrkiewicz (Jr., F, Calais, France) recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Rachel Potts led Charleston Southern as the junior netted 10 points, while McCoy and Small followed closely behind with nine points each.
The Lady Flames will continue a three-game homestand on Monday when they host Coastal Carolina in the Vines Center at 7 p.m., while Charleston Southern concludes their northern conference road swing and travels to Radford on Monday for a 7 p.m. contest in the Dedmon Center.