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Lady Flames and No. 4 UNC to Tangle on Sunday
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Game Day Central
The Liberty Lady Flames (11-1, 0-0 Big South) will face a considerable challenge while attempting to win their 10th-straight game, when Liberty plays at No. 4/4 North Carolina (12-1, 0-0 ACC) for the second time in the last three seasons. Individually, Megan Frazee stands only eight points away from becoming the 11th 1,000-point scorer in Liberty history.
The Last Time Out
Liberty senior point guard Allyson Fasnacht capped off a 19-point, seven-assist outing by hitting all six of her free throw attempts during the final 32 seconds of the Lady Flames' 70-68 victory at UNLV on Dec. 21. Fasnacht's clutch play enabled Liberty to win the inaugural Lady Rebel Christmas Classic. Megan Frazee added 14 points, nine boards and four assists, garnering tournament MVP honors. Moriah Frazee, who posted 14 points and eight rebounds, was also named to the all-tournament team.
Scouting North Carolina
North Carolina, hailing from Chapel Hill, N.C., is coming off a 34-4 season, during which the Tar Heels claimed their third-consecutive ACC Tournament championship and made their second-straight Final Four appearance.
Three starters are back in the fold for North Carolina this season, headlined by 6-1 senior forward Erlana Larkins, a third-team All-American last year. Larkins, averaging 11.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg, is one of four Tar Heels averaging double figures in the scoring column. Rashanda McCants, a 6-1 junior guard/forward, paces the nation's highest-scoring team (91.9 ppg) with 16.8 ppg.
The Tar Heels are ranked fourth in the AP Top 25 Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. North Carolina's only loss was an 83-79 setback at then-No. 1 Tennessee on Dec. 2. The Tar Heels have won their last three games, by an average of 39 ppg, including a 82-58 decision at Big South foe Coastal Carolina on Dec. 17.
The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 196-65 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.751) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season.
Sylvia Hatchell is 491-193 in her 22nd season at North Carolina and coached the Tar Heels to the 1994 national championship. She owns a career coaching record of 763-273 in 33 total seasons, which includes 11 years at Francis Marion. The third-winningest active coach in the nation, Hatchell was named national coach of the year in 1994 and 2006.
Liberty vs. North Carolina All-Time Series
North Carolina leads series, 1-0
11/21/05 A L 36-87
North Carolina used a 30-5 first-half run to break the game open and cruised to an 87-36 win over visiting Liberty on Nov. 21, 2005. Ivory Latta led all players with 20 points and six assists and also came up with three of the Tar Heels' 20 steals. Erlana Larkins added 15 points and seven boards for the victors, while LaToya Pringle chipped in with 14 points and four blocked shots.
Megan Frazee posted 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in her second career game in a Liberty uniform. Allyson Fasnacht tallied five points for the Lady Flames, while Rebecca Lightfoot collected five rebounds.
Liberty Versus the ACC
The Lady Flames are 3-29 all-time against the current membership of the ACC, with two wins against Virginia and one victory over Wake Forest to their credit. Last season, Liberty was 1-1 against ACC foes, as the Lady Flames claimed a 75-71 win at Virginia on Nov. 20, 2006 and lost by a 55-52 count to Virginia Tech on Dec. 5, 2006.
Liberty suffered its lone setback of the 2007-08 season against ACC member Virginia Tech, 73-68 on Nov. 19, at Cassell Coliseum.
Liberty Versus Top 25 Teams
Liberty has four wins over Top 25 teams to its credit, all of which have come during Carey Green's tenure. The Lady Flames' first upset of a Top 25 squad was a 77-69 overtime triumph over No. 25 Virginia at the Vines Center on Nov. 26, 2002.
Liberty's other three victories over Top 25 opposition came during the "Sweet 16" season of 2004-05. The Lady Flames defeated No. 17 Kansas State on the road, 77-56 on Dec. 4, 2004. Liberty then took down No. 25 Penn State (78-70; March 20, 2005) and No. 19 DePaul (88-79; March 22, 2005) in its first two NCAA Tournament tilts, in College Park, Md.
