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Frazee Scores 1000th in UNC Defeat of Liberty
Liberty is now 11-2 on the season, with both setbacks coming on the road against ACC opponents. North Carolina improves to 13-1 after capturing its fourth-straight victory and its 67th-consecutive triumph in a home non-conference tilt.
Megan Frazee scored on the first Liberty possession of the afternoon, putting back her own missed shot. North Carolina then roared back with 11-unanswered points, utilizing its trademark full-court pressure defense. The Tar Heels went ahead by an 11-2 margin when Jessica Breland made both of her free throws at the 16:29 mark.
Consecutive field goals by Moriah Frazee and Megan Frazee in the next 49 seconds trimmed the Lady Flames' deficit to five points, 11-6.
North Carolina's advantage reached double digits for the first time, 21-10, after Rashanda McCants' jumper in the paint capped a 10-4 surge.
Megan Frazee's 999th and 1,000th career points came on Liberty's ensuing possession, when she banked in a shot from the right block with 9:23 showing on the first-half clock.
Frazee's milestone connection ignited an extended, 13-4 Liberty run. Megan Frazee's third field goal of the surge pulled her team to within two points, 25-23, 6:17 before the break.
Cetera DeGraffenreid's fast break layup off a Tar Heel steal at the 2:23 mark finished a 14-4 North Carolina surge. LaToya Pringle contributed five points to the run, which boosted coach Sylvia Hatchell's squad's edge to 39-27.
North Carolina took its largest lead of the opening half with only 28.6 seconds remaining, 45-31, after Rebecca Gray drained the Tar Heels' 16th and 17th points from the foul line. The score held up until the halftime buzzer.
Megan Frazee paced the Lady Flames with 12 points and nine rebounds during the opening half, despite sitting out the final five-and-a-half minutes with three fouls. Moriah Frazee added seven markers for Liberty.
Erlana Larkins and Pringle tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively, during the first 20 minutes of play to lead the Tar Heels.
Liberty shot a solid 41.9 percent (13-of-31) from the field in the first half, but committed 14 turnovers and were outrebounded by a 22-19 count.
North Carolina made its living from the charity stripe prior to the intermission, connecting on 17 of its 24 attempts. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames made just four of six free throws.
Pringle contributed six points to an 8-2, half-opening run by the Tar Heels. Her bucket from the paint at 16:27 increased North Carolina's lead to 20, 53-33.
Courtney Watkins made a three-pointer from the wing to close out a quick, 5-0 Liberty burst and cut the deficit to 53-38, with 15:52 left.
North Carolina's initial three-point connection of the contest, by Rebecca Gray, enabled the Tar Heels to reclaim a 20-point advantage with 13:44 on the clock, 60-40.
Liberty countered with eight-straight markers, six of them by Molly Frazee. Frazee's pair of foul shots at the 11:54 mark made the score 60-48, North Carolina.
The Lady Flames were still within 14, 71-57, after Megan Frazee made a reverse layup at 5:42. But those would be Frazee's last points, as the Liberty junior guard/forward fouled out 33 seconds later.
North Carolina took advantage of her absence, recording the game's next seven points to put the Tar Heel edge back at 21 points, 78-57, and essentially squelch any remaining Lady Flame comeback hopes with only 3:33 remaining.
After a DeGraffenreid steal and layup gave North Carolina a game-high 23-point edge (82-59), Liberty fashioned one last surge.
The Lady Flames notched the next eight points, trimming the Tar Heel lead to 15 points with 1:26 left in the contest on Rachel Hammond's 12-foot jumper.
North Carolina then went on to claim a 21-point victory, 88-67. The decision was a marked improvement from Liberty's first trip to Carmichael Auditorium, on Nov. 21, 2005. In that contest, the Lady Flames suffered an 87-36 loss, when most of the current players were freshmen and sophomores.
Megan Frazee finished with her second double-double in as many trips to Chapel Hill, pacing Liberty in both points (18) and rebounds (12). She now has 1,010 points and 514 rebounds in her career and is only the sixth Lady Flame to exceed 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. She is also the third-fastest Liberty player to reach 1,000 points, doing so in her 58th appearance in a Liberty uniform.
Her work on the glass helped Liberty win the rebounding battle, 42-39. It was the first time North Carolina has been outrebounded this season. Rebecca Lightfoot added six boards to Liberty's total.
The only other Lady Flame to reach double figures was Molly Frazee, who tossed in all 13 of her points after intermission. Senior point guard Allyson Fasnacht added a team-best five assists.
Pringle also finished with a double-double for the Tar Heels, totaling 25 points and 10 rebounds. She was 13-of-15 for the line, as she took four more foul shots than the entire Liberty team. For the game, North Carolina shot 70 percent (28-of-40) from the charity stripe.
Pringle was joined in double figures by Larkins (15 points), McCants (12 points) and Breland (11 points). McCants and Heather Claytor evenly divided 10 steals, and their pressure contributed to a season-high 35 turnovers by the Lady Flames. The Tar Heels converted those miscues into 40 points.
Liberty will return to the Vines Center Saturday at 7 p.m., for just its fifth home game of the season. The Lady Flames will host in-state rival Richmond (7-6) and seek its first win over the Spiders since head coach Carey Green's fourth game at Liberty, on Dec. 4, 1999.