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Virginia Tech Edges Lady Flames, 55-52

December 5, 2006
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Molly Frazee had 11 points and a career-best nine boards.

Molly Frazee had 11 points and a career-best nine boards.

Virginia Tech, on the strength of a career-high 19 points by Britney Anderson, erased a 10-point deficit late in the opening half to claim a hard-fought, 55-52 victory at Liberty Tuesday evening. 

The Hokies, who have now won each of the 13 all-time contests against Liberty, won for the second-consecutive outing and are 6-4 on the season. 

Liberty, which opened the season with five-straight wins, has now suffered two defeats in a row and falls to 5-2 on the year. 

Virginia Tech scored three-straight baskets from the paint to jump out to an early lead. Nare Diawara's lay-up at the 17:39 mark made the count 6-2, Hokies. 

Roli-Ann Nikagbatse gave Liberty its first lead of the game, 10-9, taking a feed from Allyson Fasnacht and converting a fast break lay-up at 15:27. The conversion was part of an 8-0 burst for the Lady Flames. 

The home team led by as many as five points, 14-9, before the Hokies scored four points in succession to cut the lead to one on Anderson's jumper with 11:35 left in the first half. 

Virginia Tech was held scoreless for a span of 5:03 during the latter part of the first half. During that time, the Lady Flames tallied six-consecutive markers. The second of back-to-back field goals by Moriah Frazee posted Liberty to a 24-15 advantage at 3:54. 

The Lady Flames took their largest first-half lead, 26-16, before Kirby Copeland turned back-to-back Liberty miscues into lay-ups, sparking a 7-3, half-ending surge for the Hokies. Anderson tallied the final three of her nine-first half markers 16 seconds before the intermission on a long-distance connection, making the halftime score, 29-23. 

Anderson's three-pointer was an anomaly for Virginia Tech in the first half, as the visitors made just one-of-seven shots from behind the arc. Copeland and Anderson evenly split 18 points to spearhead the Hokie attack. 

Nikagbatse, Moriah Frazee and Molly Frazee tallied six points apiece to pace Liberty's balanced scoring distribution in the opening 20 minutes. Megan Frazee, starting alongside both of her sisters for the first time at the Vines Center, pulled down seven rebounds and helped the Lady Flames achieve a 24-13 rebounding edge. 

Both teams struggled from the foul line in the first half. The Hokies made just two of their six attempts from the charity stripe and Liberty misfired on both of its free throws.
Virginia Tech scored seven of the first nine points of the second half, trimming its deficit to 31-30 on Brittany Cook's jumper with 17:41 remaining. 

Megan Frazee and Anderson waged a mini scoring battle early in the second half. Frazee notched eight of Liberty's first 12 points after the break and Anderson totaled seven of the Hokies' first 15 second-half tallies. 

Diawara sank a baseline jumper at the 11:29 mark, just before the shot clock expired, to lift Virginia Tech to its first lead since 9-8. The basket made the score, 42-41, in favor of the Hokies. 

Brittany Cook's basket at 6:11 bumped the Hokie advantage to four points, 47-43. Molly Frazee knotted the score at 47 on a pair of free throws with 4:14 left, increasing her personal consecutive free throw string to 18. 

The two teams traded baskets before Copeland split a pair of free throws at 2:13, making the score 50-49, Hokies. 

Cook made two free throws with exactly 50 seconds left, giving the visitors a 52-49 advantage. 

Copeland missed a charity toss, leaving the door open for the home team, but Laura Haskins came up with a steal and Anderson made two foul shots, posting Virginia Tech to a five-point advantage, 54-49, with 16 seconds showing. 

Molly Frazee drained a three-pointer from the top of the key, slicing the lead to 54-52 at the 7.1-second mark. 

Copeland returned to the line with 6.4 seconds left and split the pair. The Lady Flames, now trailing by a 55-52 margin, got off a three-point attempt but were unable to even the score. 

Megan Frazee ended up with her fourth double-double of the season, leading the home team in both points (14) and rebounds (12). She helped Liberty own the boards during the game, as the Lady Flames finished the evening with a 45-30 advantage in caroms, including 16 offensive boards. 

Molly Frazee matched a personal best with 11 points and grabbed a career-high nine caroms. 

Anderson was joined in double figures for the Hokies by Copeland, who tossed in 13 points and Cook, who ended up with 10. All but two of the visitors' tallies came from the starting five. 

Virginia Tech took advantage of 20 Liberty turnovers, owning a 19-6 edge in points off turnovers. 

The attendance of 3,412 marked the eighth-largest single-game attendance in Vines Center history. Four of the top 10 figures on the list have come in Liberty-Virginia Tech encounters.  The sizable gathering saw Liberty's 21-game home winning streak halted.

The Hokies do not return to the hardwood for 13 days. Virginia Tech's next game will be a match-up with East Tennessee State at Cassell Coliseum on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. 

Liberty will travel to George Washington for a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. The Colonials are currently ranked No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll and are listed No. 21 in the AP poll.