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Lady Flames Hold Off Glenville State, 66-54
Liberty moves to 9-1 on the season after outrebounding its outsized opponent, 42-31, and scoring 36 points in the paint. Meanwhile, NCAA Division II Glenville State falls to 3-4 with its fourth-straight loss, despite placing three players in double figures.
The Pioneers, making their first-ever visit to the Vines Center, got off to a fast start, utilizing the three-point shot. The visitors sank triples on each of their first two possessions, tallying the first six points of the contest. The Glenville State advantage stood at 9-4 after another long-distance connection, by Christine DiSabato at the 18:04 mark.
Liberty responded with a 15-2 surge over the next 8:18 of action. Moriah Frazee provided six points during the burst, including a layup at 9:46, which put the Lady Flames on top by a 19-11 margin.
A 5-0 Glenville State burst, capped off by another DiSabato three-pointer, trimmed the Pioneers' deficit to 19-16, 7:51 before the intermission.
Courtney Watkins answered with Liberty's lone triple of the afternoon on her team's ensuing possession, initiating an 11-2 run. Watkins' two free throws at the 4:33 mark boosted the Lady Flames' advantage to 30-18.
Glenville State continued to battle and sliced the Liberty edge over the next three minutes. Karina Kendrick nailed a jumper off a DiSabato steal to pull her team to within six, 34-28, with 1:45 on the clock.
Liberty took a 36-29 lead into halftime, despite shooting just 40 percent (14-of-35) from the field during the first 20 minutes. The Lady Flames were aided by a 25-16 rebounding edge in the first half.
Megan Frazee led all players with 11 points during the opening half. Moriah Frazee added eight markers, while Watkins filled up the stat sheet, posting seven points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals before the break.
DiSabato paced Glenville State with eight points, three assists and a pair of steals during the opening half. Donita Adams chipped in with seven tallies.
Pioneer post player Kristen Golden made the first basket of the second half, bringing her team within five, 36-31.
Liberty held Glenville State scoreless for more than five minutes after Golden's hoop, fashioning a 14-0 run in the meantime. Megan and Moriah Frazee combined for the first eight points of the burst, while Rebecca Lightfoot completed the extended surge with a layup at 15:41.
Another connection by Golden finished a 5-0 burst by the visitors, shaving the Glenville State disadvantage to 50-36 with 12:55 left.
The Lady Flames then all but sealed the victory with a 12-4 run, featuring five points apiece by Rachel Hammond and Rachel McLeod. Hammond's jumper at the 7:09 mark lifted Liberty to its largest lead, 62-40.
Glenville State gradually chipped away at its deficit during the remaining minutes, but fell 12 points short in their first meeting with Liberty, 66-54.
Megan Frazee finished with a game-high 17 points for the Lady Flames, leaving her 39 short of 1,000. She made all five of her charity tosses on the afternoon and has now drained her last 11 attempts from the foul line. Frazee helped Liberty shoot 83.3 percent (15-of-18) on free throws in the contest.
Moriah Frazee also reached double figures, totaling 12 points and hauling in a game-high eight boards, despite being limited to 20 minutes of playing time by foul trouble.
Watkins added nine points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. The senior guard led the Lady Flames in the latter two categories and equaled her career high in steals. Watkins' defensive efforts were part of a season-high 11-steal performance for the Lady Flames.
McLeod contributed nine points off head coach Carey Green's bench, assisting in Liberty's 20-3 advantage in bench points.
Adams and Kendrick notched 13 points apiece for Glenville State. Adams came up with a quartet of steals, while Kendrick, the Pioneers' lone senior, finished with six caroms and three blocked shots.
Golden tossed in all 11 of her points after halftime, and DiSabato ended with nine points, six rebounds, a game-high six assists and two steals. Glenville State's leading scorer for the season, Mallory Menendez, was held to five points on 2-of-12 shooting against the Lady Flames.
Liberty will play its next three games away from the Vines Center, beginning with a pair of contests at UNLV's Lady Rebel Christmas Classic. The Lady Flames will match up with Ball State (3-7) of the Mid-American Conference in the tournament's lid-lifter, Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern at Cox Pavilion. Liberty will face Ball State for the first time in program history.