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Seniors Push Lady Flames Past UNC Asheville

February 28, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior Megan Frazee contributed 23 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot to the Lady Flames' Senior Night triumph over UNC Asheville.

Senior Megan Frazee contributed 23 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a blocked shot to the Lady Flames' Senior Night triumph over UNC Asheville.

The Liberty women's basketball team celebrated Senior Night, Saturday evening at the Vines Center. Appropriately, the Lady Flames' seniors excelled, combining for 42 points and 23 rebounds in a 77-41 triumph over UNC Asheville.

The Lady Flames are now one victory from sealing their eighth 20-win season in the last nine campaigns, at 19-7 overall and 13-0 in the Big South. Liberty's 16th consecutive victory completes an unbeaten month of February, making the Lady Flames 91-5 in their last 96 February tilts.

Meanwhile, the visiting Bulldogs drop to 10-17 on the season and level their Big South ledger at 7-7. UNC Asheville was limited to 28.6 percent (16-of-56) from the floor on the night.

UNC Asheville claimed a 3-2 advantage at 18:29, when Ana Baker drained a triple from the right wing. The Bulldogs' only lead of the game was short-lived, however. Rachel Hammond answered with a contested three-pointer 21 seconds later, putting Liberty back in front.

Hammond's long-distance connection started a 6-0 Lady Flames surge, which boosted the home team's edge to 8-3, with 4:13 elapsed in the contest.

UNC Asheville trimmed its deficit to a single point, 8-7, when Baker hit a jumper from the paint with 13:14 left in the opening half. The Bulldogs only made one field goal over the next seven minutes of action, though, enabling Liberty to record a 14-2 run.

Megan Frazee tallied six of the Lady Flames' points during the extended surge, which ended with a pair of Avery Warley free throws, 6:55 before the half. Warley's foul shots made the score 22-9, Liberty.

Baker continued her strong first-half play for the blue-clad Bulldogs, converting a trio of steals into fast break layups. Her final conversion of the 8-0 UNC Asheville spurt came at 4:39, cutting Liberty's advantage to 22-17.

The Lady Flames then righted the ship, outscoring the Bulldogs by a 10-3 margin over the remainder of the opening stanza. Four different Liberty players scored during the half-closing run, and Megan Frazee's seventh made free throw of the half made the score 32-20, Lady Flames, at the break.

The Lady Flames, coming off a school-record 70.3 percent shooting effort Monday night at Charleston Southern, connected on only 36.0 percent (9-of-25) of their field goals during the opening half. However, the Lady Flames shot 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the line, paced by Megan Frazee's seven-of-eight effort.

UNC Asheville struggled with its field goal shooting as well, hitting just at just a 30.0 percent (9-of-30) clip from the floor during the first 20 minutes of action. The visitors also connected on just one of their five charity tosses. The Bulldogs outrebounded Liberty, 21-20, including 10 offensive caroms.

Individually, Megan Frazee led the Lady Flames with 11 points and seven rebounds prior to the half. Warley chipped in with seven points and three of her team's eight steals.

Baker paced the Bulldogs' attack with 11 points and a quartet of thefts. Lindsey Montgomery spearheaded UNC Asheville's work on the glass, hauling in a team-best seven boards in the first half.

Just as they had closed the first half with a run, the Lady Flames emerged from the locker room with a quick spurt. Megan Frazee tallied four points and an assist during Liberty's 6-2 half-opening surge. Her over-the-head pass to Hammond resulted in an easy layup at 18:16, giving the Lady Flames their largest lead to that point, 38-22.

Liberty did not score again for three and a half minutes, and the Bulldogs shaved their deficit to a dozen points, 38-26, during the stretch.

Hammond halted the visitors' momentum with a three-pointer in transition, with 14:45 showing on the second-half clock. The senior's triple from the left wing increased the Lady Flames' advantage to 15 points, 41-26.

Liberty's edge fluctuated between 14 and 17 markers for the next three and a half minutes, before the Lady Flames opened a 23-4 run. Coach Carey Green's seniors combined for 13 of the surge's points, including Megan Frazee's final two tallies of the contest. She drained both of her foul shots with 3:23 remaining, increasing Liberty's edge to 68-35. She and her fellow seniors then left the court to a standing ovation from the 1,393 fans in attendance at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames went on to close out their 28th win in the last 29 meetings with UNC Asheville. Danika Dale's reverse layup as the final horn sounded put the finishing touches on a 77-41 win.

Liberty took control of the painted area during the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs in the paint by a wide, 26-4 margin and outrebounding the visitors, 24-17. The Lady Flames' activity around the basket also helped them get to the free throw line 31 times for the game, and they sank 26 of the attempts.

Megan Frazee was one of the Lady Flames' primary free throw shooters on Saturday, setting season highs for both free throws made (11) and attempted (12). She paced all players in both points (23) and rebounds (12), while also nabbing a season-high four steals. Frazee scored in double figures for the 62nd consecutive game, tying Elena Kisseleva's program record. The Xenia, Ohio native also moved into third place on Liberty's career scoring (1,747 points) and rebounding (882 rebounds) lists during the contest.

Sister and classmate Moriah Frazee reached double figures for the second game in a row, ending up with 10 points. Frazee now sits No. 10 on Liberty's all-time scoring list, with 1,079 career markers.

Seniors Hammond and Rebecca Lightfoot contributed eight points and one tally, respectively, for the Lady Flames.

Warley added 10 points, five rebounds a career high-equaling three steals and a pair of blocked shots, while Mays chipped in seven points, five boards, four thefts and three assists.

Baker finished the game with a team-high 16 points for UNC Asheville, as the senior was the only Bulldog to reach double figures. She also came up with a game-high six steals. Kendall Shepard totaled eight points, while Montgomery hauled in nine rebounds, five of the offensive variety.

Liberty will play its final home game of the season Monday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames attempt to wrap up a season sweep of new conference member Presbyterian (4-22, 1-12 Big South). Liberty defeated the Blue Hose by a 59-49 score on Jan. 17 in Clinton, S.C.

UNC Asheville will remain within the Commonwealth for a Monday night clash at Radford. Tip-off at the Dedmon Center is slated for 7 p.m.