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Lady Flames Fall to Hokies

December 10, 2005  Blacksburg, Va.  RSS
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The Virginia Tech women's basketball team rebounded from a subpar effort in its last outing against Radford to defeat the Liberty Flames 70-60 on December 10 at Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies improved to 8-0 while Liberty dropped to 3-3 in front of 3,230 fans.

The game was nip-and-tuck early with the two teams exchanging the lead eight times in the first half. Liberty led 25-24 after scoring on four of five possessions, which prompted Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger to call a timeout with 4:52 left until halftime.

Following the timeout, the Hokies closed out the half on a 9-0 run. The Hokies also scored the first basket of the second half to extend the run to 11-0 and make their lead 35-25. The Hokies scored on nine of their first 11 possessions in the second half, but the Flames managed to keep pace, converting on nine of their first 14 possessions.

The lead bounced back and forth around that 10-point Tech advantage for much of the second half until Liberty scored on five straight possessions to cut the Hokie lead to 59-54. However, Tech came up with four straight defensive stops and ran off a little 7-2 run to recapture the momentum and put the game out of reach.

The win kept the Hokies perfect both on the season and all-time against Liberty. Tech has never lost to the Flames in 12 contests. The Hokies also reinforced their reputation as a tough team to beat at home, winning 31 of their last 32 non-conference games at home. Tech has also won 21 of 22 home games against teams from the state of Virginia over the past nine seasons.

Tech won by executing in phases where it has struggled at times this season. The team shot the ball better than its 59 percent season average from the free-throw line, making good on 21 of 31 attempts, 68 percent. Dunkenberger's crew also made a concerted and consistent effort to pound the ball inside, outscoring the Flames 42-22 in the paint. And the Hokies played good defense, forcing 18 turnovers, which they then rolled over into a 22-2 advantage in points off of turnovers.

Liberty was led by Megan Frazee's 20 points and 10 rebounds as she posted her fourth double-double on the season, while Michelle Parker scored a season-high 10 points.

Gardin paced Tech with her 14th career double-double, recording 20 points and 14 rebounds. Megan Finnerty and Dawn Chriss also hit double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Lady Flames will take about a week off for exams before hosting Southern Methodist University on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Vines Center. Before the game Liberty will honor two of its best as they will induct former Lady Flames Kristal Tharp and Katie Feenstra into the Liberty Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, while also retiring Feenstra's No. 44 jersey.