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UNC Greensboro Deals Lady Flames Fourth-Straight Loss, 67-59
The triumph lifts the Spartans' overall record to 7-5 and snaps a two-game losing streak by UNCG.
Liberty dropped its fourth-consecutive decision and fell for the seventh time in their last eight outings since the Lady Flames opened the season 5-0. Liberty is now 6-7 after dropping its first match-up against UNCG since the Lady Flames defeated the Spartans in the 1997 Big South Tournament championship game.
UNC Greensboro made a trio of three-pointers during the first 4:08 of play, opening up an early, 11-2 advantage. Jasmine Byrd connected from behind the arc twice in that stretch.
Megan Frazee narrowed the gap to four points, 11-7, at 14:56 after tossing in five-consecutive markers.
The Spartans rebuilt the lead to 16-9 on their fourth three-pointer of the early going, courtesy of Kemena Brooks with 11:59 left in the opening half of play.
UNCG's edge stood at just two points, 16-14, after Allyson Fasnacht capped a 5-0 Liberty surge with a jumper from the paint at the 11:29 mark.
UNC Greensboro responded with a 7-2 run of its own. A driving lay-up by Brooks pushed the Spartan lead back to 23-16 with 8:07 remaining before the intermission.
Moriah Frazee gave Liberty its first lead of the tournament, scoring five points during an 8-0 run by the Lady Flames. Her two free throws at the 5:16 mark lifted the Lady Flames to a short-lived, 26-25 advantage.
Byrd, who paced UNC Greensboro with 12 first-half points, recorded the game's next six points, allowing her Spartans to reclaim the lead, 31-26.
Moriah Frazee scored 13 first-half points, leading all players. Eight of her tallies came during a half-ending, 10-2 burst for the Lady Flames. The surge included a pair of three-point plays, the second of which came 28 seconds before the intermission and gave Liberty a 36-33 halftime advantage.
Jamie Feagin came off coach Carey Green's bench to give Liberty a lift, totaling six points and six boards during the opening 20 minutes of play.
Despite Feagin's work on the glass, the Spartans owned a 27-22 rebounding edge during the first half. Fourteen of UNCG's caroms were of the offensive variety. Kaleah Latham and Kristen Boone led the Spartans with five rebounds apiece.
Meghan Chamberlain scored the first six points of the second half for the Spartans, igniting a 9-0 run. UNC Greensboro owned a 42-36 lead after Irene Otamiri drained a three-pointer with 15:20 left in the contest.
Following a Megan Frazee hoop, the Spartans crafted a 10-2 surge. Byrd's steal and lay-up gave UNC Greensboro its largest lead of the contest, 52-40, at 12:38.
Liberty gradually chipped away at the deficit. Latham's three-point play with 10:31 remaining represented the Spartans' lone field goal during a 10:50 stretch.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames were able to shave the deficit to two points on two different occasions. Rebecca Lightfoot split a pair of charity tosses at 4:42, capping an 8-2 Liberty surge and making UNCG's advantage a precarious, 59-57 margin.
After Latham drained two free throws, Feagin responded with two foul shots of her own. The Spartans owned a 61-59 advantage with 2:54 left after the exchange.
Feagin's free throws turned out to be Liberty's final points of the game and the Lady Flames went the last 7:41 without a field goal. The Lady Flames missed three field goals and two free throws in addition to committing a pair of turnovers down the stretch.
Byrd, who led all scorers with 21 points made a back-breaking three-pointer with 1:48 remaining, ending the Spartans' field goal drought and making the score, 64-59.
A Jasmine Dixon free throw and a lay-up by Brooks provided the final, 67-59 margin of victory for UNC Greensboro.
Free throw shooting plagued the Lady Flames. Liberty made just 57.7 percent (15-of-26) of its attempts from the charity stripe. The Lady Flames also went 6-of-25 from the field after halftime, a 24 percent rate.
Moriah Frazee finished with a season-high 17 points, leading the way for Liberty. Megan Frazee chipped in with 13 markers, tied for the team lead with nine boards and blocked a pair of shots.
Feagin played one of the finest games of her career, tossing in a season-best eight points, tying her career high with nine caroms and matching her career best with a three steals.
Latham recorded a double-double for UNC Greensboro, compiling 14 points and pulling down 14 rebounds, including seven of her team's 23 offensive boards. Otamiri added 10 points and seven rebounds for the victors.
UNC Greensboro returns to action on Tuesday at Chattanooga. The Southern Conference tilt is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Liberty, which has played just four of its first 13 games at home this season, will host a pair of contests at the Vines Center next week. The Lady Flames are scheduled to meet American Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.