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Liberty Defeats George Mason, Now 6-0 at Home

January 15, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Moriah Frazee contributed 17 points, six rebounds and three steals to Liberty's sixth-consecutive home victory.

Moriah Frazee contributed 17 points, six rebounds and three steals to Liberty's sixth-consecutive home victory.

An 11-2 surge early in the second half helped the Liberty women's basketball team break open a close game against George Mason, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames went on to claim a 69-54 victory over the Patriots, in Liberty's final contest before the start of Big South Conference play.

Liberty junior Megan Frazee paced all players in both points (18) and rebounds (7), enabling the Lady Flames to improve to 6-0 at home this season. Liberty, receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls, is 14-2 overall.

George Mason, which dropped its second-straight contest during a stretch of four games in eight days, falls to 7-7. The Patriots have now lost two-straight decisions to Liberty after winning the teams' first 11 head-to-head contests in the all-time series.

George Mason's Brittany Poindexter opened the scoring with a 15-foot jumper, just 10 seconds after the opening tip. Liberty answered with eight of the next 10 markers, claiming an 8-4 advantage on Megan Frazee's connection from the paint at 16:40. The hoop enabled Frazee to pass 1993 alum Cynthia Thomson for 10th place on the Lady Flames' all-time scoring list.

Liberty's edge reached five before the visiting Patriots fashioned an 11-2 surge. C'Vette Henson, who had scored only nine points all season, accounted for George Mason's first nine points of the run. Fellow reserve Eugenia Broadus closed out the stretch with two free throws, 8:36 before halftime. Her connections from the line left the Patriots in front, 18-14.

The Lady Flames went back on top after a 7-1 burst. Molly Frazee's driving layup at the 5:56 mark gave Liberty a 23-21 edge. The Lady Flame lead was short-lived, though, as four-consecutive Patriot tallies lifted the visitors to a 25-23 lead, just 1:18 later.

The two squads continued to exchange the lead over the next several minutes, trading the advantage five times over the remainder of the stanza. Liberty closed out the half with an 8-0 surge over the final 2:05. Megan Frazee sent the Lady Flames into the break on top, 36-31, after sinking a three-pointer from the corner as the halftime buzzer sounded.

Megan and Moriah Frazee scored 11 points apiece during the opening 20 minutes of play. Most of the latter's damage was done from the charity stripe, as the junior drilled 9-of-12 free throws in the first half. She also hauled in five boards, leading all players and enabling the homestanding Lady Flames to own a 20-15 edge on the glass.

Henson finished the opening half with 10 points in her 10 minutes of action off coach Debbie Taneyhill's bench, part of a 20-point half by the Patriot reserve players. Freshman Brittany Eley, making her first career start, added five markers for the Patriots.

All in all, the score was tied nine times and the lead changed hands on nine occasions during the first 20 minutes of action.

Liberty took its first double-digit lead of the contest at 14:32 of the second half, when Courtney Watkins' trifecta put Liberty ahead by a 47-36 count. The long-distance connection finished a string of seven-consecutive Lady Flame markers for the senior shooting guard. Her hot streak ignited an 11-2 Liberty run, which concluded with Liberty holding a 51-36 edge.

Shortly thereafter, the Patriots put together a 7-0 surge, the final five points of which were provided by Eley, shaving their deficit to 10. Eley's triple with 9:04 on the second-half clock narrowed the gap to 56-46.

Liberty quickly increased its lead back to 14, 62-48, by notching six of the next eight markers. Moriah Frazee's lay-in with 6:09 remaining capped the Lady Flames' quick burst, and George Mason got no closer than 12 the rest of the evening.

The Lady Flames boosted their edge to as large as 16 before closing out a 69-54 triumph in George Mason's first visit to the Vines Center since Jan. 18, 1991.

Liberty outscored the Patriots in the second half, 33-23, after shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the field during the session. The Lady Flames also closed out the game with a 37-25 rebounding advantage and totaled 34 points in the paint.

Megan Frazee complemented her point and rebound totals with a team-high four assists and a trio of steals. Moriah Frazee chipped in with 17 points and six boards, while matching a career high with three steals. She also set career highs for both free throws made (9) and attempted (14).

Watkins joined the Frazee sisters in double figures for the second-straight game, notching 10 points and sinking a pair of triples.

Eley ended up with a career-high 15 points for the Patriots, who canned 38 percent (19-of-50) of their field goal tries. Henson added 10 markers. Lateisha Wade, George Mason's leading scorer entering the contest, was limited to four points.

For the second-consecutive season, the Lady Flames will open their Big South Conference schedule with the South Carolina "Beach Trip." Liberty will begin the two-game road swing with a Saturday visit to Charleston Southern. Tip-off at CSU Field House is set for 5:30 p.m.