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Lady Flames Put the Clamps on Coastal
Liberty, now 12-7 overall, maintains its conference lead with a perfect 6-0 Big South ledger. The Lady Flames have won nine games in a row and 36 consecutive January home contests. Liberty shot 54.9 percent from the floor (28-of-51), going over 50 percent for the second game in a row and improving to 52-0 when making more than half of its field goals under head coach Carey Green.
Green coached his 300th career game on Monday, and the victory boosted his career winning percentage to exactly 75 percent (225-75). He is now 22-0 all-time against his alma mater, Coastal Carolina.
The Chanticleers lost for the fourth time in their last five outings and are now 10-9 overall and 2-4 in the Big South. Coastal Carolina made only seven second-half field goals and shot just 32 percent (16-of-50) from the field on the evening.
Neither team scored a point for the first 2:33 of the game, until Megan Frazee broke the ice with a layup for the Lady Flames.
Visiting Coastal Carolina countered with a 7-2 surge, closed out by a Sydnei Moss layup at the 15:08 mark of the opening half. The sophomore's field goal lifted the Chanticleers to a 7-4 edge.
Liberty responded with a 7-2 burst of its own. Layups by Amber Mays bookended the quick run, which ended with the Lady Flames in front by an 11-9 score at 12:31.
After Amanda Stull's triple from the top of the key briefly reclaimed the advantage for the Chanticleers, Liberty went on a 15-0 run which lasted nearly five and a half minutes. Megan Frazee scored eight of the Lady Flames' points during the surge and assisted on Rebecca Lightfoot's left-handed layup which capped the run. Lightfoot's first two points of the evening made the score 26-12 in favor of the Lady Flames, 6:52 before halftime.
Liberty then went scoreless for 5:30, during which time the Chanticleers crafted a 7-0 run to slice their deficit in half. Kendra Reynolds' contested jumper in the paint cut the Lady Flames' advantage to 26-19.
The same seven-point margin separated the two teams at the intermission, as Liberty took a 28-21 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Flames shot 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field during the opening 20 minutes, including a trio of three pointers. Liberty also won the rebounding battle, 17-12, but Coastal Carolina converted the Lady Flames' 10 turnovers into nine points.
Megan Frazee, who had earned her 15th career Big South Player of the Week honor earlier in the day, paced the Lady Flames with 10 points and four rebounds before the break. Classmates Rachel Hammond and Moriah Frazee added six points apiece, while Frazee nabbed four boards. Mays came up with three of Liberty's seven first-half steals.
Courtney Grambley, making her first career start for coach Alan LeForce's Chanticleers, took advantage of her new role. She recorded nearly half (10) of Coastal Carolina's points during the opening half and collected four caroms. Moss chipped in four points and a matching number of rebounds for the Chanticleers, who hit 36 percent (9-of-25) of their field goal attempts prior to the intermission.
Interestingly, only one total free throw was attempted during the first half, and Megan Frazee drained the shot.
Whatever Carey Green said in the locker room inspired the Lady Flames to open the second half on an 8-2 run against his alma mater. Moriah Frazee hit three layups during the surge, including one which increased her team's lead to 36-23 at the 16:01 mark.
Liberty's advantage reached 15 points, 40-25, on another Frazee layup, with 12:36 left in regulation.
Coastal Carolina bounced right back, tallying seven of the game's next eight points. Reynolds' hoop brought the Chanticleers to within single digits once again, 41-32.
A layup and a three-point play by Moriah Frazee on consecutive possessions helped Liberty reclaim the momentum, and the Lady Flames' lead never dropped below 10 points again.
Jessica Noll's old-fashioned three point play with 7:30 showing on the second-half clock trimmed Coastal Carolina's deficit to a dozen, 49-37.
With both Megan and Moriah Frazee out of the game, Liberty's second unit was able to more than double its lead. Liberty closed out its 65-40 victory by outscoring the Chanticleers, 16-3, the rest of the way.
The Lady Flames scorched the nets after the break, connecting on 61.5 percent (16-of-26) of their field goals. Liberty scored 26 of its 37 second-half markers from the paint.
Moriah Frazee's 19 points left her just one point shy of a career high, and the newest member of Liberty's 1,000-point club also totaled five rebounds. Sister Megan Frazee added a dozen points, five rebounds and three assists, scoring in double figures for the 55th straight game.
Hammond drilled both of her three-point tries as part of an eight-point effort. The Florida native has now made 10 of her last 16 triples (62.5 percent) during the last four contests.
Avery Warley paced all players with eight rebounds, helping the nation's No. 10-ranked team in rebounding margin win the battle of the boards, 35-24. Meanwhile, Mays notched five of the Lady Flames' 10 steals.
Despite being held scoreless in the second half, Grambley led Coastal Carolina with 10 points. Stull contributed eight markers, while Moss corralled a team-best six boards for the Chanticleers.
Liberty will continue its longest homestand of the season Saturday at 2 p.m., with a matinee against High Point (10-10, 6-1 Big South), the Big South's second-place squad. The contest will tip off a day/night doubleheader at the Vines Center, as the Liberty men's basketball team will host UNC Asheville at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.
Coastal Carolina will return home for a Saturday afternoon meeting with Gardner-Webb. Tip-off at Kimbel Arena is slated for 2 p.m.