CHARLESTON, S.C. - Down by one point with 45 seconds left to play senior Latisha Harris made a layup and senior Cathryn Hardy took a charge with seven seconds left as the College of Charleston women's basketball team escaped with a 58-56 victory over Georgia Southern Saturday at TD Arena.
Harris led the Cougars (7-5, 3-0) with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season. Fellow senior Cathryn Hardy nearly had a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Junior Jillian Brown recorded her third straight double-digit assist game with 11 assists.
For the Cougars with the win over Georgia Southern they equaled their win total from all of last season, a season which saw them finish 7-23 in 2011-12.
The Eagles (1-11, 0-3) got off to a good start as their leading scorer MiMi DuBose, who finished with 27 points for the game, hit a three-pointer to put her team up 5-2 in the early going.
The Eagles would keep the lead until Hardy knocked down a three-pointer to put the Cougars up 10-7 with 14:31 to play in the half.
Georgia Southern would keep it at a two possession game until the Cougars closed the half on a 14-5 run to go up 32-17 at the break.
Harris and sophomore Christy Hewatt scored back-to-back baskets to get the Cougars going in the second half as they led by as many as 19 at 36-17 with 18:16 to play in the game.
DuBose, who scored 20 of her 27 points in the second half brought the Eagles back, leading a 14-0 run as she scored 11 straight points for the Eagles to put them up one at 56-55 with 45 seconds remaining in the game.
CofC head coach Natasha Adair called a timeout and out of the timeout the Cougars ran a play to get Harris the ball in the post and she hit a turnaround layup to put CofC up 57-56 with 32 seconds left.
The Cougars pressured the ball and forced the Eagles to call a timeout with 17 seconds left. Out of the timeout, Meredyth Frye drove to the hoop and Hardy took a charge, drawing a foul on Frye with seven seconds left.
The Cougars got the ball into Brown, who was fouled. Brown hit one of two free-throws and the Eagles had one last chance as DuBose missed a jumper as time expired and the Cougars prevailed 58-56.
"My heart is still beating very fast. You find a way to win. When you get into conference you don't know what is going to happen. Conference games are a dogfight. It doesn't matter what you did last game, each team is fighting for position in the conference. It wasn't perfect, but down the stretch we made plays to win. We got key stops when we needed to. I'm proud of my team. On the board it was 100 percent team effort and focus and when we had to we had it."
"Our team is very versatile and we have good depth. Each time it's a different player that steps up. We have work to do, but to be 3-0 in conference is great. I am so pumped for my team, I'm excited for my staff and now we look ahead to Monday and the game against Davidson."