CHARLESTON, S.C. – At long last, postseason play has dawned upon Colonial Athletic Conference women’s basketball in the form of the CAA Tournament, which begins Wednesday at noon with the No. 8 College of Charleston Cougars (10-19; 5-13 vs. CAA) and UNCW Seahawks (7-22; 3-15 vs. CAA) squaring off in the opening game at noon in Show Place Arena.
The two teams last squared off just a week ago in TD Arena on the College’s Senior Day, in what quickly became a rout in favor of the Cougars. Seniors Jackie Luna-Castro (23) and Shannon Hines (16) each set career-highs in scoring, and after limiting the Seahawks to 16.7% shooting for the game, CofC emerged with the whopping 68-24 win. It was a College of Charleston record for fewest points allowed to an opponent, breaking the previous mark that was set in 1999 against Jacksonville.
The Cougars and Seahawks have faced off 18 times previously dating back to 1989, with the two teams splitting the series at 9-9. Wednesday will be the first time in history that the two teams have met in the CAA Tournament.
Breanna Bolden has been the undisputed leader on both offense and defense this season for the Cougars, recording a team-high 13.9 PPG on 78.8% FT shooting (fourth best in CAA), while averaging the 13th highest steals per game total in the country at 2.97. Senior Jackie Luna-Castro is also a critical member of the squad, leading the team in 20-plus point games with three.
The Seahawks struggles have predated their tilt with the Cougars, as they currently ride a seven-game losing streak into the conference tournament. UNCW finished tied with Towson at 3-15 in conference play, but earned the ninth seed by virtue of beating the Tigers in both of their head-to-head meetings.
UNCW is led by Jordan Henry, who ranks fourth in the CAA in both rebounding (8.1 RPG) and shots blocked (1.6 BPG). Senior guard Shatia Cole is the chief offensive spark for the Seahawks w9th a team-leading 12.9 PPG. She also leads the club in steals, and has recorded the second-most assists for UNCW as well.
The game will be exclusively broadcast on CAA.TV. Tipoff is scheduled for noon in Show Place Arena.