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Niners in the desert for in-season tournament
Courtesy: Charlotte Sports Information
          Release: 11/29/2013
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LAS VEGAS – Charlotte women’s basketball has made the trip west to the desert region of the country for the Lady Rebel Round-Up this weekend on the UNLV campus at Cox Pavilion. The two-day event gets underway at 6:30 p.m. EST Saturday when the 49ers lock up with former Conference USA foe Cincinnati. Depending on opening-day results, Charlotte will face either Fordham, with whom it is familiar from the Atlantic 10 days, or host UNLV at either 4 or 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday.

The Niners ride a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s meeting with the Bearcats, improving their record to 3-3 on the young season following Tuesday’s 63-60 come-from-behind victory over Winthrop. The win improved Charlotte’s Halton Arena record to 3-0 this year and 17-4 in the last two campaigns.

The well-balanced offensive attack, which features a half-dozen players averaging at least 7.0 points per game, includes a pair in double-figure scoring. Sophomore Kira Gordon (10.5 ppg) and senior Ny Hammonds (10.3) pace the group with Gordon also leading the team with eight steals in the early going. Hammonds, despite playing two fewer games, is the 49ers’ assists leader with 20.

Four different players hold averages of at least 5.0 rebounds per contest, topped by sophomore Alexis Alexander’s 6.7 average. Redshirt junior Gabby Tyler (6.0 rpg), Gordon (5.7) and Hammonds (5.3) are also above the threshold.

Cincinnati brings a 1-3 record into Saturday’s contest after dropping a 78-42 decision to No. 22/16 Iowa State Nov. 21 in its most recent outing. The Bearcats’ lone triumph was Nov. 17, as they earned a 65-46 decision over Kent State.

The former Conference USA foes renew a series that has not seen them meet since 2005 when Charlotte eliminated Cincinnati from the league tournament. The Bearcats are 11-6 all-time against the 49ers.

Fordham, another familiar face, most recently from the Atlantic 10 where Charlotte spent its last eight seasons prior to re-joining Conference USA this year. The Rams are 4-2 during 2013-14, including a three-game winning streak entering the Vegas field. Fordham knocked off American, 66-62, Monday in its most recent performance.

The 49ers are 7-1 all-time against the Rams, having only lost last year’s meeting to open the Atlantic 10 campaign. Charlotte went on to win 13-straight games after the setback, while Fordham advanced to the league tournament championship game.

Host UNLV is 2-3 this year, falling 66-59 to Utah Tuesday night in its most recent contest. The Lady Rebels have only played away from home once this season, a 57-53 loss at Northwestern.

UNLV won the only other meeting with Charlotte in the programs’ history, a 2000 matchup in the UNLV Rebel Shootout, the last time the Niners participated in the holiday tournament.

Charlotte is 66-67 all-time in 63 in-season tournaments, most recently playing in the 2012 GSU Holiday & Hoops Tournament after Christmas in Atlanta. The 49ers are 2-4 under head coach Cara Consuegra in three in-season events during her first two years at the helm.

Both games of the Lady Rebel Round-Up will be available via online video and live stats through links on Charlotte49ers.com. Live audio with Josh Feldman on the call will also be linked to the website, while updates can also be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.


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