EL PASO, Texas – Charlotte women’s basketball will look to get back to its winning ways with a showdown against UTEP at 9:05 p.m. EST Saturday in El Paso, Texas. The Niners and Miners are meeting for the first time on the hardwood in program history.
The 49ers bring an 8-8, 2-1 Conference USA record into the contest. Charlotte dropped its first league game of the campaign Wednesday night, falling 61-60 at UTSA in a game that went down to the buzzer. It was the second-straight one-point loss for the Niners and third-in-a-row of two points or fewer.
Despite the setback, Charlotte has three players averaging at least 11 points per game overall, led by senior Ny Hammonds’ 11.6 mark. Sophomore Kira Gordon and redshirt junior Gabby Tyler are just behind at 11.5 and 11.1, respectively.
It’s the same trio atop the 49ers’ charts for league-games only scoring, though Tyler sets the pace in those three contests with 14.7 per game. Hammonds contributes 11.7 and Gordon adds 11.3 per game in Conference USA action.
Hammonds led the squad with 16 points in Wednesday’s setback, one more than Tyler’s 15. The pair was the lone Charlotte players in double-figure scoring.
UTEP enters Saturday’s meeting with a 13-3 overall and 2-1 league ledger. The Miners, traditionally one of the top teams in Conference USA who were picked to finish second in the preseason conference coaches’ poll, dropped their first league game Wednesday at preseason favorite Middle Tennessee.
Kayla Thornton, the reigning C-USA Player of the Week, averages a team-high 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds. She recently became the school’s career rebounding leader. Jenzel Nash also is in double figures for points for head coach Keitha Adams’ squad, pouring in an average of 12.3 .
In league contests, Thornton ups her averages to 19.7 points and 12.7 rebounds an outing. Four Miners are in double-digit scoring in C-USA games to give UTEP a well-balanced attack.
The Miners began their league slate with back-to-back triumphs at UAB and at home against Tulsa before falling 69-58 to the Blue Raiders Wednesday night.
Saturday’s game can be heard live on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman on the call. Live stats and video, via the UTEP feeds, are linked through the website, while updates can also be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
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