CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Junior Afreyea Tolbert scored 16 points in the second half and sophomore Mikaela Hopkins recorded 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks as the College of Charleston women's basketball team beat Western Carolina for the second time this season, 73-61 at the Ramsey Center.
The Cougars (14-14, 10-9) got 25 bench points including 13 from sophomore Jazz Green, who also pulled down eight rebounds and tallied three steals for the game.
Juniors Jillian Brown and Alyssa Frye moved into the top-10 on SoCon single season record lists. With two three-pointers Frye moved into 10th in the SoCon record books for threes in a season and now has 82. With her six assists Brown moved into seventh on the single season assist record list and now has 177.
Western Carolina (7-21, 5-14) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on the Cougars, but the Cougars responded in a big way as they mounted a 27-6 run to go up 27-10 with 7:19 to go in the opening half. Green, who had a career-high 14 points the last time these two teams met, scored 10 points in the Cougars spurt.
Western Carolina came back with an 8-2 run and narrowed the Cougars lead to 41-29 at the halftime break.
The Cougars came out strong in the second half as they scored the first six points of the second period to go up 47-29 on a layup by Frye with 17:35 to go in the game.
The Catamounts connected on three shots from beyond the three-point arc and used a 13-6 run to cut the Cougars lead to 53-42 with 12:52 to play.
The Cougars would not let the Catamounts close the gap to single digits as Tolbert continued to attack and she scored eight of the Cougars 12 points in a stretch where they built their lead back up to 15 at 69-54 at the final media timeout with 3:34 to play in the game.
Up next the Cougars will have a chance to clinch the fifth spot in the SoCon standings and a first round bye in the conference tournament as they travel to Greenville, S.C. to battle Furman on Monday at 7:00 p.m.
"It was a great team win today. We don't take any game for granted. Western kept on fighting and so did we. Mikaela Hopkins had a big game. As a sophomore she played great for us today. We had 25 bench points which was great. We really focused on attacking the rim and taking what the defense gave us. Afreyea Tolbert was a spark for us, especially in the second half. I'm excited about the win tonight, really proud of my team and I look forward to closing out the regular season on Monday at Furman."