CHARLESTON, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s basketball team (10-18; 5-12 vs. CAA) sent their upper-classmen off in emphatic fashion Wednesday night, blowing past UNCW (7-22; 3-15 vs. CAA) in a 68-24 rout on Senior Night.
Seniors Jackie Luna-Castro and Shannon Hines saved the best for last in their collegiate careers, with both achieving career-highs on the night. Luna-Castro sunk a career-best 23 points to lead all scorers on a highly efficient 10-of-13 from shooting, adding five boards and a pair of blocks.
Hines meanwhile hit not one, but three career-bests with 16 points, six boards, and a pair of assists. The senior guard was 7-of-13 from the field, which included a 2-of-3 effort from deep. Kelsey Booth, the third senior on the squad, scored six points on 3-of-7 shooting in 28 minutes of play.
“I’m very proud of the way they played together tonight and the team-effort they put forth,” head coach Candice M. Jackson said. “UNCW’s a good team, and even though they didn’t have the numbers they normally do, they came out and gave a great effort, so hats off to them.”
The Cougars had a very consistent night offensively, scoring between 16 and 18 points in each of the four quarters while shooting a highly efficient 52.6% from the field (30-of-57). Conversely, the short-handed Seahawks had a dreadful night shooting the ball, scoring six or fewer points in three of the four quarters, going an alarming 16.7% from the field (10-of-60).
CofC won most other phases of the game, including rebounding (44 vs. 34), assists (21 vs. 4), turnovers (13 vs. 19) and steals (9 vs. 3). Though they only earned five trips to the free-throw line on the night, they still managed to stay efficient by sinking four of them.
Bre Bolden had an all-around solid night, scoring nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Her four takeaways brings her to 84 on the season, just three shy of matching her own single-year record of 87 that she set last year.
Not to be outdone, Nola Henry had an outstanding evening in 23 minutes of action, matching CofC-career-bests in assists and steals with nine and three respectively.
“We shared the ball very effectively and came out with a lot of defensive intensity,” Jackson said. “We got a lot of quality looks at the basket and didn’t have to settle for a lot of outside shots. It felt like everything was going out way tonight.”
With the win, the Cougars rise to 10-18 on the season, doubling their win-total from last season in doing so. The College still has one game remaining against the James Madison Dukes before the CAA Tournament, and it will be a meaningful one in determining the CAA Tournament first round bracket.
James Madison is locked in at first place, with little meaning riding on their regular-season finale. For the College however, a win or loss could mean the difference between seventh and eighth place in the conference. With a loss, the Cougars would once again take on UNCW in the 8 vs. 9 matchup. With a win however, the College would win the tiebreaker with William & Mary by virtue of their superior record against a strong common opponent (Drexel), and would therefore be the seventh seed and play No. 10 Towson.
The Cougars will square off in their regular season finale against James Madison on Saturday, March 5 at Noon in TD Arena.