Cougs fall to Detroit in WBI

Yar Shayok scored 23 points and hauled in 17 rebounds and Shareta Brown added 22 points to lead host Detroit past College of Charleston, 79-67, in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational on Sunday.

The Cougars (16-16) were led by Shannon Hines, who came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points.

“I give a lot of credit to Detroit,” said Cougars coach Natasha Adair. “They are a good team and there is a reason they are a No. 1 seed in this tournament. We didn’t play with enough focus and intensity on defense and didn’t get enough second-chance opportunities. We average 45 rebounds per game and only had 33 today.

“They shot over 50 percent in the first half, but a few times we lost track of their shooters. I like how we fought in the final minutes, but we came up short.”

The Cougars scored the first basket of the game on a jumper by Afreyea Tolbert, but Detroit (19-13) quickly answered and built a 19-12 lead with 12:54 to play in the first half.

Detroit would go up by as many as 11 points in the first half, but an 11-2 run capped by a Jillian Brown 3-pointer brought the Cougars to within 36-34 with 2:14 to play before halftime. Detroit came back and scored the last five points of the half to take a 41-34 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Titans used an 11-2 run to push their advantage to 58-38 with 15:23 to play in the game.

The Cougars made one last run at the Titans, as Hines and Frye, who made five second-half 3-pointers, went on a 13-4 run to close the gap to 72-65 with 1:51 remaining.

The Titans got a basket from Brown to go up nine with one minute to go. The Cougars cut the deficit back to seven on a Hardy layup, but ran out of time as Detroit hit its free throws to close out the game.

Alyssa Frye broke the Southern Conference all-time single-season record for 3-pointers in a season with 95.

Jillian Brown had eight assists to bring her season total to 206, moving her to fourth on the SoCon’s all-time single-season list. Brown finished the season averaging 6.4 assists per game, becoming the first player in SoCon history to average over six assists a game since the 1997-98 season.

Senior Cathryn Hardy set the Cougars Division I single-season record for offensive rebounds in a season with 115.

“It’s always hard to lose your final game of the season, and I’m disappointed, but there are so many positives to look back to,” Adair said. “Alyssa Frye set a Southern Conference record tonight and Cathryn Hardy set a school record for offensive rebounds. I’m so proud of my team for how they bought in and allowed us to coach them and worked so hard this year, and I think we have a bright future.”