IRVING, Texas – No freshman has been more dominant in Conference USA action since the start of league play than Charlotte’s Grace Hunter and she continued to be rewarded for her hard work, garnering her fourth Conference USA Freshman of the Week accolade Feb. 29. Her four weekly honors are the most by any rookie in the league since conference games began in January and tie her for the most by any 49ers freshman in program history as she worked to solidify her case for C-USA’s Freshman of the Year in the postseason.
Hunter saved her best scoring effort of the season for the conference champion, UTEP, on her way to averaging a near double-double of 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds this past week for the Niners.
She started the two-game road slate with her sixth career double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in Thursday’s victory at UTSA, while swiping a two steals against the Roadrunners.
She then was nearly unstoppable from start-to-finish against UTEP Saturday, as Charlotte almost captured the double-overtime win.
The Raleigh, North Carolina product, opened 9-of-9 from the floor, scoring the 49ers’ first seven points and tallying 16 by halftime. She ended regulation with what would have been a career high, 28 points, before finishing the game with a career-best and game-high 32 against the Miners.
She hit 13-of-15 field goals, one miss an off-balance 3-point attempt, while dropping in 4-of-5 free throws to go with nine boards to finish just shy of another double-double.
Her 32 points are the most by any freshman in Conference USA and by any Charlotte player this season and tie for the most by any 49ers player during head coach Cara Consuegra’s five years.
Hunter’s 86.7 field goal percentage at UTEP is the sixth best in a single game in program history and the second highest under Consuegra. She was on the floor for a career-high 48 minutes, only the second time in her career in which she played at least 40.
Her four freshman of the week plaudits match her with Gabby Tyler for the most in a single year by any Charlotte player. Tyler received her honors from the Atlantic 10 in 2010-11.
Hunter has been recognized in Conference USA for the weeks of Jan. 11, Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and Feb. 29. Coupled with the single accolade bestowed to Laia Raventós Feb. 16, the 49ers duo set a single-season program record with its five freshman of the week awards. Charlotte claimed four of the possible five honors in February, the peak of the conference campaign.
She will join the rest of her Niners teammates for the final two regular-season games, both at home, this week as Charlotte looks to secure the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Conference USA Championships. The 49ers will play host to Rice at 7 p.m. Thursday and North Texas at 7 p.m. Saturday. Following Saturday’s contest, Charlotte will honor its two seniors, Alexis Alexander and Kira Gordon, as part of Senior Night festivities.