|Charlotte picks up win over Big 12 foe TCU|
FORT WORTH, Texas - Charlotte women's basketball weathered a hot-handed TCU sharpshooter by placing all five of its starters in double-figure scoring, including a pair with double-doubles, to knock off the Horned Frogs of the Big 12, 82-68, Wednesday night in the season's first road contest.
The senior duo of Amanda Dowe and Jennifer Hailey recorded the double-doubles, as Dowe setting the tone in both categories with team highs of 21 points and 16 rebounds, including 10 offensively, while adding three assists and three blocked shots for her ninth career double-double.
Hailey's double-double is her second in as many games to begin the campaign and the 22nd of her career. She poured in 14 points with an even 10 caroms, featuring a game-best eight on the defensive glass. She topped Dowe's blocks with five of her own, helping the 49ers to a 10-to-8 advantage in the category.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers were Ny Hammonds (11 points), Hillary Sigmon (11) and Jai Forney (10). Hammonds also handed out eight assists for the second-straight game as Charlotte distributed 20 on 33 made field goals for the game.
The Horned Forgs were led by the hot-hand of Kamy Cole, who finished with a game-high 22 points. She was one of three TCU (0-1) players to reach double figures and was joined by a 12-point night from Zahna Medley and 2012 Mountain West Freshman of the Year Natalie Ventress' 10.
Latricia Lovings grabbed a team-best nine rebounds, as the Horned Frogs fell short on the glass, 44-to-34. She also swatted six blocked shots, 75 percent of her team's total.
The Niners started the contest with back-to-back 3-pointers from Sigmon and Forney but a steady dose of inside buckets from the Horned Frogs and a long-range triple from Medley pulled the hosts on top, 9-8, at the first media break.
TCU then raced out to a brief lead, capped by a Cole trey at 14:37 for a 14-11 lead, but then Charlotte (2-0) turned on its after burners. The 49ers mounted a 14-2 run, as four different players scored, including a pair of consecutive Hammonds jumpers, to pull ahead, 25-16.
Cole again had the hot hand, finally putting points back in her team's scoring column, on a layup at 7:42. She then buried a long-range trey on the next Horned Frogs possession to answer a Forney runner and then added a free throw to net six-straight points and help TCU claw within 10, 32-22, at 5:43. Sigmon drained another 3-pointer during the 49ers' run.
The Horned Frogs, however, did not quit and used Cole's free throw for a 14-4 spurt, sealing the surge with a Whitney Williams triple, to force the first half's fourth tie, 36-36, with 2:19 remaining.
Charlotte quickly answered, registering the next seven points, including inside the paint buckets from Hailey and Alexis Alexander and Sigmon's third 3-pointer of the period to race back in front, 43-36, as the half entered the final minute. Cole halted the stretch with a jumper but Forney found Hailey underneath the hoop for a buzzer-beating layup to send the Niners into the intermission ahead, 45-38.
TCU came out of the gates in the second half by scoring the first seven points and nine of the first 11, as Delisa Gross hit a triple and the score was tied once again, 48-48, at the 17:36 mark. As quickly as the Horned Frogs warmed up, they cooled; the 49ers were able to take advantage of the drought with six points, all on layups, before Cole found herself open again from behind the arc to slice the deficit to three, 54-51, with 14:21 to play. Cole continued to make shots but a falling-down old-fashioned three-point play by Dowe kept the margin at four, 57-53, with 13:25 left.
The Charlotte defense struggled to locate Cole on the other end, as she canned another 3-pointer, to pull TCU within one, 57-56, at 13:02; however, it would be her final field goal of the contest.
With Cole finally cooling off, the 49ers picked things up offensively and tallied 11-straight points. Ayanna Holmes was a key factor in the run, posting seven points, as Charlotte built its lead back to a dozen, 68-56, with 10:44 remaining.
Sigmon's jumper at 8:24 stretched it to a 14-point difference, 72-58, helping the Niners to maintain a double-digit cushion the remainder of the game. Dowe's layup at 3:38 gave Charlotte its largest lead of 16, 78-62, but TCU made one last run, closing within 11, 78-67, on a Chelsea Prince jumper. Dowe and Hailey, fittingly, scored the 49ers' final two field goals and the defensive intensity remained high as Charlotte held on for the victory.
The 49ers return to action at 5 p.m. Saturday in the first game of a home doubleheader facing FGCU inside Halton Arena. Fans can listen to the online broadcast live on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman on the call.