COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite a fast start, the College of Charleston women’s basketball team was outlasted Thursday night by highly-ranked South Carolina, at the Colonial Life Arena, 81-54.
The Cougars (1-2) were led by senior combo-guard Afreyea Tolbert (Teaneck, N.J.) who managed a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds), including eight in the opening twenty minutes, which helped the Cougars claim a 23-14 lead midway through the first half. Senior floor-leader Jill Brown (Midlothian, Va.) also played well for the Cougars, dropping seven dimes (only one turnover) and adding four points, four rebounds and one steal while playing the entire forty minutes.
The Gamecocks (3-0), made their mark on the glass, out-rebounding the College, 62-38, which led to 23 second-chance points. South Carolina was led in scoring by Asia Dozier, who had16 points.
In the first half the Cougars came out firing on all cylinders, winning the opening tip-off and scoring the first nine points of the game. After trading blows with the Gamecocks, the College took a 23-14 lead into the under-12 minute media timeout, following a mid-range jumper by Brown. A basket at the 7:38 mark of the first half by senior Deidre Ramer (Franklin, Tenn.), gave the Cougars their last lead of the game as the Gamecocks went on a run and took a 46-34 advantage in to the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Cougars battled hard as Mikaela Hopkins (Augusta, Ga), Christy Hewatt (Cumming, Ga.) and Ramer combined for 18 points and 10 rebounds, but were eventually undone by a 22.9% second-half shooting performance which saw the Gamecocks extend their lead and eventually close out the game.
Next up for the Cougars is another road clash, this time in Spartanburg, S.C. against USC Upstate on Sunday, Nov. 17, with tip-off set for 3 p.m.
POST GAME NOTES
-Starting the game for the Cougars was Jill Brown, Alyssa Frye, Erin Hall, Christy Hewatt and Deidre Ramer
-The Cougars again showed off their depth with twelve different players seeing action, combining for 28 bench points. The Cougars have now scored 68 bench points in three games. In all, 11 different players scored against the Gamecocks.
-All four freshmen (Bolden, Carter, Winter and Gardner) played on Thursday night for the Cougars. Coming in to the game the newcomers were touting an average of 12.3 minutes per game.
-The nine point first half advantage for the Cougars marks the highest deficit faced thus far by the 17th-ranked Gamecocks.
POST GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Natasha Adair
On her team’s performance against South Carolina…
“Tonight’s game showed us who we are as a team. We played hard and competed for 40 minutes this evening. We’re not happy with moral victories, but tonight this team took a big step forward.”
On her team’s resiliency…
“Our character and toughness was on full display tonight. I’m proud of our effort and if we play with the same tenacity and passion night after night – we’re going to be a hard team to beat in March.”