CHARLESTON, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s basketball team forced 34 turnovers to beat Coastal Carolina 56-38 and get head coach Natasha Adair her first head coaching win Friday at TD Arena.
Senior Latisha Harris led the way for the Cougars (1-0, 0-0) as she registered a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Alyssa Frye scored 14 points and fellow junior Afreyea Tolbert added 12 points.
“It was a great first game and there was great energy in TD arena tonight,” Adair said. “I’m so proud of my team and their fight and the way they played together tonight for the victory.”
The defenses won the first 10 minutes of the game as Coastal Carolina (0-1, 0-0) took a 6-4 lead at the 11:38 mark of the first half. The Chanticleers extended the lead to 8-4 at the 9:47 mark, before the Cougars used a 10-2 run over the next 4:41 to gain a 14-10 advantage.
Harris had 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half and the Cougars were up 27-22 at the break.
“Everything we have been working on in practice, getting hit with the pads, I brought to the game,” Harris said. “When it comes to being aggressive in the game you know you can’t play soft because that is going to allow your opponent to take control of you.”
In the second half the Cougars picked up the defense even more and held Coastal Carolina to 16 points on 5-for-25 shooting (20 percent). The Cougars scored 29 points in the half, led by Tolbert who had nine of her 12 in the second period.
Senior Cathryn Hardy contributed on defense with a career-high five steals and grabbed nine rebounds. As a team the Cougars collected 23 offensive rebounds.
Adair coached her first game as a head coach with her parents, sister, husband, daughter and son all in the stands. Her mother Evelyn, who will celebrate her 71st birthday on Saturday, was recognized prior to the game.
Up next the Cougars travel to Storrs, Conn., to play the No. 2 ranked Connecticut Huskies Sunday at 1:30 p.m.