Men's Soccer mm
First-half run keys Niners declawing Wildcats
Courtesy: Charlotte Sports Information
          Release: 12/21/2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte women's basketball used an 18-0 run covering over seven minutes of the first half to turn the score in its favor and secure a 69-54 victory over Davidson Friday evening inside Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

The 49ers placed three players in double-figure scoring, led by Hillary Sigmon's 13 points. Freshman Kira Gordon knocked down 5-of-7 field goals to finish with a career-high 12 points, her first game in double digits, while Ny Hammonds chipped in 10 points. Hammonds, the nation's leader with 7.6 assists per game, distributed six helpers with three steals.

The senior post combination of Jennifer Hailey and Amanda Dowe each hauled in double-figure rebounds, helping Charlotte (8-2) win the battle on the glass in all 10 games this year and grabbing at least 40 caroms for the eighth contest.

Hailey picked up 14 boards, including 11 on the defensive glass, while Dowe registered 12 rebounds. Hailey also had two blocks, featuring one on the Wildcats' first possession of the game, to extend her consecutive games streak to 22.

Dakota Dukes paced Davidson (4-6) with 15 points, the lone player in double-figure points. Preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year Sophia Aleksandravicius was limited to only four points on 2-of-18 from the floor, as the Niners defense forced her into multiple bad decisions.

The Wildcats rattled off an 11-2 surge, including three-straight 3-pointers from Hannah Early, Laura Murray and Katrin Chiemeka to jump in front 20-19 with 9:40 to play and causing the 49ers to call a 30-second timeout. Charlotte maintained a 17-9 advantage following a Jai Forney triple at 12:14, using an 8-0 spurt to break open the game's second tie, 9-9.

The timeout seemed to do wonders, as the next 18 points fell into the 49ers hoop, starting with an Ayanna Holmes triple at 9:09. Hammonds would then tally the ensuing eight points, including her lone 3-pointer, while Hailey, Gordon and Alexis Alexander also took turns finding the bottom of the net.

Murray finally ended the Davidson scoring lull with a pair of free throws at 1:28 but a Sigmon trey with 49 seconds to play sent the Niners into the intermission ahead, 40-22. At the half, Charlotte recognized the program's 2003 NCAA Tournament team with 10 of the 13 players returning to campus for the festivities.

The momentum stayed in the 49ers' favor to start the second period. The defense continued pressuring the Wildcats and an 8-0 stretch during the first 3:33 to increase the cushion to 26, 48-22. Chiemeka hit a layup at 16:27 to halt the surge and allow Davidson to mount a 7-0 run of its own during the next minute, capped by an old-fashioned three-point play from Shannon Eriksson.

Following another Sigmon 3-pointer on the next Niners possession, the margin stayed above 20 for over 13 minutes. It would reach a game-high of a 28-point difference, 66-38, on a Gordon jumper at the 4:53 mark.

Dukes scored the final nine Wildcats points, as they closed the game on a 16-3 run after Gordon's basket. The lone Charlotte points during the stretch came via Hammonds at 3:03 and a free throw from Jessica Johnson, who was seeing her first action since 2010-11 due to injury, with 21 seconds to play.

The 49ers will now take nine days off for the holidays and return to action at the GSU Hoops & Holiday Tournament in Atlanta, December 29-30. Charlotte will open the event against Toledo and then face either host Georgia State or Mississippi Valley State the following day based upon results of the opening round matchups.

The entire tournament can be heard on Charlotte49ers.com with AJ Mead on the call. The former voice of the program makes his return to the radio as a substitution for regular broadcaster Josh Feldman.

Charlotte Postgame Quotes vs. Davidson (12.21.12)
Head Coach Cara Consuegra


Opening statement
It was a great win. I was really excited for our team.  We just did an outstanding job, particularly defensively. We started the game a little shaky, got up big, they went on that run hit three straight threes. I called a timeout and I challenged us defensively to be a lot better and then we held them to two points for the rest of the half and even into the second half. So that just a tribute to our team. We work really hard defensively to be better to be able to dictate we made it tougher for them to run their stuff we held them to 29% shooting. Held their best player to only 4 points. Overall just a great defensive team effort.  Offensively we did a lot of good things. Forty points out of the first half, moved the ball well, had a lot better rhythm. Good offense ended up with three players in double figures.  I was really proud of our freshman Kira Gordon. She played outstanding minutes off the bench 5-7 12points for her career high. She did a great job. It was a great win particularly going into the holidays which is always really hard. Kids are thinking about going home and its tough. All their friends are home to come and play this focused I thought was a really good step for our team. I thought this was a really good job by our team.

