CHARLESTON, S.C. - In front of a crowd of 2,347, largely made up of kids, the College of Charleston women's basketball team raced to a 63-43 win Monday at TD Arena.
Junior Alyssa Frye led three CofC players in double-figures with 15 points and both senior Latisha Harris and junior Afreyea Tolbert recorded double-doubles for the Cougars. Harris had 14 points and 13 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season and Tolbert added 14 points and 12 rebounds in her first start of the season.
Harris got the Cougars (9-12, 5-7) started with six of their first 10 points to build an early 10-5 lead. The Spartans (4-17, 1-11) counted with a 6-0 run as they took an 11-10 lead on a three-pointer from Jessica Collins.
The Cougars, who had nine players score in the game, came right back on a 10-0 run of their own with contributions from four different players, which catapulted them to a 29-20 halftime lead.
In the second half the Cougars lead stayed around 10 points until Frye made a three-pointer to give the Cougars a 41-29 lead. Sophomore Mikaela Hopkins followed with an offensive rebound and put back and another layup to give the Cougars a 16 point lead at 45-29 with 11:39 remaining in the game.
The Spartans made one last push, but could only trim the Cougars lead to 11 at 50-39 with 6:16 left in the game. From that point the Cougars closed the game on a 13-4 run to earn the 63-43 victory.
The Cougars held a 28-16 advantage on the Spartans in points in the paint and converted 17-of-23 free throws (73.9 percent) in the victory. The Cougars also had 21 offensive rebounds, which they converted into 12 second chance points.
Before the game the College of Charleston had several representatives from the CofC School of Science and Mathematics do demonstrations for the kids. Other groups that were involved included: South Carolina Aquarium, MUSC, NASA and the following College departments: Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Grice Marine Laboratory, Center for Partnerships and Education, Computer Science, Geology, NASA, Physics and Astronomy, and the School of Education Health and Human Performance.
Up next the Cougars hit the road for two games, Saturday Feb. 9 at Georgia Southern and Monday Feb. 11 at Davidson. The Cougars next home game is Saturday Feb. 16 as part of a double-header with the CofC men's basketball team. Tip-off for the women's game is 12:00 p.m.
"Education Day was exciting. To have thousands of students in the arena, it was an electric atmosphere to play our basketball game. The energy of having the kids in the arena really helped our team today. That is what you want in a Division I basketball game. These were our fans and our community and I can't thank them enough for coming out, showing their support and igniting us to victory today. I also want to give a big thank you to Jessica Rodgers for her work with this event and everyone else who made today so special."
On the game...
"Before we came out of the locker room we talked about what good teams do and how they win. We talked about being your best self. I told them to do what they can do, but don't accept anything less of yourself. I thought that message was translated beautifully into the game."
"We had a lot of players come off the bench and help us a lot today. I think we have a great chance to be the best team in March. If we stand together and keep depositing positive plays and work hard in practice, we are gelling at the right time and I could not be more excited for this program."