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Lady Flames' Winning Streak Reaches 10

February 9, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Allyson Fasnacht scored 10 points on Saturday against UNC Asheville, helping Liberty win its 10th-straight contest.

Allyson Fasnacht scored 10 points on Saturday against UNC Asheville, helping Liberty win its 10th-straight contest.

A pair of streaks reached 10 Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center, where the Liberty women's basketball team defeated Big South rival UNC Asheville, 69-55. The Lady Flames are now 10-0 at home this season and have won 10-consecutive contests overall, after leading the contest from start to finish.

Liberty, which put three players in double figures and outrebounded the Bulldogs by 16 caroms, is 21-2 overall and 6-0 in conference action. The Bulldogs drop to 10-13 and 1-5 in loop play. UNC Asheville has lost four games in a row, all to conference foes.

Liberty ran out to an 8-0 lead to start the game against the depleted Bulldogs, who dressed only seven players. Five UNC Asheville turnovers in the first two-and-a-half minutes of play turned into six Liberty points, and Megan Frazee's free throw at 17:38 closed out the game-opening surge.

Freshman Chioma Okoli came off UNC Asheville head coach Betsy Blose's bench and made an immediate impact. She drained two three-pointers during an 8-2 Asheville burst, the second of which narrowed the gap to 13-10 at the 14:51 mark.

Liberty answered with nine-consecutive markers, building a 22-10 advantage by the second media timeout. The Frazee triplets scored all of the Lady Flames' points during the run, finished off by a Megan Frazee triple.

Once again, UNC Asheville utilized the three-point shot to get back into the game. A long-distance connection by Ashton Barton shaved her squad's deficit to 24-18, concluding an 8-2 run, 9:01 before the half.

Both teams shot the ball well during the latter stages of the opening stanza, combining to make five out of seven field goal attempts at one point. Okoli's third three-point connection of the half wrapped up the stretch and left the Bulldogs behind by a 35-27 count at 4:20.

Liberty, ranked No. 2 nationally in field goal percentage defense, displayed its defensive prowess during the closing minutes. The Lady Flames held UNC Asheville to a single field goal over the remainder of the period, enabling Liberty to craft a 14-point halftime edge, 43-29.

The Lady Flames shot 50 percent (17-of-34) from the field during the opening 20 minutes, while the visitors checked in at 42.3 percent (11-of-26).

Liberty controlled the action inside the paint during the first half, tallying 18 points from within the lane and hauling in 13 offensive boards. The Lady Flames' work on the glass helped them own a 23-12 rebounding edge over the Bulldogs.

Megan Frazee, coming off a 26-point, 18-rebound effort at Radford on Wednesday, went for 15 points and seven boards during the first half, pacing all players in both categories. Allyson Fasnacht contributed eight points, while backcourt partner Courtney Watkins dished out half of the Lady Flames' 10 assists.

Okoli's nine points paced the Bulldogs, and Stacy Shepard added six points and a team-high five caroms.

An Okoli layup with 18:28 remaining trimmed UNC Asheville's deficit to 47-34. But that's as close as the visiting Bulldogs would get in their attempt to win at the Vines Center for the second-straight season.

Liberty countered with five-consecutive tallies, bumping its edge to 18 points on Watkins' first field goal of the contest, a three-pointer from the wing. Her hoop, which swished through the net with 15:31 showing on the clock, made the score 52-34, Lady Flames.

After the Bulldogs' solid shooting effort in the first half, they were only able to make two of their first 10 second-half attempts. In the meantime, Liberty, which continued to hover around 50 percent field goal shooting for the afternoon, took a 58-39 lead on a pair of Rebecca Lightfoot charity tosses at 10:10.

The Bulldogs clawed their way back into the game by keeping Liberty scoreless for the next 6:07. During the span, UNC Asheville scored six points, getting to within 13 at 58-45 on Arescia Moore's free throw at the 4:18 mark.

Moriah Frazee brought the drought to a halt with two free throws on Liberty's next possession. The Lady Flames then went on to claim a 69-55 triumph, their sixth-consecutive double-digit victory to open conference play.

Both teams' shooting cooled off after the intermission. Neither squad's field goal percentage reached 35 percent for the half, and the Lady Flames and Bulldogs made eight field goals apiece.

Liberty continued to hit the offensive glass hard, though, grabbing more than half (23 of 45) of its rebounds off its own missed shots. The Lady Flames' rebounding work led to 14 second-chance points.

Megan Frazee grabbed five of the offensive rebounds, part of her all-around performance. The junior guard/forward led all players with 19 points and added eight boards, four assists and three steals.

Moriah Frazee posted a very similar stat line to her sister, tallying 18 points and collecting eight rebounds. It was the sixth-consecutive double-digit scoring effort for the reigning Big South Player of the Week.

Fasnacht finished with 10 points for the second-straight outing, while Watkins tallied seven rebounds and a team-best five assists.

The visiting Bulldogs also featured a trio of double-digit scorers, including Okoli, who made four three-pointers on her way to 14 points. Barton made three triples of her own during a 12-point effort, and Shepard, who grew up just south of Lynchburg in Altavista, narrowly missed a double-double. The Big South's leading rebounder, the senior ended the game with 10 points and nine caroms.

The game served as Liberty's celebration of the WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative, a nation-wide effort to promote breast cancer awareness. Both teams' coaches wore pink Crocs shoes, both squads sported pink t-shirts during pregame warm-ups and the players used pink shoelaces.

Liberty will continue its three-game homestand next Saturday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames host Coastal Carolina. Liberty defeated the Chanticleers, 71-44, at Kimbel Arena on Jan. 21.

UNC Asheville will also play the Chanticleers in its next tilt. The Bulldogs travel to Coastal Carolina Wednesday at 7 p.m.