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Liberty Fends Off Coastal Carolina Rally For Win In Big South Opener
Liberty, which won its third-straight decision overall and was victorious in its Big South opener for the seventh-straight year, is now 9-7 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Lady Flames have triumphed in their last 26-consecutive games versus the Lady Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina is 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the Big South after seeing its four-game winning streak halted. CCU had also won its last eight games at Kimbel Arena prior to Saturday's setback.
Roli-Ann Nikagbatse fashioned a three-point play just 19 seconds into the game, sparking a game-opening run which saw visiting Liberty rattle off eight of the contest's first 10 points. Moriah Frazee split a pair of free throws at 16:42 to lift the Lady Flames to an 8-2 lead.
After a Lacey Lyons three-pointer for the Lady Chanticleers cut the Liberty advantage to three points, the Lady Flames boosted their edge back to seven, 12-5, on back-to-back hoops by Moriah Frazee and Michelle Parker. Parker's left-handed bank shot came 13:04 before the intermission.
Coastal Carolina's Dill, who entered the game as the fourth-leading scorer in the nation, got on the board for the first time with a three-pointer at the 11:22 mark. Her long-distance conversion capped a 5-0 run by the Lady Chanticleers and pulled the home team to within two points, 12-10.
The Lady Chanticleers made just seven of their first 23 field goal attempts, but Liberty could not shake the home team easily. Liberty's lead stood at 21-18 at the final media timeout of the half, with 3:55 showing on the clock.
Megan Frazee scored eight-straight Lady Flame points during a 10-4 surge to end the half. Parker's basket at the 36-second mark gave Liberty a halftime lead of 31-22, marking its largest advantage of the first 20 minutes of action.
Megan Frazee's eight points paced the 11 Lady Flames who saw playing time before intermission. In total, the Frazee triplets contributed 20 of Liberty's first-half tallies, as Moriah Frazee added seven points and Molly Frazee five.
Liberty controlled action under the boards, outscoring Coastal Carolina in the points in the paint category, 14-4, and recording a 19-14 rebounding edge. Moriah Frazee led all players with four caroms.
Dill scored a team-high nine opening-half points for the Lady Chanticleers, but made just 3-of-10 field goals. As a team, Coastal Carolina shot 30.8 percent (8-of-26) prior to the intermission.
Dill opened the second half with a three-pointer on her team's opening possession before the Lady Flames put together an 8-0 run. Jamie Feagin, who scored four points during the burst, made a runner at the 15:36 mark which enabled Liberty to take its largest lead up to that point, 39-25.
The Lady Chanticleers were held without a point until Devin Rivers sank a baseline jumper with 15:06 left in the game, a scoreless stretch of 4:28.
Coastal Carolina sliced its deficit to 10 points two times, the latter occurrence coming at 41-31 after another Rivers jumper, with 13:36 showing on the second-half clock. Megan Frazee then reeled off five-consecutive points, pushing Liberty's edge back to 15 points, 46-31, at 11:31.
Those would be Liberty's last points until Megan Frazee banked in a shot from close range with 4:46 to play. In the meantime, the Lady Chanticleers notched eight-consecutive points. Dill closed the run with a three-pointer from the top of the key at 5:22. The basket, which lifted her over the 1,000-point plateau for her career, trimmed the Liberty lead to 46-39.
After Frazee's hoop, Coastal Carolina scored five more points in succession. Dill's three-pointer from the NBA line at the 2:54 mark put her team within four points, 48-44.
Megan Frazee helped Liberty reestablish control of the contest with an old-fashioned three-point play at 2:39. After Rivers split a pair of charity tosses for Coastal Carolina, Frazee increased the Liberty edge to 53-45 with just 2:02 remaining, on a shot from the paint.
The Lady Chanticleers were not done yet. Another trifecta by Dill, this one coming with 36.3 seconds remaining, finished a 7-2 run and cut the Lady Flames' lead to 55-52.
After two Allyson Fasnacht free throws at the 23.2-second mark, Dill shaved the advantage to three once again, 57-54, with just 7.7 seconds left. Molly Frazee then sealed the victory with a free throw at 7.2 seconds, 58-54.
Megan Frazee tossed in 16 of her 24 points after halftime. She was the only Lady Flame to reach double figures, as Molly Frazee was next with eight markers. Liberty scored 30 of its 58 points inside the paint and recorded another 13 tallies at the foul line.
Moriah Frazee finished as Liberty's leading rebounder, pulling down six boards despite being limited to 18 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble. Aided by her work, the Lady Flames won the battle of the boards, 35-27.
Dill now has 1,009 career points after her 25-point effort. She sank five three-pointers, including a four-for-five performance from behind the arc during the second half. Rivers, a freshman, gave Coastal Carolina a spark off the bench, finishing with nine points, a team-high six caroms and three blocked shots.
The Lady Chanticleers will wrap up an extended homestand Monday evening, when Big South Conference foe Radford visits at 7 p.m. The contest will be Coastal Carolina's fifth-straight game at Kimbel Arena.
Liberty, which won for the first time away from the Vines Center since a Nov. 25 win at Binghamton, will complete its South Carolina swing with a Monday evening tilt at Charleston Southern. The match-up between the Lady Flames and the Lady Buccaneers is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.