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Late 12-0 Run Lifts Texas-Arlington To Victory Over Liberty
The Texas-Arlington women's basketball team had dropped three of its last four games by four points or fewer entering Tuesday afternoon's contest with Liberty at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico. Maverick senior guard Terra Wallace helped her team reverse the trend, tallying nine of her game-high 26 points during a late 12-0 run which keyed a 58-54 Texas-Arlington triumph at the Galactic Ballroom.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak by Texas-Arlington and improved the Mavericks' overall record to 4-6.
Liberty, which led 51-43 with 3:38 to play, is now 6-4 after falling in its first-ever meeting with Texas-Arlington. The Lady Flames have now lost four of their past five contests.
Texas-Arlington tallied five-consecutive points and took a 9-5 lead on Tojjinay Thompson's three-pointer with 16:10 showing on the first-half clock.
Liberty came right back with five-straight markers of their own. Molly Frazee's three-point play at 14:35 reclaimed the lead for the Lady Flames, 10-9. The Frazee triplets would combine to score Liberty's first 17 points of the afternoon.
Yet another 5-0 burst, this one by the Mavericks, lifted Texas-Arlington to a 14-10 advantage with 13:49 remaining before the half. An Erin Dixon three-pointer capped the run.
Wallace nailed a three-pointer of her own at the 9:57 mark for Texas-Arlington. However, those were the Mavericks' only points during a 9:17 stretch.
During the span, Liberty outscored UTA, 15-3. Rebecca Lightfoot's lay-up off a nice pass by Courtney Watkins wrapped up the run for the Lady Flames and made the score 25-17 in favor of Liberty. Megan Frazee totaled five points during the surge.
The Mavericks bounced back with a 10-3 burst. Ashley Bobb's perimeter jumper 1:38 before the intermission narrowed Liberty's advantage to 28-27.
Megan Frazee, who paced the Lady Flames with 11 first-half markers, scored with 15 seconds left to make the halftime score, 30-27.
Moriah Frazee led Liberty's rebounding effort in the first 20 minutes, pulling down five boards. Texas-Arlington outrebounded the Lady Flames in the first half, 18-17, including nine offensive caroms. Tiffeny Riles had five boards to pace the Mavericks.
Wallace, the reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year, spearheaded Texas-Arlington's first-half attack, netting 11 points.
LaTosha Duffey received a Wallace pass and sank a nifty reverse lay-up with 16:36 remaining in the game. Her conversion finished a 5-0 Maverick surge and knotted the score at 32 apiece.
Liberty retook a four-point edge, 38-34, on Roli-Ann Nikagbatse's putback at 13:06. Megan Frazee had tallied the Lady Flames' first six markers of the half, prior to Nikagbatse's hoop.
Texas-Arlington tied the score again, 38-38, before Liberty's backcourt combined for five quick markers. Allyson Fasnacht recorded an old-fashioned three-point play and then Michelle Parker hit a left-handed jumper as the shot clock expired with 9:25 left. The Liberty lead stood at 43-38 after Parker's basket.
The Mavericks had trimmed the Liberty lead to a single point, 43-42, when the Lady Flames seeming to take control of the game by scoring eight of the contest's next nine markers. Megan Frazee split a pair of free throws, making the count 51-43 with just 3:38 remaining.
Wallace and her Texas-Arlington teammates then went to work, increasing their defensive intensity and limiting Liberty to just a Megan Frazee three-pointer the rest of the way.
Wallace tossed in seven-straight points during the decisive surge, including the hoop which gave the Mavericks the lead for good. On that play, she came up with a steal and quickly converted it into a made jump shot, giving Texas-Arlington a 53-51 edge at 1:15.
A pair of Wallace free throws with 25 seconds left preceded Frazee's long-distance connection at the 11-second mark. Frazee's second three-pointer of the contest brought Liberty to within one point, 55-54.
Liberty quickly fouled Maryann Abanobi, who calmly sank a pair of free throws. After a turnover by the Lady Flames, Texas-Arlington sealed its 58-54 triumph when Riles swished the second of two free throw attempts.
The charity stripe played a significant role in the final outcome. Liberty, normally a solid free-throw shooting club, struggled for the second-consecutive game. The Lady Flames made just 10-of-18 foul shots, good for 55.6 percent. Meanwhile, Texas-Arlington shot 75 percent from the line after the intermission and was five-of-six during the final minute of play.
Megan Frazee's sixth double-double of the year went for naught, as she led Liberty in both points (23) and rebounds (10). Frazee was only 8-for-19 from the field, though. She was one of a number of Liberty players who struggled to find the hoop, especially after halftime. The Lady Flames sank only 9-of-26 second-half field goal attempts (34.6 percent).
Moriah Frazee added seven rebounds for the Lady Flames, who ended the game with a 37-32 rebounding edge and finished with 18 second-chance points.
In addition to Wallace's season-best 26 points, the senior guard also contributed six assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals. Riles was Texas-Arlington's top rebounder, hauling in seven missed shots.
Texas-Arlington's second game at the Caribbean Classic will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern. The Mavericks will meet No. 21 Bowling Green at the Galactic Ballroom within the Moon Palace Resort.
Liberty will also play a nationally ranked foe on Wednesday. The Lady Flames will square off with No. 22 Pittsburgh, who was 10-0 entering the Caribbean Classic. Game time is set for 2 p.m. Eastern.