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Green Wins No. 200 in Big South Opener
Liberty shot 53.4 percent (31-of-58) from the field in its fourth-consecutive win overall and its 21st-straight triumph over the Lady Buccaneers. The Lady Flames are now 15-2 on the season and 1-0 in Big South play. Charleston Southern saw its two-game winning streak halted, dropping to 5-13 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Megan Frazee scored the first five points of the game, staking the visitors to a 5-0 lead on her three-point play, just 1:39 into the contest.
Consecutive three-pointers by Courtney Watkins, the second of which came at 14:23, bumped Liberty's advantage to eight points, 11-3.
The Lady Buccaneers quickly sliced their deficit in half with four-straight markers. Cindee Wright's hoop in transition made the score 11-7, Liberty with 13:43 showing on the first-half clock.
Those would be the home team's last points for more than five-and-a-half minutes, however. Liberty fashioned a 12-0 surge in the meantime, sparked by four Rebecca Lightfoot tallies. Watkins closed out the run with a deep jumper from the corner, putting Liberty on top by a 23-7 count at the 8:37 mark.
Megan Frazee increased the Lady Flames' edge to 18, 29-11, with a pair of free throws at 5:08. The Ohio native's charity tosses moved her past Brenda Gunsallus and into ninth place on Liberty's career scoring list, with 1,079 points.
The charity tosses also started a string of nine-consecutive Liberty points scored by Megan Frazee. Included in the run was her second three-point play of the half, which came at 2:53 and enabled the Lady Flames to take their largest lead of the stanza, 34-13.
The homestanding Lady Buccaneers responded, notching 12 of the half's final 16 points. Freshman Crystal Robinson keyed the run with six-straight CSU markers. By halftime, the Liberty advantage had been trimmed to 38-25.
Megan Frazee led all players in both points (16) and rebounds (7) during the first half and also corralled three of the Lady Flames' five steals. Her boards contributed to Liberty's 21-15 rebounding edge in the half.
Watkins added eight tallies for the visitors, helping Liberty shoot an even 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field before the break.
Charleston Southern, by contrast, shot just 33.3 percent (10-of-30), but stayed within striking distance due to the efforts of its bench. Coach Julie Goodenough's four reserves who saw action contributed 19 of the squad's 25 first-half points, led by Robinson's 10 points and three caroms.
Liberty roared out of the gate to start the second half, sinking its first four shots as part of a half-opening 9-2 surge. Allyson Fasnacht's left-handed, fast break layup capped the run, bolstering the Lady Flames' lead to 20 points once again, 47-27.
A 19-3 Liberty spurt, featuring 11 points from sister tandem Megan and Molly Frazee, allowed the Lady Flames to double up CSU's score, 68-34. Kittery Maine drained a layup with 9:25 left in the contest, closing out the extended surge.
From that point on, Liberty cruised to its fourth-straight victory to open the calendar year 2008, an 82-53 triumph. Green became the first Big South women's basketball coach to reach 200 wins, and he is 200-66 in his ninth season with the Lady Flames.
The Lady Flames shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) after intermission and got 26 bench points. Liberty also outrebounded its host, 17-12, boosting its rebounding edge to 38-28 for the game.
Megan Frazee led the Lady Flames in the scoring column for the fifth-consecutive time and went over the 20-point plateau for the third time in her last four outings.
Watkins and Molly Frazee tallied 12 points apiece, with 10 of Frazee's markers coming in the final 20 minutes. For Watkins, it was her third-consecutive double-digit scoring effort, and Frazee collected six caroms.
Rachel Hammond added 11 points, three assists and a pair of steals off the Liberty bench, part of a 34-point evening by the Lady Flame reserves.
A pair of CSU players went into double digits, as Robinson scored a team-best 16 points and grabbed five boards and Pam Tolbert chipped in with a dozen markers.
Liberty will complete the "Beach Trip" Monday, when the Lady Flames visit Coastal Carolina (11-4, 0-1 Big South). The Big South contest at Kimbel Arena will tip off at 7 p.m. The Lady Flames have won 27-straight meetings with the Chanticleers.