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Lady Flames to Close Out Homestand Saturday

December 13, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshmand Rachel McLeod is coming off a career-high 10-point effort against Binghamton, last Saturday.

Freshmand Rachel McLeod is coming off a career-high 10-point effort against Binghamton, last Saturday.

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The Game

The Liberty Lady Flames (8-1, 0-0 Big South) will attempt to close out a 4-0 homestand when they host NCAA Division II Glenville State (3-3, 1-1 WVIAC), Saturday at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames and Pioneers will be squaring off for the first time in women's basketball. Liberty is on a six-game winning streak, while Glenville State has dropped three in a row. The two teams are each receiving votes in their respective national Top 25 polls.

The Last Time Out
Liberty continued its hot shooting, connecting on 62.8 percent of its field goals in a wire-to-wire, 76-40 victory over Binghamton on Dec. 8. Moriah Frazee scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds before halftime, helping the Lady Flames claim a 40-13 advantage at the intermission. Frazee finished with a game-high 17 tallies, and Rachel Hammond chipped in with 13 points, sinking all five of her field goal attempts.

Scouting Glenville State
Last season, Glenville State, making its sixth-straight NCAA Division II Tournament appearance, advanced to the Elite Eight. The Pioneers went 33-3 and captured the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) title for the third time in program history. Glenville State was led by Rachel Redick, now an assistant coach, who averaged 20.7 ppg and was a first-team All-American.

Four starters graduated from the 2006-07 squad and Dennis Fitzpatrick stepped in as the Pioneers' head coach. The new-look Glenville State team opened the season with three-straight wins and claimed a No. 13 national ranking. However, the Pioneers suffered a trio of road setbacks last week and have now dropped just outside the Top 25.

Karina Kendrick, the lone returning starter and the only senior on Glenville State's roster, is a 6-0 senior forward. She is averaging a double-double, with 14.8 ppg and 12.5 rpg. Mallory Menendez, a 5-5 junior guard, has been proficient from long range. The Pioneers' leading scorer at 18.8 ppg, Menendez has made at least three triples in each game and is shooting 52.4 percent from behind the arc.

The Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is in his ninth season with the Lady Flames. He owns a 193-65 career record and is the all-time wins leader at Liberty and among Big South women's basketball coaches. His career winning percentage (.748) ranked 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches at the beginning of the season.

Dennis Fitzpatrick is 3-3 in his first season as Glenville State's head women's basketball coach. He was previously an assistant coach for the Pioneers for eight seasons and also serves as Glenville State's men's golf coach.

Liberty Versus the WVIAC
Liberty is 9-13 versus the current membership of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), although the Lady Flames will be playing a WVIAC team for the first time since moving to Division I.

The Lady Flames are 1-1 against Alderson-Broaddus, 4-2 against Bluefield State, 0-1 against Concord, 3-1 against Davis & Elkins and 1-8 against new WVIAC member Pitt-Johnstown. Liberty and Pitt-Johnstown were both members of the Mason-Dixon Conference from 1984 to 1988.

Liberty has never met WVIAC members Charleston, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Ohio Valley, Salem International, Seton Hill, Shepherd, West Liberty State, West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan and Wheeling Jesuit on the hardwood.

Big South Recognition
Liberty is the first conference team to garner a pair of Big South Player of the Week honors this season. Megan Frazee won the award on Nov. 26, after leading the Lady Flames to the National City Xavier Invitational title. Sister Moriah Frazee is this week's honoree, for the first time in her career. She averaged 17.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg and shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) last week, helping Liberty win games against James Madison and Binghamton.

Ahead at the Half
The Lady Flames have taken a lead into the locker room at halftime in seven out of nine games this season, including the last three contests. Liberty is outscoring opponents by an average of 12.3 points during the first half thus far. The Lady Flames have translated halftime advantages into victories six out of seven times.

Win No. 200 is on the Horizon
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green is closing in on a milestone. He has compiled 193 victories during his first eight-plus seasons with the Lady Flames, leaving him just seven wins shy of 200. Green would become the first women's basketball coach in Liberty and Big South Conference history to reach the milestone.

If the Lady Flames win their next seven games, Green will capture victory No. 200 at home, versus George Mason (Jan. 15). If not, Green's next opportunities will come at Charleston Southern (Jan. 19) and at his alma mater, Coastal Carolina (Jan. 21).

Liberty in the NCAA Rankings
Liberty is ranked in the top 25 nationally in eight statistical categories. The Lady Flames are fourth in field goal percentage defense (.320), seventh in field goal percentage (.485), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.394), 11th in scoring margin (+21.2), 15th in won-lost percentage (.889), 17th in free throw percentage (.768), 21st in rebounding margin (+9.8) and 24th in scoring (75.1 ppg).

