It's hard to beat any team three times in the same season - just ask Towson.
Afreyea Tolbert scored 19 points and Alyssa Frye added 15 points to lead the College of Charleston past Towson, 70-64, in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Women's basketball tournament Friday night before a crowd of 1,772 at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.
With the victory, the Cougars advance to the CAA semifinals and will face Delaware, a 63-61 winner over Northeastern, Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The game is scheduled to be televised locally by Comcast SportsNet.
Towson had swept the two-game regular season series with Charleston, beating the Cougars 64-60 on Jan. 23 and 75-63 almost two weeks ago.
The Cougars, however, had a week to prepare for the Tigers.
"I think that extra time really paid off for us," said College of Charleston coach Natasha Adair. "We watched the video, we saw how they'd beaten us those two games and we made some adjustments. I thought the coaching staff did a great job with prep work. We were prepared and ready to play tonight."
A big key for the Cougars in the victory was their ability to make free throws, especially down the stretch. In the last loss to Towson, the Cougars were just 10 of 22 from the free throw line. On Friday, they were 15 of 22.
"Those extra five free throws were huge," Adair said. "They were probably the difference in the game."
Cougars freshman forward Bre Bolden, a native of nearby Edgewater, Md., chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.
"It was a homecoming for Bre, and she really made the most of it," Adair said.
"Her eight rebounds were huge and she had four steals, including one at the end of the game, which sealed the win for us."
Towson got a spectacular effort from senior All-CAA guard Tanisha McTiller, who tied her career high with 36 points and accounted for 27 of the Tigers' 39 points in the second half. McTiller went 13 of 26 from the floor, tying the tournament record for field goal attempts.
"Tanisha was unstoppable," Adair said. "We knew she was going to get her points, we just needed to make sure the other players didn't have big nights."
Charleston built a steady lead in the first half and held an 11-point lead at halftime, 36-25.
The Cougars led 42-30 after Tolbert's layup with 15:26 to play. McTiller then scored 13 points in a 15-4 Tigers' run over the next six minutes to pull Towson within 46-45 with 9:40 to play. The Cougars responded with nine straight points, capped by a Bolden layup, pushing the lead back to 55-45 with 7:09 on the clock.
A Tolbert layup gave the Cougars a commanding 61-49 advantage with 4:57 to go, but McTiller brought Towson back again. She accounted for all of the points in a 10-2 Tigers' run that made it 62-59 with 1:30 remaining. However, the Cougars stemmed the tide once again as Frye drained four straight free throws and Brown hit 3-of-4 from the stripe to seal the victory.
"At this point in the season it's about winning and advancing," Adair said. "We don't care about style points. It's a new a season and we're still playing."
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