|Charlotte readies for Atlantic 10 opener|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers women's basketball team will open its eighth and final season of Atlantic 10 action at 2 p.m. Sunday when it plays host to Fordham inside Halton Arena. The contest features a nationally-televised audience and a regionally-based radio broadcast.
The Niners will be making their 14th national TV appearance since joining the league when CBS Sports Network comes to town to kick off the annual Atlantic 10 TV schedule. John Sadak will handle play-by-play duties with Julianne Viani serving as the color analyst.
In addition, ESPN 730 AM will broadcast the game. The flagship station for Charlotte 49ers athletics will carry the game over the air, marking the first time in the school's women's basketball history it has happened. Bobby Rosinski and Lanny Ford will have the call as play-by-play and color commentary, respectively.
On the court, Charlotte improved to 11-3 through the non-conference slate with its third-straight win last Sunday, a 57-33 decision over Colgate. The 49ers defense shut the Raiders down in the second half, not allowing a point in the final 10:13, to pull away for the victory. Senior Amanda Dowe led the team with her second-straight double-double.
Dowe and classmate Jennifer Hailey continue to average a double-double on the season. Dowe averages 11.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, while Hailey pours in 14.4 points and grabs 10.9 boards per outing. The pair is two of just 39 players nationally to average a double-double in the latest NCAA statistics.
Overall, the Niners have won seven of their last eight and boast a 6-2 home record this season.
Fordham is off to its best start in recent years. The Rams are 10-5, including a 4-3 away mark, after winning their last three contests. They are coming off a 67-60 triumph over Holy Cross last Sunday and collected a 71-50 victory at American Jan. 4 in their last road tilt.
Marah Strickland, a former Maryland and South Carolina player, guides Fordham with 14.0 points per game. She is joined by Erin Rooney with 13.7 ppg as double-digit scorers for second-year head coach Stephanie Gaitley.
Freshman Samantha Clark, a two-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week selection, is the team's top rebounder with a 6.2 average, slightly higher than the 6.0 ledger pulled in by Abigail Corning.
Charlotte has won all of the previous seven meetings between the two schools, including a 61-41 triumph last year in Bronx, N.Y.
In addition to the national TV and regional radio broadcasts, live stats will be available on Charlotte49ers.com. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
Tickets to Sunday's contest are only $1 and all senior citizens get in free.