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Liberty Opens 2007-08 Season with 62-44 Victory at UNC Greensboro

November 13, 2007
|  Greensboro, N.C.
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Molly Frazee sparked Liberty to victory in its season opener with a career-best 17 points.

Molly Frazee sparked Liberty to victory in its season opener with a career-best 17 points.

Liberty opened the second half with a 13-0 run, breaking open a tight, season-opening contest at UNC Greensboro. The Lady Flames went on to claim a 62-44 win at Fleming Gym, Tuesday evening, opening its season with a road win for the first time since the 1979-80 campaign.

Molly Frazee's (Jr., G/F Xenia, Ohio) career-best 17 points helped Liberty open its 2007-08 season at 1-0. Meanwhile, Liberty utilized two staples of Carey Green-coached teams, defense and rebounding, to drop UNC Greensboro to 0-2. The Lady Flames forced 19 turnovers, limited the Spartans to 32.6 percent from the field and owned a 42-25 edge on the glass.

Both teams struggled at the offensive end to start the game. Liberty took 4:15 to score its first two points of the 2007-08 season, which came on a second-chance basket by Megan Frazee (Jr., G/F Xenia, Ohio). Her hoop temporarily knotted the score at 2-2.

UNC Greensboro responded with a 7-0 run, taking a 9-2 advantage on a pair of Agne Girstautaite free throws at the 12:53 mark. Liberty head coach Carey Green then made his first substitutions of the evening, and his bench made an immediate impact.

Molly Frazee drained a three-pointer from the top of the key on her first possession of the game, and fellow reserve Rachel Hammond (Jr., G, Clearwater, Fla.) followed immediately with a steal and layup. A running bank shot by Hammond capped the quick, 7-0 Lady Flame surge and evened the score at nine apiece, 11:12 before the break.

Liberty's first lead came at 14-13, when freshman Rachel McLeod (G, Houston, Texas) found Molly Frazee ahead of the pack for a fast break lay-up.

The Lady Flames held UNCG scoreless for nearly six minutes late in the half. Liberty didn't exactly burn up the nets in the meantime, but the Lady Flames were able to open up their largest advantage of the opening 20 minutes, 23-17, on Hammond's third field goal of the half.

Spartan center Meghan Chamberlain tossed in the stanza's final four points, trimming her team's deficit to 23-21 with a pair of free throws at the 9.9-second mark.

Molly Frazee and Hammond paced Liberty offensively during the first half with seven and six points, respectively. Rebecca Lightfoot's (Jr., G/F, Duluth, Ga.) six first-half rebounds helped the visitors claim a 19-14 edge on the boards during the first 20 minutes. Liberty was plagued by 16 turnovers during the opening half, though.

Seven different Spartans got their names in the scorebook during the opening half, led by Chamberlain, Brittany Frazier and Lakiah Hyson, who recorded four markers each.

The two squads combined to make just 5-of-12 opening-half charity tosses, as the Lady Flames sank just one-of-three attempts and UNCG went four-for-nine from the line.

Megan Frazee, limited to two points before the intermission, emerged from the locker room aggressive on the offensive end. She initiated a 13-0 half-opening run by the Lady Flames with a pair of layups. Lightfoot's 10-foot baseline jumper with 14:30 left put Liberty on top by a 36-21 count.

The homestanding Spartans did not tally their first points of the second half until Ashley Mullins connected from long distance at 14:14. The sophomore's trifecta started a 9-2 UNCG surge. Kemena Brooks' foul shot capped the burst, narrowing her team's deficit to 38-30.

That's as close as the Spartans would get, however. Molly Frazee poured in eight-straight points to highlight an ensuing 12-0 Liberty run. The Lady Flames' Frazee triplets scored all 12 markers during the surge, which gave Liberty a 20-point lead, 50-30, with 7:05 remaining.

From that point on, the Lady Flames cruised to their fourth-consecutive victory in a season opener and defeated the Spartans for the first time since March 1, 1997, a game which gave Liberty its first Big South title. Freshmen Kittery Maine (F, Bonaire, Ga.) and Heather Smith (G, Mahtomedi, Minn.) both posted their first collegiate points during the waning moments of Liberty's 62-44 decision.

Megan Frazee joined her sister in double figures, tossing in a dozen of her 14 points during the final 20 minutes, while also grabbing nine caroms. Lightfoot matched Frazee's rebounding total with nine boards of her own, setting a new career high in the category. Lightfoot and senior Courtney Watkins (G, Bristol, Tenn.) evenly divided 14 points, and classmate Allyson Fasnacht (G, Salem, Va.) matched a career best with four of Liberty's seven steals.

UNC Greensboro's lone double-digit scorer was Gini Grimsley, who recorded eight of her 10 tallies after the intermission. Chamberlain paced the home team with four rebounds. The Spartans have now totaled only 73 points in their first two games of the year.

Liberty will return to Greensboro Friday evening for a contest at North Carolina A&T (1-0). Tip-off at the Corbett Sports Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, UNC Greensboro will play its second ACC foe in eight days when the Spartans travel to No. 9 Duke, Sunday at 2 p.m.