CHARLESTON, S.C. – College of Charleston women’s basketball jumped out to a 25-point first half lead on Wednesday night, eventually securing an 80-62 victory over the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
The Cougars (5-4), had four players in double digits, forced 26 turnovers and took 23 more shots than their opponents in a comprehensive team victory. Christy Hewatt (Cumming, Ga.) had her best game of the season with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Afreyea Tolbert (Teaneck, N.J.) chipped in with 16 points and nine boards.
The Cougars hot start began on the defensive end as they held Coastal scoreless for almost four minutes in the game’s early stages. With Tolbert, Hewatt and Alyssa Frye (Chester, Va.) also controlling play offensively, the Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the 16:13 mark and quickly extended that advantage to 25 points following a layup by sophomore guard Shannon Hines (Spindale, N.C.) with 7:49 left in the first half.
One of the first half’s most important factors was the offensive prowess of point guard Jill Brown (Midlothian, Va.). Brown – the College’s all-time career assists leader – was at her magisterial best in the opening twenty minutes, constantly exploiting holes in the Chanticleer’s 2-3 zone and knocking down four of five mid-range jump shots.
The Chanticleers kept the game competitive however, closing the gap to 13, 46-33 at the halftime break.
The second half began much the same way as the first with Hewatt and Tolbert taking firm advantage of defensive mismatches while strong team defense consistently forced turnovers all over the floor.
The Chanticleers tried in earnest to stay within striking distance, closing the gap to 10 with 9:29 left in the game, but would get no closer as Jill Brown found Jazz Green on a back door cut for an easy score on the ensuing possession. The confident Cougars then ran rampant over the next two minutes to reassert a 17 point advantage.
The College went five of six from the free-throw line over the last 1:15 as the Chanticleers desperately tried to claw their way back in to the game, but the result was never in doubt for the Cougars who claimed their fifth win of the season, 80-62.
• The College is now 33-12 all-time against Coastal Carolina
• Wednesday’s win moves Coach Adair to 2-0 all-time against the Chanticleers. Last year’s victory marked her first win as a head coach.
• Four of the Cougars nine games this season have been played against in-state competition, having already played against Winthrop, South Carolina and South Carolina State
• The Cougar’s 79 shots are fourth most in school history. It’s also the third time this season the Cougars have attempted 70 or more field goals.
• Two Cougars had season highs in points scored: Jazz Green (15), Jill Brown (8).
• The College practiced at length this past week following the Richmond game on winning the hustle points. Against the Chanticleers, the Cougars took more charges (3-1), pulled in more offensive rebounds (21-8) and forced more turnovers (26-13)
• In the paint, the College outscored Coastal 42-26 and had 19 second chance points.
College of Charleston Head Coach Natasha Adair
On her team’s 80-62 victory over Coastal Carolina…
“This was a great team win. We talked coming in to the game about making the types of plays that were going to contribute to our victory. I thought we had energy, hustle and focus for all forty minutes. I was also extremely proud of our rebounding tonight. That had been something we spent a lot of time working on coming in to the game. We are going to build on this win and prepare to compete against South Florida on Saturday.”
College of Charleston senior guard Afreyea Tolbert
On playing together as a team…
“It was a great win for us. So many different people stepped up today. Jill Brown and Christy Hewatt knocked down clutch shots for us early on and I feel like we got stops when we had to. We were also really intentional about rebounding – both offensively and defensively – and I think that’s what put us in a position to win.”
College of Charleston junior forward Christy Hewatt
On what it took to win…
“First and foremost we had fun tonight. We are at our best when we play with intensity and energy – we did that tonight. We really supported each other tonight and we when we get hyped like that, we’re tough to beat.”
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