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Lady Flames fall to DePaul in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

March 18, 2006  Chicago, Ill.  RSS
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Lady Flames fall to DePaul in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

No. 4 seeded DePaul opened up a 21-5 lead over the first seven and a half minutes of the game and held No. 13 seeded Liberty to just 29.6 percent from the field for the game as the Blue Demons avenged their loss from a season ago with a 68-43 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

With the loss Liberty concludes its season at 25-6, marking the fourth-straight season that the Lady Flames have posted 25-plus victories, while DePaul improved to 26-6 on the season and will take on No. 12 seeded Tulsa, who upset No. 5 seeded N.C. State, for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Looking for revenge after an 88-79 Liberty win that knocked DePaul out of last season's NCAA Tournament, the Blue Demons came out hitting on all cylinders getting out to an early 8-2 lead with 17:05 to go in the first half. Jamie Feagin (Jr., F, Lockport, N.Y.) cut the lead to three, 8-5, as she connected on an old fashion three-point play.

However, that would be the last points the Lady Flames would post over the next four minutes as DePaul reeled off 11-straight points to break open the game and give them a 16-point advantage (21-5).

Over the next four minutes Liberty chipped away at the lead as Molly Frazee (Fr., Guard/Forward, Xenia, Ohio) knocked down a three to get within 12 (25-13), but a 14-7 run by the Blue Demons would give DePaul its largest lead of the half at 19 (39-20).

Moriah Frazee (Fr., Forward, Xenia, Ohio) connected on two of her final four free throws, while a jumper by Allie Quigley with 16 seconds to go accounted for the halftime score, 41-22.

In the first half DePaul shot 53.8 percent (14-26) from the field and 85.7 percent (12-14) from the free throw line, while Liberty only shot 25 percent from the field (7-28) and 71.4 percent (5-7) from the line.

Neither team came out particularly hot in the second half, but the Blue Demons were able to extend their lead to 26 as they outscored the Lady Flames 11-4 over the first eight minutes.

Liberty was able cut the lead back to 18 (57-39), but that's as close as the Lady Flames would get, falling to DePaul, 68-43.

Unlike a season ago, the Blue Demons dominated Liberty on the boards as they outrebounded the Lady Flames by a season-high 21 boards, while outscoring Liberty 16-3 on second chance points as DePaul pulled down 19 offensive rebounds. It marked the first time since 2002 (South Carolina ) that Liberty had been out rebounded in the NCAA Tournament.

DePaul outworked Liberty in the paint, outscoring the Lady Flames 34-18.

Leading the way for Liberty was Moriah Frazee as the freshman scored a team-high 11 points on 3-of-9, going 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Molly Frazee was the Lady Flames' only other double-digit scorer, recording 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and a team-high five rebounds.

Liberty Head Coach Carey Green:
Opening Statement:
"I would like to congratulate DePaul. They have an excellent ball club and we wish them nothing but the best as they continue into the tournament. We felt like their defensive pressure and rebounding were keys to the game tonight."

On DePaul's fast start:
I really wasn't worried about them getting out to the start that they did. Obviously, we didn't get into our offense and we struggled all night long. That was because of DePaul's defensive pressure. We should have just been able to handle the pressure better."

On the keys to the game:
"They (DePaul) shot a high percentage of shots because of their transition offense and they got 19 offensive rebounds. All year long, we were never that manhandled on the boards. DePaul was much more focused than we were on controlling the boards."

Roli-Ann Nikagbatse:
On the play of DePaul's Khara Smith:
"She definitely out-worked our post players. She is a very strong and dominant post player."

Allyson Fasnacht:
On the play of DePaul's defense:
"DePaul did a really good job of pushing us away from the basket. They put us in situations that we didn't want to be in. It forced us to take bad shots and that fueled their fast break."

Liberty Notes:
Liberty, the nation's leader in rebounding margin at 11.7, was outrebounded by DePaul, 47-26. Those 26 boards marked a team-season low, breaking the previous mark of 29 set against Florida on Dec. 29, 2005. Liberty has lost all four games this season in which it has been outrebounded by its opponent. In the last two seasons, Liberty has been outrebounded just eight times.

Liberty went to the free throw line 12 times on Saturday night, marking the second fewest charity tosses for the Flames this season. Liberty attempted just five free throws against Florida on Dec 29, 2005.

Liberty's 43 points marked the lowest scoring output for the Flames in 12 total NCAA Tournament contests.

DePaul took a 41-22 lead into halftime over the Flames, marking just the sixth time this season that Liberty has trailed at the intermission.

The loss snaps Liberty's 14-game winning streak, which was the 7th longest in the nation.

Liberty shot 29.6% (16-for-54) from the field, their second-lowest shooting percentage of the season. Their lowest was an 18.9% (10-for-53) performance against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2005.

Two-thirds of the Frazee triplets, Moriah (11 points) and Molly (10 points) accounted for 21 of the Flames' 43 points.

Liberty's bench outscored DePaul's reserves, 25-16. Molly Frazee led the way for the Flames' reserves with 10 points.