ORLANDO, Fla. - It may not have been the
prettiest of wins but the Charlotte 49ers gutted out a 62-59 triumph at UCF
Wednesday night in women's basketball action at the UCF Arena in Orlando, Fla.
The Niners controlled the boards by a 21-rebound difference, 54-to-33, to help
them pull out the victory in a game which featured 41 combined fouls and 44
The senior post tandem of Jennifer Hailey and Amanda Dowe once again led the
49ers charge, as each registered a double-double. Hailey secured game-high
honors with 18 points and 17 rebounds, a career best, while Dowe contributed 17
and 15, respectively. They were the lone Charlotte players in double figures in
The 49ers knocked down 51.7 percent (15-of-29) of their field goals in the
second half, recovering a sluggish opening 20 minutes. Junior Hillary Sigmon
dropped in the team's lone triple, marking the second-straight contest in which
the Niners hit only one shot from behind the arc.
Briahanna Jackson paced the Knights with 18 points, on a 6-of-23 performance,
including 0-of-6 from 3-point territory. Fourteen of her points came after
Genevia Carter chipped in 15 points and Erika Jones hauled in a team-high 10
Charlotte overcame a pair of dry spells in the first half and rode the back of
Hailey to take a one-point edge into the intermission. The 49ers started
strong, using 10 Hailey points among its opening dozen before cooling off
When Hailey reached double figures at 13:29, Charlotte (4-1) was on top, 12-9,
and had off-set a Gevenia Carter 3-pointer. Hailey's next bucket came two
minutes later and extended the 49ers lead to four, 16-12.
However, from that point forward, it turned into Carter's show. She tallied six
of her team's last 10 points of the period. Meanwhile, Charlotte went over four
minutes without scoring after Hailey's final field goal of the stanza. It would
be almost three minutes later before the next field goal dropped in for the
green and white as Dowe hit a 17-footer near the top of the key, putting the
Niners on top briefly, 21-18.
After Andrea Hines netted the final Knights basket at the 2:56 mark and a pair
of Carter free throws made it a one-point, 22-21, lead with 15.7 seconds to
play, the 49ers had one last chance. Hammonds took the ball into the lane and
hit a running jumper just before the final horn to give Charlotte the 23-22
Neither team was able to locate the bottom of the net until Carter drained a
field goal at 17:11, returning the lead into UCF's hands. After Kayli Keough
expanded the margin to three following a 49ers turnover, Charlotte quickly
answered with a 7-0 run, including an old fashioned three-point play from Dowe
to cap the spurt, to give the visitors a 30-26 advantage with 15:51 remaining.
Stout Niners defense caused the Knights problems on their next possession but
Keough drained a deep trey to beat the shot clock buzzer, keeping UCF (2-6)
within a point. The cushion remained three, 35-32, at 14:07 on another Keough
bucket before Charlotte sprinted ahead 43-34 thanks to an 8-2 run covering
nearly five minutes.
Consecutive layups from Carter and Jackson helped the Knights trim the gap to
five; however, Ayanna Holmes and Hailey each hit a pair of free throws to once
again stretch the edge to nine, 47-38. Yet another lull in the Niner offense
allowed the Knights to use a 10-1 streak to cut the gap to one, 49-48. Sigmon
then took over, going to her left for a contested layup and then burying the
lone 3-pointer on the next Charlotte possession, helping keep the margin at
The Knights remained pesky down the stretch, with Jackson taking the reins of the
offense. She hit a jumper with 2:30 on the clock and converted a pair of
charity tosses at 1:19 to make the 49ers margin just two, 58-56.
Following a back-door layup by Jai Forney on a Sigmon assist making it a
four-point edge, Jackson was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with 45.7 seconds
remaining. She stepped to the foul line and hit all three free throws, making
it a one-point difference, 60-59.
Defense on both ends kept it tight in the waning moments. Holmes grabbed a
defensive rebound for Charlotte and was immediately fouled with 12.0 seconds left.
She went to the other foul line and connected on both attempts, setting the
final score, as Jackson's step-back 3-point attempt air-balled and the Niners
held on for the win.
Charlotte returns to action when it plays host to the ACC's Florida State at 2
p.m. Sunday in Halton Arena. The game will serve as the Blackout promotion, as
all 49ers fans are encouraged to wear black for the contest.