CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers women's basketball
team jumped out in front early and never looked back in a run-away 81-73
triumph over Stetson Saturday evening inside Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
The win was the second of a three-game series during the past seven days for
the Niners, who will now take over a week off for final exams and the end of
the fall semester.
Senior Jennifer Hailey led all Charlotte (6-2) players with her seventh double-double of the season and 27th of her career with 19 points and 13 rebounds, including nine on the defensive glass. She also had a blocked shot to extend her consecutive games streak to 19.
Tying her for team-high scoring honors was sophomore Hillary Sigmon, who buried three 3-pointers among her six overall field goals to set a new career best with her output. She also dropped in all four of her free throws, moving her consecutive makes streak to 13, dating back to last year's regular-season finale.
Senior Amanda Dowe also contributed a double-double, her fourth of the campaign and 12th of her career, with 10 points and 12 boards, helping the 49ers control the glass 39-to-32. The rebounding battle fell to Charlotte for the eighth time in as many games this season.
Senior Jai Forney rounded out the Charlotte quartet in double figures with 16 points. Junior Ny Hammonds nearly posted her second double-double of the week, pouring in seven points but dishing a career-high tying 10 assists, matching her effort Sunday against Florida State.
Victoria McGowan, the Preseason Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, topped the Hatters with 23 points, including a trio of treys. She was joined in double-figure scoring by Shanasa Sanders (12 points) and Sasha Sims (10). Sanders hauled in a team-best nine rebounds.
Stetson (4-4) took the early 2-0 lead off the opening tip on a layup from Sims, but the 49ers responded with back-to-back jumpers from Forney and Sigmon during the next three minutes. Following a made jumper by McGowan on the next Hatters possession, Hailey connected on a pair of free throws to give the Niners a 6-4 edge at 16:13, one they would not relinquish the remainder of the contest.
Hailey's two charity tosses opened a 7-0 surge during the next two minutes, capped by a Forney triple, to expand the margin to seven, 11-4. Stetson stayed close during the next nine minutes, never allowing Charlotte to make it more than a two-possession contest thanks to a Sanders jumper at 6:25 to trim the deficit to three, 21-18, with 6:25 remaining.
However, the next four minutes saw the 49ers widen the gap to 15, 33-18, behind a 14-0 run to the 2:31 mark, including six points from Hailey and free throws by Sigmon and freshman Kira Gordon. The Hatters made one last push in the final minutes of the opening period, outscoring Charlotte 11-2 down the stretch and using a McGowan deep 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to close within six, 35-29, at the intermission.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the second stanza and it remained an eight-point difference, 41-33, following two Jama Sharp charity tosses with 17:32 to play. Again, the 49ers turned the tide and mounted a substantial spurt, this time an 11-1 surge in just over three minutes to open their largest lead of the contest at 18, 52-34, on another Sigmon trey.
Forney kept the margin at 18, 54-36, a minute later but Stetson would use a run of its own to pull within single digits. The Hatters tallied 12 of the next 14 points, including a C.J. Coddington 3-pointer at 10:24 to cap the spurt and trim the gap to eight, 56-48.
Charlotte turned the eight-point lead into a 17-point cushion over the next three minutes, as Hammonds converted an old-fashioned three-point play. The lead would grow to as high as 18 again on a Dowe layup at 5:43, 71-53, but again, Stetson kept competing and used a Sims layup at 2:02 to close within seven, 75-68, after a 15-4 run.
The 49ers kept the defensive pressure up on the other end down the stretch and drained their last four free throws and used the clock to their advantage to close out the Hatters, who were picked by the A-Sun's head coaches to win the league in the preseason.
Charlotte will now have a 10-day break before resuming action at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, in Greensboro, N.C., against North Carolina A&T.
Charlotte 49ers Postgame Quotes vs. Stetson (12.8.12)
Head Coach Cara Consuegra
We knew that was going to be a tough game. No doubt it was going to be a battle being our third game this week and playing a really good team in Stetson. Stetson, being a team picked to win its conference, so we knew we would not lay down. I thought we did some really good things out there. We got back to ourselves offensively. Putting up a lot of points, we shot the ball better, we shared the ball better, we got back to what we were doing the first couple of games of the season. I still would like see our team get better defensively and be able to lock down. Giving up 73 points, three people in double figures for them. I was a little disappointed with that but we found ways to win. I am proud of how we came out after halftime. We came out with great energy. Amanda Dowe being the catalyst for us. Amanda's energy and spark was unbelievable. Shequana Harris came off the bench early in the second half and helped us and we were going good after that. Overall it was a great team effort for everybody who was able to get in and contribute. Good win for us.
the team composed down the stretch
I think a lot of that is a credit to the players. We had games where that happened to us last year and we were not able to hold our composure. I think it is a year of maturity. We have an outstanding point guard in Ny Hammonds, who is really able to lead the team. Jennifer Hailey, Amanda Dowe. You have senior leadership in there and Jai Forney who were able to keep her composure better. Certainly it helped us better to make our free throws. Teams come back by scoring and us not making shots and not making free throws. We were able to keep that gap by making shots and making our free throws.
cutting down turnovers in the last few games this week
We have been working on it a lot this week. A lot of it deals with our control. Sometimes we get a little too fast and out of control wanting to make passes that are not there. It has been our focus all week throughout practice with being in control, having patience in the lane and making good passes. If the pass is not there, keeping our dribble or waiting until someone become available. I thought our team over the last two games did a really excellent job. Tonight only 14 turnovers, and at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday only having nine turnovers
Senior forward Jennifer Hailey
energy during a three-game week
We prepped this week. We already knew that we had three games this week so we just got our minds set on one game at a time. We came out very well today.
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