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Lady Flames Shackle the Chanticleers, 71-44
Liberty's fifth-straight win and the Lady Flames' 28th-consecutive victory over the Chanticleers boosts Liberty's record to 16-2 overall. The Lady Flames are the only Big South team at 2-0 at this early juncture of the season, after outrebounding their host, 47-25.
Coastal Carolina, which won 11 of its 14 non-conference tilts to start the season, is now 0-2 to begin the Big South portion of its schedule. The Chanticleers, who shot just 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the field, are 11-5 on the year.
After Coastal Carolina got on the board first, on a Devin Rivers jumper, Liberty's halfcourt-trapping defense began to cause some problems for the Chanticleers. The Lady Flames forced a trio of turnovers during an ensuing 10-0 run, which put Liberty on top by a 10-2 margin at the 15:59 mark. Megan Frazee and Moriah Frazee combined for all of the visitors' points during the surge.
Consecutive three-pointers by Vicky Blanchard and Lacey Lyons quickly cut the Coastal Carolina deficit to 10-8, with 15:07 remaining in the half.
Liberty then increased the defensive pressure once again, limiting the homestanding Chanticleers to a single field goal over the next 12 minutes of action. The stinginess enabled the Lady Flames to put together a 20-2 surge, featuring eight Allyson Fasnacht points. Moriah Frazee's hoop at the 3:18 mark lifted Liberty to a 20-point advantage, 30-10.
Liberty took the same margin into the locker room, leading 34-14 after 20 minutes of play. The Lady Flames held their opponent below 20 points for the fifth time this season and scored 20 markers off 12 Coastal Carolina miscues.
Two other statistics helped tell the tale of the opening 20 minutes. Liberty pulled down more offensive rebounds (10) than the Chanticleers did as a team (9) and led the battle of the boards, 24-9. Additionally, Coastal Carolina shot just 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from the field.
Liberty head coach Carey Green, who won his 200th game Saturday at Charleston Southern, utilized a three-headed scoring machine during the first half. Megan Frazee, named Big South Conference Player of the Week earlier in the day, led the way with 11 points, nine boards and a trio of assists.
Moriah Frazee made five of her six field goal attempts as part of a 10-point opening stanza, while Fasnacht ended with eight points and four steals.
Blanchard scored five of Coastal Carolina's 14 markers before the break, pacing her team's offensive efforts.
The Lady Flames built upon their lead during the first 2:18 of the second half, tallying six-consecutive points. Moriah Frazee's layup made the score 40-14, Lady Flames.
Coastal Carolina's first field goal of the second half did not come until Joanna Pekonen's hoop, 6:34 into the stanza. By that time, Liberty's edge had ballooned to 32, 50-18.
C.J. Ware closed out a 7-2 burst by the Chanticleers with a basket at 12:01, pulling her team to within 52-25.
Liberty scored the next seven points, recapturing the momentum. Coastal Carolina got no closer than 29 until the final two minutes of play, when a pair of late triples shaved the Lady Flames' final margin of victory to 27 markers, 71-44.
In addition to limiting Coastal Carolina's field goal efficiency, the Lady Flames totaled a season-best 12 steals and scored 33 points off Chanticleer turnovers.
Fasnacht finished as the Lady Flames' chief thief, totaling a career-best five steals to complement eight points and three assists.
Megan Frazee paced all players in points (17), rebounds (13) and assists (4) and added a career-high three rejections. The double-double was the junior's eighth of the season and the 30th of her career.
Fellow starters Moriah Frazee and Courtney Watkins joined Frazee in double digits. Frazee went 7-of-8 from the field, contributing to Liberty's 48.1 percent (25-of-52) field goal shooting. She finished with 15 points and hauled in five boards. All of Watkins' 11 points came during the final 20 minutes, as she posted her fourth-straight double digit scoring performance.
Blanchard led Coastal Carolina with seven points, while Sydnei Moss chipped in with six points and a team-high six boards. Lyons, ranked fifth nationally with 44 three-pointers, was held to a solo triple and five points.
Liberty, which has only played six home games so far this season, will play six of its next seven contests at the Vines Center. The stretch will begin Saturday at 2 p.m., when the Lady Flames host future Big South Conference member Presbyterian (1-20) for the first time in program history. The game will tip off a day/night basketball doubleheader, which will conclude with a Liberty-High Point Big South men's hoops matchup at 9 p.m.