Cougars' Frye finds her shooting touch College of Charleston senior hits 10 3-pointers in one game

Photographer: Al Samuels

Alyssa Frye thought it was going to be one of those games.

The College of Charleston senior missed her first two 3-point attempts against Northeastern and was feeling her confidence slip away.

For the past three seasons, Frye has been one of the nation's top shooters in women's basketball. A year ago, she made 95 3-point shots, a Southern Conference record.

Frye began her final season with the Cougars as a 33 percent shooter from 3-point range.

But for some reason, Frye couldn't seem to find her shooting stroke. Frye admits that her confidence last week against Northeastern, on the road in a hostile environment, was beginning to ebb.

"As a shooter you never want to lose confidence in yourself, but I would be lying if I said my confidence was really high after missing those first two shots," Frye said. "The coaches, my teammates, everyone kept telling me to keep on shooting. After I missed that second shot, I told myself I was just going to start driving to the basket to score."

The next time down the floor, however, Frye got the ball at the top of the key, a step or two to the right side in perfect shooting position. She didn't hesitate to let it fly and hit nothing but net.

A huge sense of relief flooded over Frye as she quickly got back on defense.

Two possessions later, Frye got another chance from 3-point range, this one from the other side. She nailed it to give the Cougars an early lead.

The following possession, College of Charleston coach Natasha Adair ran a play for Frye and she responded with another 3-pointer.

And then she hit another 3-pointer, and another.

At that point, Frye knew she was in that zone that every pure shooter dreams about.

"When I hit that third one, I knew I was feeling it," Frye said. "I knew it was going to be a good night."

But not even Frye could have dreamed of how good.

The soft-spoken 5-8 guard from Chester, Va., would go on to make a school-record 10 3-pointers and finish with a career-high 34 points in the Cougars' 90-74 victory. At one point she connected on seven straight 3-pointers. In all, she went 10 of 14 from 3-point range. Her 34 points were the most ever scored by a single player in the program's history.

"She couldn't miss and we fed off her energy," said senior Afreyea Tolbert. "That just made us more intense and focused."

The normally loquacious Adair was nearly at a loss for words.

"When I was at Wake Forest, we had a couple of players score 40 points," Adair said. "But it wasn't the kind of shooting performance that Alyssa put on. It was incredible."

The best part about Frye's night was that it came within the framework of the Cougars' offense. Not once did she force a shot.

"She was open on every single shot and she just didn't miss," Adair said. "We want her to take those shots."

Frye credits her teammates for most of her success that night. Tolbert had nine assists, while point guard Jill Brown finished with seven assists.

"They kept getting me the ball and I was in a rhythm," Frye said. "We were moving the ball around so well and I was getting open shots every time. Everyone was working so hard and getting me the ball that I didn't want to let them down."

Frye, who is averaging a team-high 15.3 points a game, has the Cougars (10-7, 3-1 in CAA) near the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings. She'll be back in action Sunday when the Cougars host Delaware at 2 p.m.

"Alyssa is a big part of the success we're having right now," Adair said. "We're such a versatile team and we've got a lot of players that can do a lot of different things. I'm really looking forward to seeing what this group can do the rest of the season."