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Four 49ers garner All-C-USA honors

IRVING, Texas – Charlotte women’s basketball placed four of its players on the postseason All-Conference USA squads, the league office announced Sunday afternoon. Senior Alexis Alexander and junior Lefty Webster were named to the All-Conference USA Second Team, while Grace Hunter and Laia Raventós earned All-Conference USA Freshman Team accolades. The four combined honors are the second most in the league this year, trailing only the five by regular-season champion UTEP.

Alexander collected her first all-conference nod after averaging team highs of 14.7 points and 8.0 rebounds through the regular season. She tallied eight of her 11 career double-doubles in 2015-16, six of which came against Conference USA foes. She has 23 double-figure scoring games on the campaign, including 17 against North Texas Saturday on Senior Night. She is one of two 49ers and one of only 10 players in the league to post a 30-plus scoring game this year with her career-best 30 points against Robert Morris Nov. 15. Her career-high 13 rebounds came twice in league play, including in the home victory over (RV/RV) WKU Feb. 20 during the annual #Play4Kay contest. She highlighted her non-conference campaign by being tabbed the MVP at the GSU Thanksgiving Classic in Atlanta, helping to lead the Niners to the tournament title.

Webster picked up her third-straight postseason conference award, and second all-conference mention in-a-row, after leading Charlotte with 26 double-figure scoring games this year, including 16 against C-USA opponents. Two of her three double-doubles came against league foes, including in both meetings with WKU. She is one of two 49ers to record at least 20 assists, 20 blocks and 20 steals, joining Alexander. She became the 22nd member of the school’s 1,000-point club Feb. 18 against Marshall when she finished with a season-high 24 points. She was only the 10th player in program history to reach the plateau in three seasons or less, doing it in the eighth fewest games (86). She was the only Charlotte player to start all 29 regular-season games and has played the most minutes (992/34.2 per game), including a career-best 48 in the double-overtime affair at regular-season champion UTEP Feb. 27. She ranks among the league and national leaders with her 86.9 conversion rate at the foul line and tops the squad with 60 steals on the defensive end. She finished as the only player to rank among the Top 15 C-USA leaders for steals and blocks in conference games.

She becomes just the second player in program history to earn multiple All-Conference USA honors, joining Alicia Abernathy who was named to the league’s third team in 2002 and 2003. It also marks the first time since 2003 in which multiple 49ers were selected to the All-Conference USA Teams, and only the third year in the program’s C-USA history along with the 1995-96 squad.

Hunter put together a spectacular freshman campaign, emerging on both ends of the floor for the 49ers during the peak of the conference season. She earned four Conference USA Freshman of the Week honors, all since the start of the league campaign in January, to tie the single-season program record. Her four awards during that stretch were the most by any rookie across the league. She saved her best scoring output for the regular-season champion, netting a career-high 32 points on 13-of-15 field goals, a career-best two 3-pointers and 4-of-5 free throws at UTEP Feb. 27. She finished the regular season with 16 double-figure scoring games, including four of at least 20 points. She became one of only two freshmen in school history with three-or-more 20-plus scoring games in a row, joining Paula Bennett, who did it in 1978-79. Hunter has turned in six double-doubles and her 8.4 rebounds per game in league play tie her for the most by any guard, any class, across the conference. She corralled a career-high 15 boards against Florida Atlantic Jan. 30 and started the last 15 games of the regular season.

Raventós, the dazzling playmaker from Spain, joins Hunter on the all-freshman squad to give Charlotte the most representation of any school. She was the only Division I women’s player and only Conference USA representative, men or women, to be nominated for the State Farm Assist of the Year competition with her behind-the-back dish at North Carolina State Dec. 6. She grabbed Conference USA Freshman of the Week honors after leading the Niners to road wins at Rice and at North Texas in mid-February. Her 123 assists rank second among freshmen in program history, just seven of matching the all-time mark that has stood for 24 years. She tallied two double-doubles during the regular season, the first of which was versus Mercer at the GSU Thanksgiving Classic in which she scored 10 points and handed out 10 assists. She did not need to score much to get the second, as she hauled in a career-high 12 rebounds and dished a career-best 11 assists against Rice March 3. Over half of her double-figure scoring games came against league foes and she ranks among the conference leaders for assists (fifth) and assist-to-turnover ratio (sixth). She handed out multiple assists in 24 of the 26 games in which she played during the regular season.

Hunter and Raventós are the first set of 49ers teammates to be picked to the All-Conference USA Freshman Team since a trio of Niners was named to the squad in 2002-03. That is also the last time Charlotte had multiple players on any league’s all-freshman team and just the fourth time overall in program history regardless of conference affiliation.

The four players honors are the second most by Charlotte during its affiliation with Conference USA (1995-96 through 2004-05; 2013-14 through present), trailing only the five Niners who were represented in 2002-03 when the program earned its only C-USA regular-season title.

Superlative awards across the conference will be announced Monday morning.

Charlotte will not play again until approximately 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday in the Conference USA Championships Quarterfinals due to claiming the No. 4 seed and double-bye. The 49ers have a chance to play one of three opponents, depending on outcomes of earlier-round competition. Potential foes include No. 5 seed Old Dominion, No. 12 seed Florida Atlantic and No. 13 seed North Texas.

All-Conference USA First Team
Brandi Wingate, Louisiana Tech
Leah Scott, Marshall
Brea Edwards, Middle Tennessee
Jennie Simms, Old Dominion
Jenzel Nash, UTEP
Cameasha Turner, UTEP
Tashia Brown, WKU
Kendall Noble, WKU

All-Conference USA Second Team
Alexis Alexander, Charlotte
Lefty Webster, Charlotte

Ali Gorrell, Florida Atlantic
Ty Petty, Middle Tennessee
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss
Chelsee Black, UAB
Brittany Winborne, UAB
Starr Breedlove, UTEP

All-Conference USA Freshman Team
Grace Hunter, Charlotte
Laia Ravent
ós, Charlotte
Alex Johnson, Middle Tennessee
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss
Deanna Kuzmanic, UAB

All-Conference USA Defensive Team
Kelsey Criner, North Texas
Caitlin Jenkins, Southern Miss
Starr Breedlove, UTEP
Cameasha Turner, UTEP
Kendall Noble, WKU