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Frazee's 28 Leads Liberty Past Xavier for National City Xavier Invitational Crown
Liberty, which captured its first in-season tournament title since claiming the Commerce Bank Wildcat Tournament crown in Kansas State in 2004, is now 5-1 to start the season, after playing its first six games away from the Vines Center. The Lady Flames shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the floor and made all nine of their free throws in the second half to halt Xavier's 13-game home winning streak.
Xavier saw its four-game winning skein come to an end. The Musketeers, who received votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls last week, are now 4-2.
A pair of Amber Harris three-pointers helped the homestanding Musketeers take an 8-2 lead to start the game. It took just over a minute for Liberty to respond with seven-straight markers. A Molly Frazee three-pointer from the wing put the Lady Flames in front, 9-8, at the 13:06 mark.
Xavier countered with an extended 17-3 burst, featuring three triples. Jerri Taylor provided two of her team's long-distance connections and eight total points during the run. Ta'Shia Phillips made a pair of free throws, 4:51 before halftime, to bump Xavier's advantage to 25-12.
Liberty was able to cut into the Musketeers' lead with an ensuing 9-2 surge. Megan Frazee recorded the last five points of the run, including a long three-pointer which trimmed the deficit to 27-21 at 1:27.
Taylor's three-pointer, Xavier's sixth of the opening half, made the score 30-21 in favor of the Musketeers at the break. Taylor led all scorers with 11 first-half points. Megan and Molly Frazee totaled seven markers each for Liberty.
The Lady Flames were within nine points at the intermission despite shooting just 25 percent (6-of-24) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the charity stripe.
Each team collected 20 rebounds apiece during the opening 20 minutes of play. Megan Frazee led Liberty with five caroms, while Phillips collected seven boards for the Musketeers.
Xavier's Amber Harris scored the first hoop of the second half, boosting the Musketeer lead to 11, but Liberty came back to tally nine of the next 12 markers. Moriah Frazee's three-pointer had the Lady Flames within five points, 35-30, with 14:33 left on the clock.
The Musketeers rebuilt a nine-point edge, 39-30, on Taylor's mid-range jumper. Liberty then came back with an 11-3 surge. Megan Frazee's old-fashioned three-point play at the 9:06 mark cut her team's deficit to one, 42-41.
Liberty also got to within a single point at 46-45 and 48-47, before finally breaking through to take its first lead since 9-8 with exactly 5:00 remaining. Megan Frazee put the Lady Flames ahead, 49-48, with two foul shots.
Frazee's free throws were part of a 10-0 Liberty spurt. Megan Frazee tallied the final eight points of the run, including a driving layup with 2:27 left, which increased the Lady Flame lead to 55-48.
Harris stopped the Liberty run with a triple on Xavier's next possession. The Musketeers got within three, 59-56, on a Harris steal and Maureen Hester layup with 8.8 seconds left. However, Allyson Fasnacht closed out the Lady Flames' 61-56 triumph with two of her four clutch charity tosses in the final 22 seconds.
Liberty outrebounded Xavier, 16-10, in the second half, and held the Musketeers to one offensive board in the stanza. The Lady Flames also forced eight Xavier turnovers, which they converted into 11 points. The host team struggled from the free throw line, sinking just five of 13 attempts for the game.
Megan Frazee's 28 points were a season high, and she completed her fourth double-double of the year with a team-high 10 boards. Sister Moriah Frazee, who joined her on the all-tournament team, added nine points and five rebounds. Lady Flame freshman Rachel McLeod led the Lady Flames in both assists (3) and steals (3).
Harris led Xavier with 20 points, four boards and six blocked shots. All-tournament team member Phillips contributed seven points and 10 caroms, while Taylor added 18 markers.
Liberty will return to the Vines Center Friday at 7 p.m., to play its 2007-08 home opener versus Virginia Union (0-2). The game will open a stretch of four-consecutive home tilts for the Lady Flames. Liberty has been victorious in each of its last six home openers.
National City Xavier Invitational Champion: Liberty (3-0)
Megan Frazee, Liberty (MVP)
Moriah Frazee, Liberty
Ta'Shia Phillips, Xavier
Courtney Taylor, Houston
Ne'Aisha Anderson, McNeese State