On team's focus as lead was built and maintained
Yes I was and that something I adjusted at halftime and number one, Davidson is a good enough team and can score quick enough that they could be right back in the game. But mature teams, championship teams, postseason-caliber teams, they do it for 40 minutes. Now we had a little bit of a let down at the end.  I just thought we were really locked in and it meant something to our team. We set defensive goals every game and we are trying to get those. We trying to see goal stickers go up on the goal board and I think that is becoming more important to them and that what's going to make us successful.

On changes made during the timeout
Really didn't make any changes, i just got on them. We had a two-to- three minute period that we went brain dead we gave up three, three, three on kids we know can shot the ball. That's in the scout. Ball side deny. Don't give them something easy and we just lost our focus. Davidson is good enough that they can make you pay for that. The timeout was more to just refocus them get them back on the same page and to just light a fire under them and they responded really well.

On Hillary's last three performances 
Hillary is an outstanding player. She started the year strong she had a bit of shoulder injury that slowed her down but now you are beginning to see the Hillary we had at the beginning of the season. She is better, she is fresher and she is the type of offensive player when she's feeling good she can make a lot of things happen. She is essential to our offense. You know you love coaching players that when she releases the ball it will go in every time. And that's how I feel when she shoots the ball. She has the green light for us and she has really stepped up and done a great job. She's just such a competitor and she raises the level for our team every time she's on the court

On having a balanced stat sheet
Absolutely. I mean we love it. That's the thing about our team. Most of the games we have won, we have had a balanced scoring. We have had several people in double figures, 3-4-5 people and I think that's just great. It makes it harder for people to scout us and it just shows that we have people capable of stepping up regardless. I mean a lot of people as we continue to go on will focus on Jennifer (Hailey) and Amanda (Dowe) but we have other weapons that can help us so that going to make us great I mean help us out a lot.

On expectations in final five non-conference games before conference play begins
I would like us defensively to continue to get better. Again, I thought the two games this week were the best games we played defensively, particularly, in our game plan and our scout. We have not done that prior to these two games. So I think that's important but at the same time, we would like to be able to pressure the ball and deny more. Davidson is a team that average 22 turnovers, we only forced them to 13. We have the ability to be better at that. We have to continue to grow. Offensively, just getting things a little bit smoother. Obviously, we are scoring well just because we have talent, but there are a lot of times if you watched us when we ran something we just stood there. Just getting into a continuity offensively so it doesn't give the defense time to rest and adjust and keeps the pressure on them.

On where the team is at this point in the season
I'm happy with our progress. I mean we are not where we want to be yet but we are trying to be a great team in March. We are not trying to be a great team now. I want to be a better and better team as we go and I think we have shown improvement. In our two losses that we dropped were tough losses and I think we grew from them. And I think that the most important thing. You want to play a schedule that challenges you and if you drop some games it's ok, if it makes you better. I think that this team has done that. We have responded, we have tried to get better week by week and I think if we continue to do that we will be prepared for A-10 play, which is going to be really brutal.

On play of Ayanna Holmes
Well it's nice to have her. She is really a combo guard in our offense. She really a wing player but she has the ability to handle the ball so it nice to be able to have that flexibility with her. If Ny is denied and we need her to run the point, she has the ability to do that. She played a lot of point for us last year and so it just helps our rotation, it helps our overall depth, to know that she can stand in and do some of that.

Sophomore Guard Hillary Sigmon

On her feeling the last three games
Well it just been treatment. I've been in treatment, usually twice a day, for my shoulder and my knees and my back. Everything is getting squared away.

On if defensive pressure was the key to breaking open a tight game early
We had to pressure them. Coach was saying to pressure them. We had to pressure everybody on the team because they couldn't handle it, especially the point guard. She was hesitant.

On where the team is at this point of the season
I think we are in a good spot. The next 4 days, Coach has said we can't take them off, of course. We got this Georgia tournament coming up. We got some pretty tough opponents but we are in a good spot. We just can let up on anybody and continue to grow as a team and individually.

On playing with an unselfish team
Oh yes. It showed from the beginning of the summer when the freshmen came in. We didn't care who scored the ball. We were just really unselfish.

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