CHARLESTON, SC -
In a definitive statement of intent, the College of Charleston women's basketball team scored over 100 points for the first time since joining the Division-1 ranks in 1989, en route to a comprehensive, 101-65 victory over William & Mary in their opening home conference game as members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
The Cougars finished the game with four players in double figures and shot 55.4% from the field – the fifth highest shooting percentage in school history – while also forcing 29 turnovers and winning the battle on the glass, 50-39.
Junior forward Christy Hewatt (Cumming, Ga.) led the way for the College with a season-high 18-point performance. The Cougar bench also proved lethal, outscoring the Tribe 49-28, led by three players in double figures: Jazz Green (12), Jasmine Carter (12) and Mikaela Hopkins (10).
The Cougars came out rampant in the first half, jumping out to an early 18-2 lead, following consecutive baskets from senior Afreyea Tolbert (Teaneck, N.J.), Bre Bolden (Edgewater, Md.) and Hewatt. The Tribe cut the deficit to nine at the 9:28 mark of the first half following a three-pointer from freshman Marlena Tremba, but that was as close as William and Mary would get as the Cougars firmly stepped on the gas pedal and rode out to a 21-point halftime lead following a buzzer beating jumper from junior Mikaela Hopkins (Augusta, Ga.).
Statistically, it was an impressive first half display for the Cougars who forced 17 turnovers and shot 60.6% from the field. Ever attack-minded, 35 of the College's 50 first half points came in the paint, including 8 from Hopkins who shot four of five in the opening twenty minutes.
The second half was more of the same as the Tribe continued to struggle with the Cougars stifling defense, getting no closer than 22 points. The College continued to play with energy and heart until the very end, using all 94-feet of the floor to claim 23 points in transition and 26 points off turnovers. Two late three-pointers from junior Erin Hall (Norcross, Ga.) put the Cougars in position to surpass the century mark, something the Cougars took full advantage of as Jasmine Carter knocked down her fourth basket of the evening to cap off a vintage performance from the Cougars, 101-65.
Next up for the College is a Friday, Jan. 17, road clash with Hofstra, in Hempstead, N.Y. The Cougars return home on Jan. 23, to face Towson.
• The Cougars scored 100 points for the first time since a 100-60 victory over Morris on Feb. 2, 1989. The College participated in the NAIA that season, before moving to Division-1 the following year.
•The highest previous points scored total in the D-1 era for the Cougars came during a 97-point outing against Mercer in 2009.
• The Cougars shot 55.4% from the field against the Tribe, the fifth best shooting performance in school history. CofC also shot 67% from the field against Anderson in 2001 and twice shot 59% from the field against Mercer in 2009 and Elon in 2008.
• Christy Hewatt's 18 points represent a new career-high for the junior out of Cumming Ga. She also scored 14 points against Coastal Carolina earlier this season.
• The Cougars 41 field goals are the most in school history, surpassing the previous mark of 39 against Limestone on Dec. 9, 2000.
• On track to attempt the most field goals in school history, the Cougars again broke the 70-attempt mark, hoisting 74 shots on Sunday, tied for the ninth most in school history.
• Sunday's game marks the first home victory for the Cougars as members of the CAA.
• The Cougars lead the game end-to-end for the first all season.
• Sunday's win moves the Cougars in to the third place in the conference standings.
POST GAME QUOTES:
College of Charleston Head Coach Natasha Adair:
On her team's overall performance…
"Words can't express how proud I am of our players, coaches and support staff. We talked about protecting home court and representing the CAA in the right way. Our players did exactly that. We followed the game plan for 40 minutes and played team basketball. Most importantly, we had fun today."
College of Charleston junior center Mikaela Hopkins:
On winning as a team…
"We had an awesome game today. We won as a team and at the end of the day, that‘s what it's all about. We win together, we lose together, and we fight together. Everyone from our starters to our bench players contributed today. That's special."
College of Charleston senior point-guard Jill Brown
On winning conference games at home…
"We came out today to make a statement. We talked about it in practice, about playing together and making that extra pass to an open teammate – doing whatever it takes. We did that this afternoon and I think it was a great team effort. If we can stay consistent and continue to play like this, we will tough to beat."