CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Cougars led by as many as 11 in the first half, but came up short down the stretch as they dropped a 63-55 game against Appalachian State on Friday.
The Cougars (7-9, 3-4) had three players in double-figures led by senior Megan Fischer with 12 points. CofC attacked the offensive glass all night as they finished with 23 offensive rebounds and a 19-6 advantage in second chance points.
Senior Cathryn Hardy recorded her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. Hardy also tallied four steals as the Cougars forced Appalachian State (11-3, 5-1) into 21 turnovers.
The Mountaineers led for nearly the entire first eight minutes as they opened up a 15-10 lead on the Cougars. CofC mounted a 16-0 run as they went up by as many as 11 at 26-15 with 7:05 remaining in the opening half. The Cougars would hold Appalachian State scoreless for seven minutes and 52 seconds, until the Mountaineers converted a jumper to get to 26-17.
Over the final five minutes of the half, Appalachian State used a 17-4 run to go up 32-30 at halftime.
The Cougars kept the game within two possessions until Appalachian State went up 50-43 with 9:05 left to play. CofC responded with a three-point basket from Fischer, which ignited an 8-0 to put the Cougars up 51-50 with 5:17 to play.
Going into the final media timeout it was 52-52, when the Mountaineers got a three-pointer from Anna Freeman and a jumper from Courtney Freeman to go up five at 57-52 with 2:18 remaining.
The Cougars could not get anything going and Appalachian State made crucial free-throws down the stretch the put the game away in their favor.
Up next the Cougars host Elon on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
POST GAME QUOTES
COFC HEAD COACH NATASHA ADAIR
On what she learns from this game
"I learned that my team is tough. They fought. I'm not mad at their effort. It was tied six times and went back and forth. Today felt like a game in March. Our intensity was there all night. To finish games you have to make free-throws. We led in every other stat tonight. There was phenomenal effort. I hurt for them because they played so hard tonight."
On playing close games with the top teams in the conference
"I think we are still getting better and that is encouraging. These are the best teams in the league and it's a ball game. It's a ball game until the buzzer. Our kids aren't going to break. They are going to keep fighting, because they work too hard. I'm so proud of my teams fight. I'm proud of where we have come from and where we are going."
"Cathryn is my glue. There was a determination on her face tonight. Hustle plays, loose balls, bloody lip, she did it all. She is a senior and she is going out of here with a fight. I want so bad for my seniors to have success. Megan was great tonight. She ran down loose balls and even flew out of bounds to save the ball. She became contagious to the team. Her energy was contagious. Cathryn and Megan showed their senior toughness and leadership tonight on that floor."