Win No. 200 is on the Horizon
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is closing in on a milestone. He has compiled 196 victories during his first eight-plus seasons with the Lady Flames, leaving him just four wins shy of 200. Green would become the first women's basketball coach in Liberty and Big South Conference history to reach the milestone.
If the Lady Flames win their next four games, Green will capture victory No. 200 at home, versus George Mason (Jan. 15). If not, Green's next opportunities will come at Charleston Southern (Jan. 19) and at his alma mater, Coastal Carolina (Jan. 21).
Receiving Some Recognition
After handing James Madison its first loss of the season and defeating Binghamton to push its winning streak to six games, Liberty received its first Top 25 vote of the season. The Lady Flames earned a single vote in the Dec. 10 AP Top 25 Poll, increased the total to four votes in the Dec. 17 AP Top 25 Poll and notched eight votes on Dec. 24.
In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, Liberty garnered its first vote on Dec. 18 and bumped its total to four votes on Dec. 26.
Triple the Trouble
Liberty sports the only set of triplets currently playing for the same NCAA Division I women's basketball team--juniors Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee. Through 12 games, the Frazees are averaging 37.5 points and 18.8 rebounds per outing, good for 51.1 percent of the Lady Flames' scoring output and 44.6 percent of the team's boards. Collectively, the Frazee triplets have totaled 2,029 career points and 1,089 career rebounds.
Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee started together for the first time this season, Dec. 8 versus Binghamton, helping the Lady Flames defeat the Bearcats. The triplets were a part of the same starting lineup on eight occasions during the 2006-07 season.
One of the Frazees led Liberty in scoring in each of this season's first 11 games, before Allyson Fasnacht broke the string with a team-high 19 markers at UNLV, Dec. 21.
Tracking a Pair of Milestones
Through 57 career games, Megan Frazee has tossed in 992 points, for an average of 17.4 points per game, leaving her eight points shy of becoming Liberty's 11th 1,000-point scorer. Frazee would be the third-fastest Lady Flame to reach 1,000 points. Elena Kisseleva took 47 games to score her 1,000th point and Brenda Gunsallus got there in game No. 50.
Frazee hauled in her 500th career rebound at UNLV on Dec. 21 and now has 502 boards for her career. She would become only the sixth Lady Flame to post 1,000 points and 500 caroms.
Long Distance Connection
The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in a school-record 83-straight games, a streak which began on Feb. 26, 2005. Liberty set the mark at UNLV on Dec. 21. The Lady Flames previously went 82-consecutive games with a three-pointer between Jan. 24, 1998 and Dec. 20, 2000.
Lady Flames On a Hot Streak
Liberty has won nine games in a row, which ties the Lady Flames for the fifth-longest current winning streak in the nation. The streak is Liberty's lengthiest since a 14-game winning skein from Jan. 28 to March 11, 2006.
The Lady Flames' 11-1 start is their best since the 1997-98 squad won its first 28 games of the year. Additionally, Liberty has won 11 games by the end of December for the first time in program history. In 1997-98, the Lady Flames were 10-0 when the calendar flipped from December to January.
Liberty claimed its second tournament championship of the season with a 70-68 victory over host UNLV in the title tilt of the inaugural Lady Rebel Christmas Classic on Dec. 21. Megan Frazee was voted tournament MVP and sister Moriah Frazee joined her on the all-tournament team.
The Lady Flames previously won the championship trophy at the Nov. 23-25 National City Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio. Liberty won all three of its games at the Cintas Center, defeating McNeese State, Houston and Xavier to become only the second visiting team ever to come away with first place in the tournament. Megan Frazee garnered tournament MVP honors after spearheading Liberty's second-half comeback against Xavier and Moriah Frazee made the all-tournament team.
It is believed to be the first time in Liberty history the Lady Flames have won a pair of in-season tournaments during a single campaign.