Additionally, junior Moriah Frazee sits 14th in the nation in field goal percentage (.600).

Receiving Some Recognition
After handing James Madison its first loss of the season and defeating Binghamton to push its winning streak to six games, Liberty received its first Top 25 vote of the season. The Lady Flames earned a single vote in this week's AP Top 25 Poll.

Triple the Trouble
Liberty sports the only set of triplets currently playing for the same NCAA Division I women's basketball team--juniors Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee. The trio plays a key role in the Lady Flames' success. Through eight games, the Frazees are averaging 38.3 points and 18.7 rebounds per outing, good for 51.0 percent of the Lady Flames' scoring output and 43.5 percent of the team's rebounds.

One of the Frazees has led Liberty in scoring in each game this season. Molly Frazee paced the squad once, Moriah Frazee has done so three times and Megan Frazee has led the way in the other five contests.

Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee started together for the first time this season, Dec. 8 versus Binghamton, helping the Lady Flames defeat the Bearcats. The triplets were a part of the same starting lineup on eight occasions during the 2006-07 season.

Collectively, the Frazee triplets are nearing the 2,000-point plateau for their career. Megan Frazee has posted 944 points, Moriah Frazee has added 600 markers and Molly Frazee has chipped in with 380, for a total of 1,924 career points.

Tracking a Pair of Milestones
Through 54 career games, Megan Frazee has tossed in 944 points, for an average of 17.5 points per contest. If she continues at her current scoring rate, Frazee is in line to become Liberty's 11th all-time 1,000-point scorer at North Carolina, on Dec. 30. She is currently 11th on the school's all-time scoring list.

Frazee is also nearing 500 rebounds. She has pulled down 481 boards in her career, good for an average of 8.9 rpg. Frazee is on pace to collect her 500th board on Dec. 21, during either the championship or consolation game of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic. She would become the 19th member of Liberty's 500-rebound club and the sixth Lady Flame to post 1,000 points and 500 caroms in her career.

The Container is Half Full
Liberty has shot the ball well in its first three home games of the season, starting with a team and Vines Center-record 64.6 percent field goal efficiency on Nov. 30 against Virginia Union. The Lady Flames then canned 52.8 percent of their field goal attempts on Dec. 4 versus James Madison and made 62.8 percent of their shots from the field against Binghamton, Dec. 8.

Liberty has recorded three-consecutive games of shooting 50 percent or higher for the first time since a four-game run of stellar shooting, spanning Jan. 24 and Feb. 9, 2005.

Liberty has won all four games this season in which it has shot 50 percent or better and is 44-0 in such contests under head coach Carey Green.

Long Distance Connection
The Lady Flames have made at least one three-pointer in 80-straight games, a streak which began on Feb. 26, 2005. This is Liberty's second-longest streak in program history. The Lady Flames went 82-consecutive games with a three-pointer between Jan. 24, 1998 and Dec. 20, 2000.

Clamping Down on Defense
The Lady Flames have held their last 28 opponents under 50 percent from the field. The last Liberty foe to shoot 50 percent or higher was Marist, at the Maryland Terrapin Classic on Dec. 29, 2006.

Liberty has limited six of its nine opponents to 35 percent or lower field goal efficiency this season, and the opposition is shooting just 32.0 percent versus the Lady Flames. Liberty ranks fourth nationally in the category.

On Fire From the Field
Junior Moriah Frazee has been locked in to the basket recently. Since the second half of the Lady Flames' win at Xavier on Nov. 25, Frazee has made 23 of her last 26 field goal attempts, an .885 clip. She is shooting a league-best 60 percent for the year.

Starting Quickly
The Lady Flames' 8-1 start is their best since the 1997-98 squad won its first 28 games of the year. Below is a list of Liberty's all-time best openings to a season.

1997-98: 28-0 (Final Record: 28-1)
2007-08: 8-1 (Final Record: ??)
1996-97: 8-1 (Final Record: 22-8)
1983-84: 7-1 (Final Record: 13-11)
1975-76: 7-1 (Final Record: 7-1)

Fastest to Eight Wins
Liberty has reached the eight-win mark the earliest on the calendar in program history, after the Lady Flames improved to 8-1 with a 76-40 triumph over Binghamton on Dec. 8. The earliest a Carey Green-coached Liberty team had ever picked up its eighth win, prior to this season, was Jan. 4, which the Lady Flames had done twice (1999-2000 and 2002-03).

The 1997-98 Liberty squad recorded win No. 8 on Dec. 13, which stood as the Lady Flames' earliest eighth victory before this season. The 1997-98 Lady Flames, who went undefeated during the regular season, posted their ninth win on Dec. 15, also a program standard.