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Niners look to bounce back on trip to Minnesota

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s basketball team will look to get back to its customary winning ways with a mid-week game in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, at Minnesota, at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday. It marks the second of a three-game road swing for the 49ers during the first two weeks of the regular season.

Charlotte (1-1) enters the contest having lost a 73-65 decision at Kansas State Sunday after opening the campaign with a 66-56 home triumph over Liberty Friday. The Niners are starting a season with two road games among their first three tilts for the first time since 2009-10.

The 49ers currently boast two players averaging double-figure scoring in the balanced attack, led by junior Ayanna Holmes’ 11.0 points per game. She has hit 10-of-16 free throws, adding team-highs of six assists and 73 minutes played to go along team-best tying four steals.

Classmate and co-captain Hillary Sigmon joins Holmes above the threshold, netting an average of 10.5 points per game on the strength of four 3-pointers in the first two games. She hit three triples during the first half of Sunday’s game at Kansas State.

Sophomores Alexis Alexander and Kira Gordon pace the squad with eight rebounds apiece with five of Gordon’s boards coming on the offensive glass.

Minnesota (1-0) has played just one game thus far, picking up a 73-55 triumph at Northern Iowa Saturday. Head coach Pam Borton’s squad earned a pair of votes in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches national poll and is coming off a WNIT First Round season in which it lost to Ball State to finish 18-14 overall.

The Golden Gophers are led by Rachel Banham, who pitched in 15 points against the Panthers. She was one of four players to reach the double-digit scoring plateau in the opener. Banham was selected to the preseason lists for the John R. Wooden Award and Wade Watch Award List, along with a preseason All-Big Ten First Team nod by both the coaches and media.

Wednesday’s meeting is the third in the all-time series, though the two programs have not faced one another since December 2007. Minnesota picked up wins in the previous two matchups and has held the Niners to 66 points in both outings.

The game can be heard live on with Josh Feldman handling play-by-play duties. Live stats and video will be available through links on the website, while updates can also be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.

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