The Jackets were able to accomplish all of this despite the absence of the team's second-leading rebounder Kashauna Cook (7.2 per game), who missed the game with a sprained knee. Her return for the postseason is uncertain at best.
"We were hurting without Kashauna and somebody had to pick it up," Smith said. "They did a good job. It was one of those things we needed to have done. We need to outrebound them like that."
While State has surged as of late, Charleston has gone the other way. Saturday's loss was its fourth in the past six games.
Before State's big run, Charleston had a brief double-digit lead of its own at 16-6, but UC coach Adam Collins said losing those kinds of leads has become alarmingly common.
"This happens to us every game," he said. "We're not tough enough to stop the bleeding and take better shots. Everybody tries to do it by themselves - a 25-point shot, whatever you want to call it. Every game we jump out to a lead or play somebody tight and then build ourselves an eight-or nine-point deficit on a run like that, and then we battle the whole second half to have it fall apart at the end. It's a consistent thing."
Nichole Perry scored 16 points to lead Charleston (14-12, 11-11) while Jessi Cowden chipped in 13.
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