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Lady Flames Roll To 97-27 Victory Over Columbia Union
Liberty is 3-0 for the first time since the 2002-03 season after its 21st-straight triumph at the Vines Center. Columbia Union, which opened its campaign on Wednesday with a loss at Kutztown, is now 0-2.
Columbia Union did not score its first points until Jada Richardson drained a three-pointer at the 13:45 mark. By that time, Liberty had scored the game's first 16 tallies, including five by Courtney Watkins. The Pioneers missed their first six shots from the floor.
An 8-0 run by the Lady Flames extended the home team's advantage to 22 points, 26-4, before Richardson sank a pair of free throws at 9:57. Rebecca Lightfoot tossed in four points during that surge.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Karolina Piotrkiewicz and Michelle Parker highlighted a run of 19-consecutive points by the Lady Flames. Megan Frazee's shot in the lane made the lead, 45-6 2:20 before halftime.
Liberty took a 47-8 lead into the intermission as 10 different Lady Flames found the scoring column, led by Megan Frazee's nine points. Piotrkiewicz and Egle Smigelskaite grabbed five first-half rebounds apiece, helping the Lady Flames achieve a 30-13 edge on the glass in the first 20 minutes.
The visiting Pioneers were paced by Richardson's six markers.
A 23-2 run increased the home team's advantage to 62 points with 8:37 left on the second-half clock. Megan Frazee hit a pair of free throws to make the score 74-12, Liberty.
The visitors tallied six of the game's next eight points. A three-pointer by Lisa Brewer shaved the advantage to 76-18 at the 6:19 mark.
Brewer connected from long distance on back-to-back possessions for the Pioneers to make the margin 84-27 with 3:25 remaining.
The final score was 97-27, marking the Lady Flames' largest margin of victory since a 104-15 win over Valley Forge on Jan. 14, 1995. Liberty's 103-61 win over Cedarville on Dec. 13, 1997 was the last time the Lady Flames scored as many as 97 points in a game. Liberty limited the Pioneers to 13.3 percent shooting (8-60) from the floor, setting a new Vines Center record for field goal percentage defense.
All 13 players who saw action for the Lady Flames scored as Liberty eclipsed the 90-point mark for the second time in three games. Piotrkiewicz led the way with a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 12 boards. Megan Frazee chipped in with 13 points and eight caroms. Parker totaled 11 points and five assists.
Brewer scored all 10 of her markers after halftime, pacing Columbia Union in points. Melanie Gordon paced the Pioneers with five boards.
Liberty owned a 63-30 advantage in rebounds and shot 52.2 percent from the field. The Lady Flames recorded 25 assists on their 35 made field goals.
Liberty's next three games will be played away from the Vines Center. That stretch will begin with a Monday contest at the new John Paul Jones Arena against Virginia. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Columbia Union will play its home opener on Saturday, hosting Wilmington at 7 p.m.