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Charlotte plays tough in setback to Florida State
Courtesy: Charlotte Sports Information
          Release: 12/02/2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's basketball team played tough to the end and two 49ers earned double-doubles but in the end, Florida State proved to be too strong in a 70-54 victory Sunday afternoon in Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

Senior Jennifer Hailey led the Niners with her sixth-straight double-double to open the campaign, tallying team highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the 26th double-double of her career and she extended her streak to 18 games with at least one blocked shot.

Junior Ny Hammonds, who entered the week with a nation's leading 8.3 assists per game, finished with a career-best 10 helpers. She also chipped in 10 points, including Charlotte's lone 3-pointer, and seven steals to finish three shy of a triple-double in not stepping off the floor.

Senior Jai Forney was the third Niner in double figures, pouring in 12 points. Freshman Alexis Alexander contributed a career-high eight points and career-best tying four rebounds in 19 minutes, the most minutes she has seen thus far in her collegiate career.

Alexa Deluzio paced the Seminoles with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 3-pointers and all three free throw attempts. Natasha Howard and Chasity Clayton each added 15 points for Florida State (7-0).

Yashira Delgado, the smallest player on the floor listed at 5-foot-2, grabbed a FSU-best eight rebounds.

Clayton gave the Seminoles an early 7-4 lead before an 8-0 49ers run, spiked by six Forney points, brought Charlotte (4-2) back on top, 12-7, with 12:12 remaining in the first half. After Deluzio drained a 3-pointer on the next Florida State possession and Delgado raced to the far end after grabbing a defensive board and ensuing layup, the game was tied at 12-12 at the 11:31 mark.

The two teams traded opportunities on either end before consecutive layups from Alexander pushed the Niners ahead, 18-15, with exactly six minutes on the clock. The Noles, however, did not quit and used a Howard layup at 4:39 to cap a 6-0 surge, reclaiming the advantage, 21-18.

The next seven points were dropped in by Charlotte, including a coast-to-coast steal and layup at the other end by Hammonds. She was fouled on the play and converted the free throw for an old-fashioned three-point play following the media timeout to put the 49ers on top, 23-21, at 3:47.

Hailey recorded the next bucket, capping the 7-0 streak, before Clayton halted it with a 3-pointer at 2:39. The Seminoles finished the half by posting the final eight points of the period to take a 29-25 edge into the intermission.

Florida State continued its offensive momentum early in the second half, using another Clayton trey at 14:19 to take the first double-digit lead for either team at 11, 40-29. After Leonor Rodriguez, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, scored a layup at 13:42 to give FSU a 12-point cushion, 42-30, Hailey went to the other end for an old-fashioned three-point play to trim the deficit to nine.

Hailey's work kick-started an 8-1 Niner run covering over three minutes with freshman Kira Gordon capping it with a layup at exactly 11:00 to pull Charlotte within five, 43-38. In less than two minutes, the Seminoles increased their margin back to double-digits on a Morgan Toles layup to make it 48-38 at 9:14.

Hailey kept the 49ers within eight, 52-44, but a 9-2 Florida State surge in the next three minutes opened the margin to 15, 61-46, with 4:14 to play.

Again, the two teams traded baskets before Howard connected on the back-end of a two-shot opportunity at the foul line to give FSU its largest lead of the afternoon at 17, 67-50, with 2:03 remaining.

Charlotte returns to action for a midweek contest in state, traveling to Wilmington, N.C., to face UNC Wilmington at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The contest can be heard live on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman on the call.

Charlotte Postgame Quotes vs. Florida State (12.2.12)
Head Coach Cara Consuegra


Opening statement
It was a disappointing game for us. I thought we turned in a very half-hearted effort. That's honestly very hard for me to swallow as a head coach as I pride myself on having teams that bring effort, heart and intensity, and I didn't feel like we had it tonight. I thought we had an excellent game plan in place. They did exactly what we said they were going to do. Unfortunately we did not have the focus and we did not have the effort to be able to follow through on that. Florida State is a great team. They're going to go on and win a lot of games, and they're going to do very well in the ACC. It's disappointing to have a chance play a team like that on our home court and not play well and still be in the game. I mean we were in the game for 30 minutes while not playing our best. Unfortunately we weren't able to follow through and do the things that we needed to do to win the game.

On Amanda Dowe getting in foul trouble and not being able to get on the floor
It's a significant loss for our team. Unfortunately, it's become a habit for Amanda. We've played lesser teams and we've been able to survive. But again, when you play a team of the caliber of Florida State, when she goes out it really, really hurts us. Our bench is very young right now. Alexis and Kira have got to grow up faster. I thought they did good things, unfortunately they don't bring all the qualities that Amanda brings. When she gets in that foul trouble, it hurts us. She just has to mature a little bit and she has to understand that some of those fouls aren't worth her being on the bench.

The 3-point shooting was rough. Could that attribute to how they were playing defense on the perimeter or was it just a bad shooting night?
It was a combination. I think the last several games we have not shot the ball well which has been disappointing. We have spent more time in practice in order to get us out of that slump and all you can do is keep shooting in that regard. I think Florida State was more athletic than some other teams that we've faced and they were getting to us on the catch. Hillary had a couple of shots blocked where she should've used shot fakes. They were able to disrupt us and contest us better than other people have. And when they that happens, we have got to be smarter in using the shot fakes and go by them which we just didn't utilize tonight.

On Florida State controlling the offensive boards and having a lot of second chance shots
Exactly. That's exactly what was in the scouting report. The number key to the game was to boxing out, which we did not follow through. So, I will take credit for that as the head coach. Whatever reason, whatever way, I have got to get my team to box out because we continually did not make contact, resulting in 19 'O' boards and 26 second-chance points, which is exactly what we knew they were going to do. So we just got to get better with that in practice and I will make sure we do that.

Coach, can you speak on the turnover problem?
It was very unfortunate. I thought Florida State did a good job pressuring us and hurrying us up a little bit, but I also thought we lost our composure. This has been two games in a row for very high turnovers. Ny Hammonds, for being a junior, is still an inexperienced point guard. She didn't play a lot of minutes last year, and as a freshman she didn't play at all. Every once in a while she gets herself in a position to turn the ball over and makes a mistake. I believe in her as our point guard, and you're going to continue to see her as our point guard. And I know she'll battle back from this. As a whole, when you're point guard is playing like that, the rest of us have to do better job at taking care of the ball. And I just think that we didn't make a lot of smart decisions. I mean they forced us into some of them, but a lot of them were just throwing it over people's hands or bouncing it off a foot. Just making bad decisions, and again, that's something that I take responsibility for. I'll make sure we watch the film and try to get better from that.

Senior Forward Jennifer Hailey

Was this the most physical game that you've played all season?
Yeah, by far it was the toughest game that I've played all season.

What were they doing defensively that was getting to you?
It was them being a little bit more aggressive than we were. We weren't matching our intensity with them, so it kind of got to us a little bit.

Did not having Amanda out there affect your game at all?
Yeah, it affected me a lot.

We talked about Kira and Alexis kind of producing and helping you out when Amanda wasn't in there? Is it different having a couple of freshmen out there?
Yeah, it's a lot different compared to me playing with Amanda for so long. I know how Amanda plays, and with two other freshmen coming in, I had to adjust some type of way.

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