CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte overcame its worst shooting
performance of the season, while senior Jennifer Hailey made history two times,
as the 49ers came-from-behind for the second-straight game to pull out a 59-49
victory Wednesday night over Butler inside Halton Arena. The Niners, who
trailed by four at the half, outscored the Bulldogs by 14 in the second half to
win their eighth straight.
Hailey, needing only one blocked shot to set the school's career record, got her rejection early to extend her consecutive games streak to 34. She swatted a Hannah Douglas layup attempt out-of-bounds at 17:20 for the 208th in her career. The three-time reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week finished with five blocks, upping the standard to 212.
She also entered the contest 12 rebounds shy of 1,000 in her career. After grabbing seven in the first 20 minutes, Hailey hauled in her record carom with 1:46 left to become the fourth women's player, the first since Kristen Wilson (1984-87), and the seventh overall basketball player in school history to reach the milestone by hitting it exactly. Hailey also attained 1,000 career points exactly when she hit that mark Nov. 17 against FGCU.
Hailey finished with her ninth-straight double-double with a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. It marks her 18th double-double of the campaign and 38th of her career. She surpassed 1,300 career points as well, raising her total to 1,313 with her effort.
Senior Amanda Dowe also chipped in a double-double performance of 13 points and a game-best 14 rebounds, including 12 on the offensive glass. It is her second-straight double-double, and the 10th of the season and 18th of her career.
Junior Ny Hammonds poured in 15 points, including 7-of-8 free throws, while handing out seven of the team's 12 assists.
Taylor Schippers paced Butler (14-10, 5-4 A-10) with 17 points, connecting on 7-of-9 field goals and the only two free throws for the visitors. Daress McClung added a team-high 10 rebounds.
Charlotte overcame an off-shooting night for nearly 29 minutes, including a season-low 27.8 percent during the first stanza. The Niners came out of the intermission, when they trailed by four, and made it a one-possession game at 17:06 on a Jai Forney layup. The Bulldogs then pushed the margin up to nine, 35-26, during the next 1:35 behind a 6-0 run.
The 49ers, however, did not quit and a Hillary Sigmon 3-pointer in the corner at 13:54 cut it back to four, 35-31. Within 46 seconds, a pair of Dowe charity tosses trimmed the gap to two. Charlotte (19-4, 8-1 A-10) then continued to push forward and a Dowe put-back on an offensive board forced a 39-39 deadlock at 11:21. It was just the second tie of the contest after a 17-17 draw in the first half.
Three more knotted scores would occur over the next 3:19 and then the 49ers claimed a 44-43 lead, their first since 8:23 of the first half, on a Hammonds free throw with 6:40 to play. Sigmon again hit a triple but Schippers' two charity tosses at the 5:38 mark caused the game's fifth tie. She then put Butler ahead, 59-57, on a layup following a Niners turnover, but it would become the Bulldogs' final points at 5:06.
Charlotte closed the game on a 12-0 spurt, starting with two Hammonds free throws at 4:23. Back-to-back Forney jumpers would be the last points from the floor, as the 49ers iced the victory, their 10th at home this season, at the foul line. The Niners have now won at least 10 home games for the 11th-straight season and match last year's total.
While it was Charlotte who closed the game strong, it was Butler who took control during the first half. Neither team held more than a three-point edge in a nip-and-tuck start until an 8-0 Bulldogs surge, taking 2:57 off the clock, put the visitors ahead, 13-8, following an Amanda Raker layup with 11:20 left.
Hammonds ignited a 9-4 run, capped by a Hailey jumper at 9:05, to force the game's first tie, 17-17. Butler answered with seven-straight points to open the period's largest advantage, 24-17, with 6:10 remaining. Just as the 49ers were able to trim the margin to three following a Hailey free throw at the 2:27 mark, Mandy McDivitt countered with a 3-pointer. Dowe added the session's final basket, a layup at 1:47, to pull Charlotte within four at the half, 27-23.
The 49ers return to the floor for a 2 p.m. Sunday tip against George Washington inside Halton Arena. The contest can be heard regionally on ESPN 730 AM with Bobby Rosinski and Lanny Ford handling the radio broadcast.
