UPPER MARLBORO, MD -
In their inaugural CAA tournament game, the No. 3 seed College of Charleston women's basketball team downed the Tigers of Towson University, 70-64, to advance to the semi-finals of the CAA Women's Basketball Championship in front of 1,772 fans at the Show Place Arena.
The Cougars (17-13) were led by the all-CAA senior tandem of Afreyea Tolbert and Alyssa Frye, who combined for 34 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cougars to the semi-finals of the conference tournament in just their first year as members of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Also putting in stellar performances for The College were freshman, Bre Bolden, who dropped 10 points and pulled downed eight rebounds, and junior center Mikaela Hopkins, who controlled the paint throughout the game, grabbing 12 rebounds, blocking two shots and chipping in offensively with six points.
Despite having lost to Towson in their two previous matchups this season, the confident Cougars came out firing in the first half, taking a nine point, 17-8 lead mid-way through the first half, courtesy of back to back treys by sharp-shooters Erin Hall and Alyssa Frye. Hall was crucial for the Cougars in the first half, extending the Tigers defensively with both her potent outside shooting and solid distribution.
Junior Breannah Davis-Bloom then gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the first half, after she knocked down a runner in the lane to hand CofC a 36-23 lead with just 48 seconds left in the opening stanza, before a Markell Smith jumper cut the lead to 11 at the halftime break.
The Cougars outscored Towson 15-0 in first half bench scoring as the Tigers played just six players in the opening twenty minutes.
Despite their limited depth, the Tigers came out motivated in the second half, led by senior Tanisha McTiller, who would go on to finish the game with 36 points on 13 of 26 shooting.
The Cougars led 42-30 with 15:26 to go on a Tolbert layup, before McTiller then scored 13 points in a 15-4 Tigers' run over the next six minutes to pull Towson within 46-45 with 9:40 to play. The Cougars responded with nine straight points, capped by a Breanna Bolden layup, pushing the lead back to 55-45 with 7:09 on the clock.
A Tolbert layup gave the Cougars a commanding 61-49 advantage with 4:57 to go, but McTiller brought Towson back again. She accounted for all of the points in a 10-2 Tigers' run that made it 62-59 with 1:30 remaining. However, the Cougars stemmed the tide once more as Frye drained four straight free throws and Brown hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Next up for the College is a semi-final matchup with the Blue Hens of Delaware at the Show Place Arena, in Upper Marlboro, Md., where tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m.
TV INFO FOR TOMORROW'S GAME:
Tomorrow's semi-final between The College and Delaware can be viewed locally in Chalreston on WTAT Fox, Channel 24.
POST GAME QUOTES:
College of Charleston Head Coach Natasha Adair
On her teams 70-64 win…
"I really could not be more proud of our team tonight. We were tough, confident and hungry. We had great fan support and played Charleston basketball. Next up is Delaware, we have to come ready to play."
College of Charleston Freshman Guard Breanna Bolden
On the win…
"We came out with lots of energy. We were all dialed in and on the same page for this game. We need to continue with the positive energy so we can continue this post-season journey."