RICHMOND, Va. – The College of Charleston Women’s Basketball team had three players in double digits, won the battle on the glass and forced 18 turnovers Saturday evening, but it was not enough as a late run by the Spiders of Richmond University saw off the Cougars, 80-73.
Under cloudy skies just outside of the Virginia state capital, the Cougars (4-4) came out firing, taking an early 13-4 lead following consecutive baskets by senior Alyssa Frye (Chester, Va.) at the 15:09 mark of the first half.
The Spiders (5-5) struggled offensively early on and seemed rattled by the Cougars ability to jump the passing lanes and defend on the perimeter. Breanna Bolden (Edgewater, Md.) and Frye were tenacious on the defensive end of the floor, swiping four and five steals, respectively, which provided the impetus the Cougars needed to get out in to transition and convert easy baskets.
Frye, playing in front of friends and family, had one of the best first half performances in recent College of Charleston women’s basketball memory, dropping 19 points on six of eight shooting, reeling in five steals, grabbing two rebounds and knocking down five of seven from the charity stripe in the game’s opening twenty minutes.
Taking both the momentum and a 42-36 lead to the locker room at halftime, the Cougars were the better team, despite the Spiders shooting 48.4% from the floor behind Genevieve Okoro’s 10 points and 7 rebounds.
In the second half, the Cougars continued to play hard and did well to expose the Spiders’ 2-3 zone and three-quarter court trap, taking a six point lead, 52-46, after a great offensive rebound and put back by freshman forward Jasmine Carter (Lexington, N.C.).
The Spiders would begin to crawl back into the game however, taking a 60-58 lead after a transition layup from Olivia Healy with seven minutes left in the game.
It was lead they would not relinquish.
Frye (24), Tolbert (22) and Bolden (12) all finished the game with double digit scoring. Playing well off the bench for the College was Carter and junior Jazz Green (Darlington, S.C) who combined for nine points and 16 rebounds.
Richmond was led on the night by Okoro’s 18 points and 15 rebounds. Olivia Healy also pitched in with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Spiders hit seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
• Saturday’s game marked a homecoming of sorts for seniors Jill Brown and Alyssa Frye. Brown is a native of Midlothian, Va. and played her prep ball at Trinity Episcopal. Frye, a native of Chester, Va., was a standout high school player at Thomas Dale High, just twenty minutes away from Richmond.
• Bre Bolden has been sensational for the Cougars since moving in to the starting lineup. Over the past three games, Bolden is averaging 10.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 3.2 spg.
• Starting for the Cougars for the third time this season was Brown, Frye, Bolden, Tolbert and Hewatt.
• Saturday’s game marks the first time this season the Cougars have lost when shooting higher than 35% from the field. Against the Spiders, the Cougars hit 36.6% of their field goals.
• Jill Brown had another three assists against the Spiders, extending her lead as the school’s all-time career assist leader to 6. She has 466 dimes since 2010.
• The College, currently #1 in the CAA with just over 11 steals per game, added another 14 against the Spiders.
• Saturday’s game featured seven ties and six lead changes.
College of Charleston Head Coach Natasha Adair
On Saturday’s loss to Richmond…
“Ultimately, I’m disappointed with the result. But with that being said, our players never quit and we got some really big contributions from Tolbert, Frye and Bolden. We didn’t finish down the stretch and that hurt us. Richmond was able to make some plays at the end of the game that sent the momentum their way. They beat us to 50/50 balls, got to the offensive glass and made free throws. We have to limit our mistakes, especially on the road against a tough opponent.”
On her team moving forward…
“We will get back in to the gym and continue improving. As a team, our best basketball is in front of us and I’m confident that we will work to achieve it. The future is bright.”
College of Charleston senior point guard Jill Brown
On her team’s performance…
“It was a hard fought game that went back and forth all afternoon. I think we played well, shot the ball well and made our free throws – we just didn’t make the plays we needed to down the stretch. Now it’s all about looking ahead to our game on Wednesday and preparing properly so we can get the win.”
On playing in front of friends and family
“It was a nice homecoming. I enjoyed playing in front of all the people who helped me get to where I am today. I wish we could have pulled it out for them.”
College of Charleston senior guard Afreyea Tolbert
On lessons learned…
“Today was a tough loss, but I think we played hard and showed some toughness. We needed to make a couple more plays down the stretch, especially on the defensive end. Moving forward, we need to be more intentional in our rebounding and practice hard so that we can be focused and prepared against Coastal Carolina on Wednesday.”
College of Charleston senior guard Alyssa Frye
On the positives from this evening’s game…
“We fought hard tonight. There was energy and teamwork and everyone stayed positive. The areas where we came up short tonight are areas we can fix and get better at. We’re going to keep our heads up, push forward and get ready for the game against Coastal Carolina on Wednesday. Our best basketball is ahead of us.”
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