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Balanced Scoring Leads No. 19 George Washington To Comeback Win Over Liberty
George Washington, ranked 19th nationally, bounced back from a Thursday loss at Tennessee to improve to 8-2 in the first meeting between the two teams since Dec. 1, 1977.
Liberty now stands at 5-3 and is in the midst of its first three-game losing streak, its first such streak since the Lady Flames dropped seven-consecutive games during the 2000-01 campaign. Liberty fell despite a game-high 28-point, 10-rebound effort by sophomore Megan Frazee.
Frazee scored four-consecutive points for Liberty, lifting the Lady Flames to an early, 6-2 lead.
George Washington tallied the game's next 10 points and claimed a 12-6 advantage on Kimberly Beck's three-pointer 13:08 before halftime. Jessica Adair posted five of the Colonials' markers during the surge.
The visiting Lady Flames responded with a 12-3 run, taking an 18-15 lead on Molly Frazee's three-pointer at 9:28.
Another Liberty surge, this one a 10-1 burst, gave Liberty a 10-point advantage. Megan Frazee hit the Lady Flames' final three baskets of the run, including a baseline jumper that made it 28-18 with 6:49 showing on the first-half clock.
Jessica Adair, the home team's leading first-half scorer with 10 points, picked up her third personal foul 4:21 before the intermission. Liberty took advantage of her absence, increasing its advantage to 12 points on two separate occasions and holding the Colonials without a field goal until Kenan Cole connected from the baseline with 10 seconds left. Liberty's halftime lead was 37-29.
Megan Frazee enjoyed a first-half shooting performance reminiscent of her second-half effort at Virginia on Nov. 20. Frazee made 8-of-9 field-goal attempts, including both of her three-pointers, to lead all players with 18 points in the first 20 minutes. The sophomore also pulled down a team-best six boards.
Allyson Fasnacht, coming off the bench for the first time in 31 games, thrived in that role for the Lady Flames, notching six points in the opening half and dishing out a trio of assists.
Liberty shot 52 percent (14-of-27) from the field in the opening half and limited the homestanding Colonials to 30 percent (9-of-30) efficiency. George Washington connected on just one of its 10 three-point attempts but was able to remain within striking distance due to its 10-of-14 effort from the foul line.
Whitney Allen's three-pointer from the top of the key capped a 12-3 George Washington run early in the second half. Allen's long-distance connection knotted the score at 44 with 13:49 left in the game. Sarah-Jo Lawrence's driving lay-up at 11:04 briefly gave the Colonials a 50-48 lead.
The two teams exchanged the advantage several times before George Washington tallied seven-consecutive markers to take the lead for good. The Colonial edge stood at 60-54 after Lawrence's mid-range jumper at the 8:34 mark.
George Washington's lead hovered between four and six points for much of the half. Molly Frazee, who had just seen her consecutive free throw streak end at 20, made a pair of charity tosses with 3:21 left, capping a 4-0 burst and trimming the visitors' deficit to 64-62.
Michelle Parker's perimeter jumper made it 65-64, Colonials, with 2:32 left.
Lawrence and Molly Frazee drained two free throws apiece, leaving the count at 67-66 at the 1:31 mark.
Subsequent to that exchange, Cole sank a floater at 1:06, bolstering the home team's lead to three points, 69-66.
After the two teams traded turnovers, Cole made another basket, this one from the baseline. Her clutch jumper put the home team up by a 71-66 count with just 10.9 seconds remaining.
Lawrence then provided the exclamation point, coming up with a steal and converting a three-point play, making the final margin of victory 74-66.
Molly Frazee complemented her sister's effort with nine points. Parker, making her first appearance in the starting lineup this season, helped Liberty claim a 38-35 rebounding edge, grabbing six caroms. She also passed out a team-best four assists.
Cole scored 10 of her 15 points after halftime to lead the Colonials in scoring. Lawrence was also effective in the final 20 minutes, pouring in all 13 of her markers during the period. The junior guard also grabbed seven boards and dished out a game-high five assists.
The Lady Flames, who had been so efficient with their shooting in the opening half, made just 32 percent (9-of-28) of their second-half field goal attempts. Meanwhile, the Colonials made half (15-of-30) of their field goal tries after halftime and were 12-of-14 from the charity stripe.
George Washington's defensive pressure got to Liberty after the break. The home team forced 11 second-half turnovers and converted those miscues into 14 points. Allen led all players with four steals.
George Washington will remain at home for its next contest, a Saturday afternoon tilt against Auburn. Tip-off at the Charles E. Smith Athletic Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Liberty will also be in action on Saturday when Virginia Union visits the Vines Center for a 2 p.m. match-up.