The women’s basketball team won their opening game of the CAA Tournament over Towson, 70-64, on Friday night, advancing to play Delaware in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Upper Marlboro, Md.
Third seeded Charleston jumped out to an early 13-point first half lead before holding off a late comeback by the Tigers.
Guards Alyssa Frye (15 points) and Afreyea Tolbert (19 points) led the way for the Cougars. The All-CAA duo combined for 21 second half points.
The Cougars held off multiple second half runs by the Tigers, who were led by a 36-point effort from guard Tanisha McTiller. McTiller scored 27 of Towson’s 39 second half points.
A layup by Tolbert gave Charleston a 61-49 advantage with just under five minutes to go, but McTiller scored 10 consecutive Tigers’ points to close the Charleston lead to 62-59 with 1:30 remaining. Late free throws by Frye and guard Jillian Brown helped the Cougars seal the victory.
Forward Breanna Bolden chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds, while Brown stuffed the stat sheet, tallying 12 rebounds and six assists.
The win advances the Cougars to play the second seeded Delaware Blue Hens at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Charleston split the season series with Delaware, with both teams winning on their home court. In the Cougars’ January victory, Tolbert sank a jumper with under five seconds remaining to give Charleston the two-point victory.
In the teams’ matchup at Delaware, the Blue Hens overcame a second half deficit to beat the Cougars, 85-71.
Charleston center Mikaela Hopkins will have her hands full with Blue Hens’ center Kelsey Buchanan, who finished third in the CAA in both scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.5). Buchanan was the deciding factor in Delaware’s February victory, scoring 33 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The semifinals will be broadcast regionally on Comcast SportsNet.