|Charlotte Cruises Past Iona In Season Opener, 72-40|
Charlotte, NC - The Charlotte 49ers behind three double-figure scorers led by Shannon McCallum's 21 points cruised past Iona, 72-40, in their season-opener in the first round of the preseason WNIT. With the victory in their home opener, the 49ers have nine of their last ten home openers.
"I liked our team's energy level," Charlotte coach Karen Aston said. "I was really pleased with the play of some of our players that have not played much for us in the past. Amanda Dowe, who did not play much last year, nearly had a double-double. She played with a lot of energy. Kendria Holmes was very good. She was a floor general tonight. The McCallum sisters are very competitive. They are just basketball players."
Shannon McCallum recorded her 14th career 20-point scoring game with 21 points. She also tallied four assists, four steals and four blocked shots in the game. McCallum's younger sister Paige McCallum scored 13 points and recorded five steals in the game. Kendria Holmes recorded her 13th career double-figure scoring game with 13 points. She also tallied five steals in the game. Amanda Dowe nearly recorded her first career double-double as she scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first career double-figure rebounds game.
Charlotte recorded 16 steals which led to 31 points off Iona turnovers. Charlotte also had an 18-8 advantage in second chance points and fast break points.
Iona scored the game's first basket when Anda Ivkovic connected on a three-point field goal just three seconds into the game. However, that would be Iona's only lead in the game as the 49ers went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes taking control of the game, 13-3, at the 15:32 mark. Paige McCallum and Epiphany Woodson each scored four points during the 49ers' run.
Shannon McCallum connected on a three at the 13:09 mark giving the 49ers a 20-5 lead.
Charlotte's first half lead ballooned to 17 points, 26-9, when Shannon McCallum connected on a layup with 8:22 left in the first half. Iona would go on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes cutting the 49ers lead to 26-19 with 3:33 left in the half. Charlotte's Jessica Johnson connected on a jump shot inside the lane stopping Iona's run. Johnson basket started the 49ers on a 5-0 run pushing their back to double-figures, 31-19, with 1:52 left in the half.
Charlotte led 33-22 at the half. Paige McCallum scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half.
Charlotte began the second half on a 13-2 run capped off by a Shannon McCallum three-point field goal giving the 49ers a 46-24 lead with 13:25 left in the game. The closest that Iona would get to the 49ers the rest of the game was 18 points, 49-31, with 9:23 left in the 2nd half. A layup by Gabby Tyler with 1:37 left in the game pushed the 49ers lead to a game-high 33 points, 72-39. Iona's Sabrina Jeridore connected on a free throw in the closing seconds making the 49ers final margin of victory, 72-40.
Charlotte moves on to the second round of the preseason WNIT where the 49ers will face the University of Florida on the road, Monday, November 15 at 7 pm.