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Fast Start Propels Liberty Past Presbyterian

January 26, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Rebecca Lightfoot totaled 12 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists during Liberty's victory on Saturday.

Rebecca Lightfoot totaled 12 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists during Liberty's victory on Saturday.

The Liberty defense held visiting Presbyterian without a field goal for the first 12 minutes of Saturday afternoon's contest at the Vines Center, running out to a 29-2 lead. The Lady Flames went on to claim an 88-41 win in their first-ever meeting with the Lady Blue Hose.

The Lady Flames remain unbeaten in their first seven home games of the 2007-08 season and boost their season ledger to 17-2. Their sixth-straight victory featured 58.6 percent field goal shooting and 48 points in the paint. Meanwhile, Presbyterian, in the first year of transition from NCAA Division II to Division I, is 1-21. The Lady Blue Hose are future Big South members.

Megan and Moriah Frazee combined to score the afternoon's first eight points for the Lady Flames, giving the home team a lead it never relinquished. Presbyterian got on the board at the 17:18 mark of the opening half, on a pair of charity tosses by Amy Jones.

The Lady Blue Hose did not score again for more than nine minutes, allowing Liberty to reel off a 21-0 run. Rebecca Lightfoot contributed six points to the Lady Flames' surge, and Rachel Hammond lifted Liberty's lead to 29-2 with a jumper at 8:37.

Katlin Moore's three-pointer snapped Presbyterian's field goal drought and initiated a 9-1 burst for the blue-clad visitors. Sharie Hopkins' third layup of the surge, coming with 5:42 on the first-half clock, trimmed her team's deficit to 30-11.

Presbyterian only scored two more points the remainder of the stanza, though, and Liberty took a 38-13 edge into the intermission. The Lady Blue Hose were the second-straight opponent the Lady Flames have held under 20 points in the opening 20 minutes. Liberty limited Coastal Carolina to 14 first-half markers on Monday.

Moriah Frazee nearly matched the Presbyterian first-half output by herself, tallying 11 opening-half markers. The Lady Blue Hose struggled to connect from the field, finishing the first half at 13.8 percent (4-of-29) on field goals.

Liberty got to the free throw line with regularity during the opening half, making 14-of-21 tries for 66.7 percent. The Lady Flames also recorded a 26-19 rebounding advantage.

Head coach Carey Green's squad opened the second half with an 8-2 burst, bumping its lead over 30 points for the first time at the 17:22 mark, when Lightfoot drained a layup to make it 46-15.

Presbyterian found its shooting touch after the break, sinking 50 percent (11-of-22) of its field goal attempts. However, the Lady Blue Hose never got closer than 29 the rest of the way.

Liberty was able to build its lead by shooting 71 percent (22-of-31) from the floor during the second half, a figure aided by 28 points in the paint. For the game, the Lady Flames ended up at 58.6 percent (34-of-58), going over 50 percent for the fourth time in seven home games this season. For the year, Liberty is making 52.4 percent of its field goals at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames also came up with a season-best 14 steals, converting Presbyterian miscues into 25 points. Liberty won the rebounding battle, 39-28, as a trio of Lady Flames hauled in five or more boards.

All 11 Lady Flames who dressed got into the scoring column, paced by Moriah Frazee's 15 points. Sisters Megan Frazee (13 points) and Molly Frazee (12 points) joined her in double figures, marking the third time this season all three Frazee triplets have scored 10 or more points in the same contest.

Lightfoot filled the stat sheet, racking up 12 points, a game-high six boards, a career-high five steals and three assists. Courtney Watkins' streak of double-digit scoring efforts was halted at four, but she matched a career-high with six assists. Her distribution marked a quarter of Liberty's 24 assists.

Liberty's freshmen also got into the act, as Kittery Maine went 4-for-4 for a career-high eight points and Rachel McLeod notched eight points, five assists and a trio of steals.

Presbyterian got solid production from its backcourt, headed by Jones' game-high 16 points and four helpers. Moore added 10 points and three boards.

Liberty will play the middle contest of a three-game homestand Tuesday at 7 p.m., when High Point visits the Vines Center. The game will mark the Lady Flames' Big South Conference home opener.

Presbyterian will now play its 18th road game of the season, traveling to Elon for a Wednesday matchup with the Phoenix. Tip-off is set for 11:45 a.m.