The women’s basketball team was eliminated from the CAA Tournament with a 60-52 loss to Delaware in the semifinal round on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars came out of the gate hot in the first half, quickly taking an 8-0 lead thanks to six straight points from senior guard Afreyea Tolbert.
Charleston led by 11 at one stage in the first half and entered halftime with a one-point lead.
Delaware took the lead with just over 19 minutes remaining and the Cougars would never secure a lead again.
Charleston would stay within striking distance, however, and there were four ties in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Cougars closed the gap to two with 2:30 left, but Delaware’s senior center Kelsey Buchanan proved to be too much, as she downed a big jumper with 40 seconds remaining to seal the Blue Hens’ victory. Buchanan finished the game with 14 points and 19 rebounds.
Tolbert led the Cougars with 12 points and eight rebounds, while junior center Mikaela Hopkins chipped in 11 points and 8 boards.
The Cougars held Delaware to 32 percent shooting and forced 24 turnovers, but shot just 28 percent from the floor themselves, including 3-15 from beyond the arc.
Charleston needed more from senior sharpshooter Alyssa Frye, who only scored eight points on 2-15 shooting from the field and connecting on just one three ball.
“First and foremost, I’m proud of my team. I think we played with energy, and I think we played with heart. We wanted this one. It is disappointing because I think we had it in our hands – we just didn’t squeeze hard enough,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said.
Regardless of her performance on Saturday afternoon, Frye ends her career at Charleston as the school’s all time leading three point shooter and one of the top shooters in the nation during her four year career. She also is ranked top ten all time in career scoring at the College. Frye was named to the All-CAA second team last week.
Tolbert also leaves her mark on Charleston women’s basketball. She averaged team highs in points (14.3) and rebounds (9.0) this season, while being the Cougars’ first ever All-CAA first team selection.
“We’ve come a long way. This is a team that was picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll. We finished third in the conference and made it to the semifinals of the CAA Championship. It’s something our seniors can take pride in,” Adair said.