CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After starting the Conference USA schedule with back-to-back wins, the Charlotte women’s basketball team will hit the road for the first time in league play when it travels to Texas for an extended trip. The first contest during the swing will be in San Antonio against the UTSA Roadrunners at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday.
The 49ers completed the first week of the conference campaign as one of just five unbeaten teams in C-USA with their 2-0 record. Charlotte picked up an 80-59 victory over Old Dominion Wednesday before handing North Texas a 61-59 setback Saturday to improve to 8-7 overall this year.
The unbeaten start in league play marks just the 10th time in program history the 49ers have opened a conference schedule 2-0. The last time was during head coach Cara Consuegra’s inaugural season of 2011-12. She garnered her 50th career win as Charlotte’s head coach against North Texas.
Saturday’s triumph was earned when the Niners outscored the Mean Green 8-2 over the last 3:30. Redshirt junior Gabby Tyler led the way with a career-high 22 points, connecting on 9-of-12 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws.
Tyler is one of four 49ers averaging double figures in scoring with her 10.8 points per game. Sophomore Kira Gordon leads the pack at a 12.1 clip, followed by senior Ny Hammonds’ 11.3, Tyler and junior Hillary Sigmon’s 10.1 ppg.
In conference play only, Gordon and Tyler are the lone two players with double-digit scoring averages at 16.0 and 14.5 points per game, respectively.
Rebounding has also played a major factor in Charlotte’s current three-game win streak, its longest of the season. The Niners lost the battle on the glass often throughout the early stages of the campaign but they have now turned it around to capture that statistical category in five of the last six games entering Wednesday.
Tyler is the top rebounder, grabbing 7.1 boards per contest. Gordon is next at 6.4 per game, following by sophomore Alexis Alexander’s 6.1 average. In C-USA action, Gordon’s 8.0 average sets the pace following by a 6.5 mark from Tyler.
Hammonds also joined the school’s 400-assist club when she handed out five against North Texas. She is just the third player in program history to reach the plateau. She trails record-holder Markita Aldridge (1992, ’94-96) by 41 for the all-time school standard.
Sigmon also has steadily moved up the leaderboard for career 3-pointers made, knocking down 129 during her three years with the program. She trails Andrea Davidson (2003-06) by one for third place with Traci Ray (2006-09) holding the all-time mark with 202 triples.
UTSA brings a 9-6 overall and 0-2 C-USA ledger into the first meeting between the two schools. Head coach Lubomyr Lichonczak is in his first season at the helm of the program, though he has 11 previous years as a collegiate head coach.
The Roadrunners are led by Kamra King’s 16.1 points per game average. She is the team’s only double-digit scorer and is one of two players to start all 15 of its games thus far. Mannasha Bell, the other starter for all 15 contests, tops the squad with 5.3 rebounds per contest.
The Roadrunners dropped games to Tulsa and at Southern Miss to begin their inaugural Conference USA campaign. The two defeats snapped a seven-game win streak they had strung together, including sweeps of the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic and UTSA Holiday Classic.
Wednesday’s game can be heard live on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman handling the play-by-play duties. Live stats are linked through the website, while updates are also available on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
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