Charlotte Postgame Quotes (2.13.13)
Head coach Cara Consuegra
What a game. It was such a battle. Which I think every game from now on in the A-10 is going to be like that. We definitely will give Butler some credit. Butler came ready to play coming off of a really bad loss. They came out focused and played really hard. They probably outplayed us for the first 30 minutes of the game, at least, but my team has a lot of heart and a great will to win right now. When things were not going right, they found a way to battle out of it. I thought the last seven minutes we were tremendous. We locked down defensively, we started to make it a lot tougher for them to make shots. We rebounded to be able to push the pace a little in transition. Obviously, a poor shooting night for us, very atypical, but you can control when you are unable to make shots. We went out and grabbed 26 offensive boards and were able to get second chance points. We got to the free throw line. We were able to shoot for 80 percent from the free throw line in the second half. Not the prettiest win for us tonight, but again, one we battled through, found ways to win and stuck together when it got tough. But once again that was a good game. I knew it was going to be a great battle. I am certainly proud of this young lady sitting next to me, Jennifer Hailey, becoming all-time blocks leader and getting her 1000th rebound tonight. Just a tremendous effort and tremendous accomplishment for one of the greatest players I have ever coached and probably one of the best people I have coached.
what was said at timeout with about seven minutes remaining
You know, I cannot take credit for it. I think it is when they (the players) decide. Most of the timeouts in the second half we talked about battling and we are realizing things are not always going to be easy. We cannot quit. We cannot lie down. Now, we have to have a will to win is my message almost every timeout. I think they got to that point where they said, enough is enough and we do not want to lose. You have to give them credit for changing their energy themselves. This staff is always going to be on them and give them confidence trying to constantly raise them up. But that's the chosen maturity of our team and our leaders. They are unrelenting when it comes to winning right now.
having 12 offensive rebounds and complementing Jennifer
Well, I think Amanda is capable of that all of the time. I think sometimes she turns it on and off and she knows that. When she has that light switch on, she is capable of doing that all of the time. The neat thing about Amanda and Jennifer is that they play together so well. They just complement each other really well. I think Amanda has a sixth sense when Jennifer is going to miss the ball and where it is going to come off and going to go for the ball. That combination is just so fun to watch when they are clicking on all cylinders. I have said this before Amanda is the most relentless rebounder I have ever seen. When she decides to do it. And tonight she decided to do it.
playing them together on the floor
I certainly like playing them on the floor together. We went a short bench tonight, which was not really the plan, but sometimes when games are that tight, that's what we need to do. I have a ton of confidence in the two of them that they are going to get the job done.
the assistant coaches
We have a tremendous coaching staff. I am really blessed to have great perspective around me. We work really well. I think that we complement each other really well and every time we have a timeout, it is not about me and everything I see. It is about what we see together. Because of that, we are able to make a lot of adjustments. We are constantly in the huddles talking about this play that was just ran and how we need to play it more. We didn't play it correctly or if we got a call on another play. It is just a tremendous job on how we are working together. There was not anything special it is just something we do all of the time. Most of the time our timeouts are spent making adjustments and motivating and we do that really well together.
team's progress from first A-10 game to now
The difference now is that our team has learned how to win and they are unrelenting and their will to win. And again things were not going right for us. Probably one of our worse offensive games of the season but we did not let it stop us. We did not let mistakes get to us the whole game and I think that is the sign of a really mature team and a confident team. I tell them this all of the time, 'We have gotten to where we are because we have earned it.' We are not lucky and it is not by chance. We've earned this point to be here with all of the work we put in. Because of that, now when we are in this situation we believe we can do it, when maybe, two months ago we did not. That is a pretty cool thing to see.
Senior forward Jennifer Hailey
the accomplishments she has been receiving
It means a lot to make history here at Charlotte. Once I come back, this is something I am going to look back on later in the future. It feels great to be a part of something at Charlotte.
expectations of defenses lately
By this time of the season I know most teams are going to be mostly focused on me. I just have to bite down and stay focused. Just keep doing what I am doing.
what can be done when team seems down
You can see from our facial expressions when we are down. I am the type of person to try and keep my team up. Let them know that's a bad place and we have to move on.