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Lady Flames Claim Victory Over High Point In Big South First-Place Battle
The Lady Flames held the Panthers scoreless over a seven-minute period late in the second half to take control of a tightly-contested battle en route to a 62-53 win in a game that featured the top two teams in the league, Saturday evening, in the Vines Center.
With the victory, the Lady Flames claim sole possession of first place with a 9-1 Big South record (18-5 overall), while the loss drops High Point back into second place with an 8-2 record (17-6 overall). The game was played in front of 3,366 fans, marking the seventh-largest crowd in school history.
The Lady Flames jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead as Allyson Fasnacht (So., G, Salem, Va.) knocked down a three-pointer just 47 seconds into the game, while Moriah Frazee (Fr., G, Xenia, Ohio) took a feed from Fasnacht for a jumper to push the lead to six points, 10-4, just a minute later.
Liberty continued to control the game over the next eight minutes as Moriah Frazee hit a trey from the top of the key to give Liberty an eight-point lead, 19-11, at the 10:28 mark. But High Point started to get its offense going as the Panthers scored eight of the next 10 points to pull within two points, 21-19, on a three-pointer by Candyce Sellars.
High Point continued to roll with a 5-1 run, taking a three-point lead, 25-22, on a tip-in by Amber Manuel at the 4:11 mark. However, Liberty responded with six-straight points to take a three-point lead on a lay-up by Karolina Piotrkiewicz with 2:38 left before the break.
A lay-up by Raven Truslow allowed High Point to regain the lead at the 1:25 mark and the Panthers looked like they were going to hold the lead going into the locker at halftime, but Fasnacht was able to find Moriah Frazee open under the basket on an in-bounds play with four seconds left to give Liberty a two-point lead at the break, 31-29, on an old fashion three-point play.
Liberty continued to extend its lead over the opening minutes of the second half as a jumper by Jamie Feagin pushed Liberty's lead to seven points, 42-35, at the 15:09 mark. High Point closed the gap by scoring seven-straight points, tying the game on a lay-up by Caitlin Thys with 10:54 mark.
However, that would be the last time that the Panthers would find the scoring column over the next seven minutes of play as a pair of free throws by Fasnacht gave Liberty a nine-point lead, 51-42, at the 4:21 mark to cap the 9-0 run.
Truslow was able to knock down a three-pointer 50 seconds later to get High Point within six points, but that would be as close as the Panthers were get down the stretch as Liberty converted on 9-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
The free throw line proved to be a telling stat on the evening as Liberty finished the game 26-of-38 from the charity stripe, while High Point was just 1-of-4 on the evening. Both teams struggled on the night from the field as Liberty shot just 31.5 percent from the field, while the Lady Flames held their 11th-straight opponent below 40 percent from the field as High Point shot just 33.3 percent from the floor.
Besides garnering the top spot in the league with the win, the Lady Flames' victory gave head coach Carey Green his 159th career victory, making him the winningest coach in Big South Conference history as he surpassed Radford's Luby Lichonczak who finished his career with 158 wins in 11 seasons.
Moriah Frazee led the Lady Flames with 19 points, which was aided by an 8-of-11 performance from the free throw line, while Fasnacht followed with 15 points. Piotrkiewicz nearly missed a double-double as he pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds, while adding nine points.
Raven came off the bench to pace the Panthers with 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds. Liberty held High Point's leading scorer Katie O'Dell well below her season average as the senior finished with nine points and added eight rebounds.
The Lady Flames begin a two-game road swing on Wednesday when they travel to Winthrop to face the Eagles for a 7 p.m. game, while High Point travels to Radford on the same day for a 7 p.m. contest in the Dedmon Center.