|Women’s basketball faces Green Wave for Blackout|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte women’s basketball returns to Halton Arena for the first of two home games this week, when it entertains Tulane at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a contest recognized as Blackout in which it will don special black uniforms against the Green Wave. The meeting renews a series between the two programs, which started in the Metro Conference and continued through the 49ers’ first stint in Conference USA.
Charlotte is coming off a big road victory at UTEP Saturday in which it defeated the Miners, 92-86, behind junior Hillary Sigmon’s career-high 32 points. Sigmon drained 12-of-15 field goals, including 5-of-7 from 3-point territory to finish as the game’s leading scorer and move into sole possession of third place on the school’s career 3-pointers made chart.
Redshirt junior Gabby Tyler also put together one of her most complete games, netting a career-best tying 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and fifth of her career. Tyler connected on 10-of-11 field goals as an unstoppable force in the paint, where the Niners tallied a collective season-high 46 points.
Saturday’s win improved Charlotte’s overall record to 9-8 and kept it within a game of the top spot in the Conference USA race with a 3-1 mark. The 49ers are one of four teams, including Tulane, one game shy of front-runner and preseason favorite Middle Tennessee, who is just outside the Top 25 in both national polls this week.
On the season, the Niners feature four players averaging double figures, led by Tyler’s 11.9 points per game. Senior Ny Hammonds (11.8 ppg), Sigmon (11.2) and sophomore Kira Gordon (11.2) round out the quartet.
Tyler is also the squad’s top rebounder with 7.4 per game, leading Gordon and sophomore Alexis Alexander’s respective averages of 6.5 and 6.0.
The Green Wave has won three of their last four, including an overtime thriller against Southern Miss Saturday, to improve to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in C-USA. Saturday’s win was earned when Danielle Blagg hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Tulane the two-point victory.
Blagg enters Wednesday’s contest as the team’s top scorer with a 13.4 points per game average. She also is joined in double figures by a trio, including Jamie Kaplan (11.5), Leslie Vorpahl (10.8) and Tiffany Dale (10.5).
Dale and Adesuwa Ebomwonyi are head coach Lisa Stockton’s top rebounders with 8.5 and 7.3 boards per game, respectively.
Charlotte has won the last three meetings in the series, snapping a 12-game win streak by Tulane; though, the Green Wave owns an overall 14-8 lead dating back to the first meeting in 1992.
As part of the Blackout promotion, official t-shirts are on sale through the Charlotte49ers.com and at the university bookstore. It’s also Wild Wednesday, in which every fan gets a raffle ticket upon entry. Additional tickets are $1 and will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation. Two raffle winners will be chosen during the game.
UNC Charlotte faculty and staff are also invited to attend, as those members can stop by the athletic ticket office in advance to acquire up to four free tickets.
Wednesday’s game can be heard live on ESPN 730AM, the flagship station of 49ers athletics, with Bobby Rosinski handling play-by-play duties and Lanny Ford serving as the color analyst.
The game can be viewed live on Charlotte49ers.com with live stats also linked through the website. Updates will also be provided on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
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