December 30, 2008
Flames capture Hardwood Classic with 45-43 win over Tech
By Matt Kovatch - Inside Hokie Sports
Liberty (5-7) 232245
Virginia Tech (7-5) 241943
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 1,527
  • High Points: 16 - Lindsay Biggs
  • High Rebounds: 6 - Lindsay Biggs

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A game-winning jumper by tournament MVP Megan Frazee with 49 seconds remaining lifted Liberty University to a 45-43 victory over Virginia Tech in the championship bout of the 19th annual Hokie Hardwood Classic at Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night.

It was the first time since 1997 that Tech did not win its own tournament, as the Hokies had captured the previous 10 titles. The loss snapped a 21-game winning streak for Tech in the tournament and dropped the Hokies to 7-5 on the season.

Liberty not only improved to 5-7 with the win, but it was also the Flames’ first triumph over the Hokies in 15 tries dating back to 1982.

Both teams shot poorly in this one – Tech hit 32.1 percent and Liberty fired at 33.3 percent – but the difference proved to be a 46-30 edge in rebounding for the Flames, including a dominating 18 caroms alone by Avery Warley.

“No. 1 on our list of keys going into the game before we started our scouting report was rebounding,” Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger said. “No. 1 when we went to practice was rebounding, and No. 1 when we talked before the game was rebounding. But obviously, that didn’t get through to the team.

“Warley put on a rebounding clinic and my hat goes off to her. I thought she was the game changer. She had more offensive rebounds than I think all of our posts put together did on the defensive end.”

Warley finished with 29 total rebounds in Liberty’s two games – just two shy of the tournament record – and was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts. She was joined by Frazee, Tech’s Lindsay Biggs and Utahya Drye, Lafayette’s Cristin Zavocki and North Carolina A&T’s Amber Bland.

With the game tied at 29 with over 16 minutes left to play, Tech looked like it might pull away when it went on an 8-0 run to make it 37-29 at 13:26. But Liberty promptly answered with a 10-0 run of its own to take a 39-37 lead by the 6:45 mark.

Tech’s Lindsay Biggs fired back at 5:20 with her fourth 3-pointer of the game to put Tech back on top, but that was the last time Tech would lead, as a jumper by Rachel Hammond at 5:03 and two free throws by Frazee at 3:22 gave Liberty a 43-40 advantage.

Drye tied things up with a traditional 3-point play at 1:28 after getting fouled on a good layup, but that just set the stage for Frazee’s game-winner.

Frazee finished the game with 20 points and 7 boards, while Warley added 11 points to go with her abundance of rebounds to record the double-double. Biggs tallied team-highs of 16 points and six rebounds for Tech, while Drye added 12 points.

North Carolina A&T defeated Lafayette by a score of 65-63 in the consolation game.

The Hokies will return to action on January 5 with a 7 p.m. tip-off against Presbyterian College at Cassell Coliseum.

For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).

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