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Lady Flames Fall to Hot-Shooting Marist In Terrapin Classic Opener
The Red Foxes, who hit 11-of-22 three-pointers, are now 9-3. They will meet the winner of Friday's second game between host Maryland and UNC Greensboro in the title tilt on Saturday.
Liberty, which conversely made just two out of 20 three-point attempts, dropped its third-straight game and lost for the sixth time in its last seven outings. The Lady Flames, now 6-6, became the fifth Marist opponent held under the 50-point plateau this season.
Marist ran off the first eight points of the contest, including a pair of three-pointers. Sarah Smrdel banked in a three-pointer at the 17:47 mark, lifting the Red Foxes to an 8-0 advantage.
After the Frazee triplets each scored during a 5-2 Liberty surge, Marist went on another extended run, a 14-2 stretch. The Red Foxes nailed two more three-pointers during the run and took a 24-7 lead on a Rachele Fitz hoop at 7:26.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames struggled from the field. Liberty made just six out of its 26 first-half field goal attempts and connected on 2-of-14 attempts from behind the three-point arc.
Molly Frazee, Liberty's leading first-half scorer with seven points, sank back-to-back perimeter jumpers. Her second basket, a three-pointer at the 5:09 mark, shaved Marist's advantage to 28-12.
The Red Foxes responded with an 8-0 rally. Kristin Hein became the eighth Marist player to score during the first half and the fifth Red Fox to make a three-pointer to cap the run at 2:20 and up the score, 34-12.
Allyson Fasnacht gave Liberty a little bit of momentum heading into the intermission, nailing a three-pointer with 46 seconds remaining, leaving the Lady Flames' halftime deficit at 34-15.
Meg Dahlman and Julianne Viani paced Marist's first-half offensive attack with eight points apiece. The Red Foxes made 6-of-14 three-pointers before halftime.
Liberty, which trailed at the half for only the fourth time in 12 games this season, was faced with its largest halftime deficit since trailing DePaul, 41-22, during last season's NCAA Tournament match-up.
Marist tallied 11 of the first 15 points of the second half, six by Fitz. A pair of Fitz charity tosses at the 15:40 mark increased the Red Fox lead to 45-19.
Megan Frazee made a jumper with 14:47 left, cutting the deficit to 24 points, 45-21. However, Liberty would get no closer the rest of the way.
Marist built its advantage to as many as 37 points on two occasions in the second half, before dealing the Lady Flames their largest margin defeat of the season, 76-43.
Liberty improved its shooting, netting 10-of-21 field goals after the intermission; good for 48 percent during the final 20 minutes. Michelle Parker connected on all six of her second-half field goal attempts and scored all of her team-best 12 points after halftime.
Megan Frazee led Liberty with five rebounds, but the Lady Flames were outrebounded for just the third time this season, 27-26. Frazee was limited to a career-low four points in the contest.
Viani and Dahlman sparked Marist's attack with 15 points each and Fitz posted 12 points and seven rebounds. Viani was four-of-six on three-pointers, pacing the seven different Red Fox players who made at least one three-pointer in the contest.
Marist point guard Alisa Kresge totaled 11 assists, seven rebounds and a pair of steals for the victorious Red Foxes.