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Frazee Helps Liberty Hold Off Radford, 63-50
Liberty outrebounded the Highlanders 30-8 in the second half and limited the Big South's preseason favorite to 27.6 percent (16-for-58) shooting for the game. The Lady Flames, who have posted their second nine-game winning streak of the season, are 20-2 overall and 5-0 in conference action. Following the evening's match-up, Liberty is two games ahead of Radford atop the Big South standings.
Radford is now 16-8 overall and 3-2 in the Big South. The Highlanders lost for just the second time in 11 home games this year.
The home team scored on two of its first three possessions of the evening, taking a 4-0 lead out of the gate. Liberty did not claim the lead until 6:36 in, when Moriah Frazee completed an old-fashioned three-point play, putting the Lady Flames on top by a 7-6 margin.
Frazee's conversion came in the midst of a 9-0 Liberty surge. The Lady Flames kept the Highlanders off the scoreboard for six-and-a-half minutes, building an 11-6 edge midway through the opening half.
Radford trimmed its deficit to 14-13 at 7:40, when Taleia Moton's triple, the first of the game by either team, capped a 5-1 burst.
Liberty countered with a 10-2 surge. Allyson Fasnacht, playing nearby her hometown of Salem, Va., scored the last two buckets of the run. Her jumper 3:33 before the intermission lifted the Lady Flames' advantage to nine, 24-15.
Rachel McLeod's three-pointer from the corner at the 1:00 mark sent Liberty to halftime with a 10-point bulge, 27-17.
Liberty shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the field, as compared with a 19.4-percent effort (6-of-31) by Radford. Yet the Lady Flames were unable to pull away due to 13 opening-half turnovers. The Highlanders scored nearly half (8 of 17) of their points off Liberty miscues during the opening 20 minutes of action.
Radford also hauled in 10 offensive caroms, and the two teams collected 21 boards apiece before the intermission.
Moriah Frazee led all players with eight points and four blocks during the opening stanza. Fasnacht and Megan Frazee evenly split 12 markers, while Frazee also totaled six boards before being saddled with her second foul at 8:38.
Kelli Darden sparked Radford with six points, a matching number of rebounds and a pair of steals. She made half of her team's six field goals prior to the break.
Liberty tallied six of the second half's first eight points, increasing its lead to 33-19 on Fasnacht's one-handed floater in the lane, at the 16:41 mark.
The Lady Flames still owned a 14-point lead before the homestanding Highlanders put together their first extended surge of the contest. Radford used a pair of three-pointers to spark a 10-0 run. Moton's foul shot with 11:12 left in the half finished off the burst, paring her team's deficit to 35-31.
Liberty was able to gain some breathing room, thanks to a 10-0 spurt of its own. Megan Frazee continued her stellar second half with four points during the run, but it was McLeod's triple which lifted the Lady Flames to a 51-35 advantage at 4:35.
An 8-2 surge allowed Radford to cut an 18-point edge to 12 with 2:02 to play. A Moton free throw made the score 58-46 in favor of Liberty.
The Lady Flames then sealed its fifth-straight double-digit conference win by sinking five of their six charity tosses in the final 1:29. The victory evened the Liberty-Radford all-time head-to-head series at 23 apiece.
Liberty ended the game with a 51-29 rebounding edge and shot 81 percent from the free throw line (17-of-21). They also blocked seven shots, two more than Radford, who is ranked No. 8 nationally in the category.
Megan Frazee, who has recorded three double-doubles in four career meetings with Radford, notched 20 points and 12 rebounds after halftime. Frazee moved up to No. 5 on Liberty's career scoring list with 1,185 points and is No. 6 with 598 rebounds. She also made all nine of her free throw attempts.
Moriah Frazee and Fasnacht chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Frazee also blocked a career-best four shots. Molly Frazee tallied a career-high 11 boards and matched a career best with three blocks in her second start of the year.
A trio of Highlanders reached double figures, headed by Moton's 12 points. Darden added 11 points, seven caroms and four rejections. Pullen scored 10 and came away with three of her squad's 12 swipes.
Liberty will return to the Vines Center for a three-game homestand, which will commence Saturday against UNC Asheville. The contest, which will serve as Liberty's "Think Pink" promotion, is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip. The Liberty men's team will host UNC Asheville at 7 p.m., following the Lady Flames' tilt.