|Charlotte returns home to welcome first-time foe|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A road trip to Texas kept the Charlotte 49ers unbeaten and they will look to extend it Saturday, as Charlotte will play host to FGCU at 5 p.m. in the first game of a 49ers basketball doubleheader inside Halton Arena.
Charlotte improved to 2-0 on the young season with an 82-68 road victory at TCU of the Big 12 Wednesday night. It marks the first time the Niners have opened back-to-back seasons 2-0 since a three-year stretch between 1992-93 and 1994-95, the only other instance in program history where it has happened.
All five starters netted double-figure points in Wednesday's triumph, led by the senior inside combination of Amanda Dowe and Jennifer Hailey, who each collected a double-double. Dowe led all 49ers with 21 points and 16 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive glass, to go along with three blocks and three assists.
Hailey posted her second-straight double-double to start the campaign, and her fourth in the last five games dating back to last year, with 14 points and 10 boards. The Preseason All-Atlantic 10 First Team choice added five blocks, helping her squad to a 38-to-18 advantage on points in the paint.
Four Niners are averaging double-figure points entering the contest for head coach Cara Consuegra's balanced attack. Dowe leads the way with 16.5 per game, followed by Hailey (12.0), Jai Forney (10.5) and Ny Hammonds (10.0).
Dowe and Hailey also are the top producers on the glass, collecting 12.0 and 10.0 per game, respectively.
"They (the Eagles) are an excellent team and very well coached," Consuegra said. "They play a unique style that features a lot of guards. It will be an entertaining game and very fast-paced, similar to us. It will be a challenge for us and our bigs to get out and defend, but at the same time, their players have to get out and defend our height. It will be an interesting matchup and certainly, our most challenging game thus far."
FGCU also brings a 2-0 record into Saturday's tip, having earned victories over Warner and FIU in its first two contests. The Eagles, a member of the Atlantic Sun, are guided by averages of 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds from Sarah Hansen.
Joining Hansen with double-figure scoring averages include Brittany Kennedy at 13.5 per game and Lerrin Cook with 13.0. Katie Meador is second on the squad with 7.5 rebounds per contest.
FGCU finished last season with a 29-3 record, including a perfect 18-0 conference mark, and fell in the NCAA Tournament First Round in overtime to St. Bonaventure. The loss snapped a 21-game win streak, which started at a tournament in Hawai'i in December.
It will be the first meeting between the two programs. The last time Charlotte faced a current member of the conference was a 79-68 triumph over ETSU Dec. 6, 2004.
The action can be followed a variety of ways, including live audio and video on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman on the call. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter @49erGameDay.