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Liberty Paints Masterpiece Versus Radford
Liberty is now 14-7 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference play. The Lady Flames, who own a two-game lead over High Point atop the Big South standings, extended their winning streak to 11 games. Liberty's 42-point margin of victory was its second largest in 49 all-time meetings with the Highlanders.
Radford saw its three-game winning skein snapped, as the Highlanders fall to 6-13 overall and 5-3 in conference action. The Highlanders were limited to a season-low point total and shot a season-worst 23.1 percent (15-of-65) from the field.
Radford took its only lead of the night when Rachel Morris drilled a three-pointer from the left wing on the Highlanders' initial possession of the contest. However, those were red-clad Radford's only points until the 13:00 mark.
The Highlanders' drought enabled the Lady Flames to reel off a 15-2 run. Megan Frazee contributed seven points to the Liberty surge, including a putback at 11:42, which made the score 17-5, in favor of the Lady Flames.
Radford cut its deficit to 10 points twice, including at 19-9 when Kymesha Alston canned a layup.
Liberty then put together a 13-3 burst, increasing its advantage to 20 (32-12) on a successful alley-oop pass play from Rachel McLeod to Rachel Hammond, 5:11 before the break.
The Lady Flames bolstered their lead to 25 points, 40-15, at halftime, after holding their opponent under 20 first-half points for the fourth time in the last six contests.
Liberty took advantage of its significant height advantage during the opening 20 minutes, outrebounding the Highlanders by a 30-14 margin and scoring 32 points in the paint. Liberty also turned away four Radford shot attempts and held the Highlanders to 20 percent (6-of-30) field goal shooting during the stanza.
Megan Frazee led all players during the opening half, matching Radford's team output with 15 points and grabbing seven boards. She sank more field goals by herself (7) than the Highlanders did as a team, helping Liberty make exactly half of its field goal tries (17-of-34).
Sister Moriah Frazee chipped in with eight first-half points, while Kylee Beecher collected six boards for coach Carey Green's Lady Flames.
Denay Wood pulled down seven boards for Radford, while Alston posted a team-high five points.
Liberty, which had scored the final four points of the first half, opened the second stanza with six consecutive markers. The Lady Flames' overall 10-0 surge ended at 17:44, when Moriah Frazee's spinning finger roll increased Liberty's edge to 46-15.
Radford went 7:18 without a point during the second half, during which time Liberty's lead extended to 42 points (60-18) with a 12-0 surge.
Liberty's advantage got as large as 49 points on two occasions, before the Lady Flames closed out their biggest win of the season, 80-38.
The Lady Flames finished the game at 52.4 percent (33-of-63) from the floor, improving to 53-0 when shooting at least 50 percent under Green's guidance.
Megan Frazee led a trio of Liberty double-digit scorers with 21 points and completed her sixth double-double in seven career meetings with Radford by hauling in a game-high 10 rebounds.
Amber Mays fell just one point shy of a career high with 13 markers, to go along with six boards and a game-high six assists. Moriah Frazee added a dozen points and six caroms.
McLeod chipped in with a season-high nine points, making both of her three-point tries. She also distributed four assists and came up with a season-high three steals.
Alston led the way for Radford, totaling 16 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while Vandy Pullen added 10 markers. Taleia Moton, the second-leading scorer in the Big South, was limited to three points on 1-of-14 shooting from the field.
Liberty will travel to Gardner-Webb (11-10, 3-5 Big South) Feb. 9, for the Lady Flames' first road contest since Jan. 19. The Lady Flames' first-ever visit to Paul Porter Arena is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Liberty will attempt to complete a season sweep of the Bulldogs, after claiming a 55-42 victory at the Vines Center on Jan. 3.
Radford's next contest will also be played at Gardner-Webb, Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Highlanders took down the Bulldogs on Jan. 5 by an 82-74 count.