CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Behind four double-figure scorers and a 26-11 late first half run, the Charlotte 49ers (27-9) held on for 79-74 win at ACC foe Virginia (19-16) to advance to the WNIT Semifinals.
"I am so happy for our team," Charlotte coach Karen Aston said. "We were very resilient down the stretch. I am so proud of the maturity that our team displayed down the stretch. We had players hit big shots. We are playing with a lot of confidence right now."
Shannon McCallum recorded her third straight 20-point scoring game with a 24 points including shooting 10-for-11 from the free throw line. McCallum went over the 1,500 career points mark in the game. Epiphany Woodson tallied 17 points in the game. She has scored in double-figures in 14 of Charlotte's last 15 games. Kendria Holmes scored 10 points and dished out seven assists. Gabby Tyler recorded her second straight double-figure scoring game with 10 points off the bench. Amanda Dowe scored nine points. Jennifer Hailey added seven points to the 49ers attack.
Charlotte outrebounded their 27th opponent of the season with a 41-35 advantage on the boards. Hailey grabbed nine rebounds. Dowe and Tyler grabbed six rebounds apiece. McCallum recorded five rebounds in the game.
Charlotte took an early 12-9 lead with 16:09 on the clock behind the scoring of Dowe, McCallum, Hailey and Holmes.
Virginia went on an 8-0 run behind consecutive threes taking a 17-12 lead with 12:33 on the clock. Virginia maintained a lead of 1-5 points for the next five minutes. Then, Woodson connected on a three with 5:55 on the clock giving the 49ers a lead they would not relinquish. Woodson scored five straight points beginning Charlotte's 26-11 run over the final eight minutes of the first half. Holmes closed out the 49ers run with a three from the wing with 35 seconds on the clock giving the 49ers a 44-32 halftime lead. Jai Forney, McCallum and Tyler also scored during the run.
Charlotte scored 10 of the first 16 points of the second half taking a 54-38 lead when Woodson knocked down another three with 16:27 on the clock.
For the most part, the 49ers maintained a double-figures lead for the next nine minutes. With the 49ers leading 62-50 after a free throw by Dowe at the 7:02 mark, Virginia went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes cutting the 49ers' lead to 62-60 when Ataira Franklin connected on her second straight three with 3:57 on the clock.
Tyler connected on arguably the biggest shot of the game for the 49ers when she ended the Virginia run with a tough baseline jump shot with 3:31 on the clock. Charlotte pushed their lead to five points after a McCallum jump shot with 2:54 on the clock.
Virginia cut the 49ers lead to two points, 66-64, with 2:21 on the clock. Holmes connected on a three from the wing pushing the 49ers lead to five points, 69-64, with 2:06 on the clock. McCallum converted on a three-point play giving the 49ers a 72-64 lead with 1:08 on the clock.
Charlotte behind timely free throw shooting by Woodson and McCallum closed out the 79-74 WNIT quarterfinal road win.
Charlotte advances to the WNIT Semifinals where they will face the winner of tomorrow's Syracuse-Toledo game.