|Comeback Falls Short As 49ers Fall To Wake Forest|
Charlotte, NC - Charlotte behind three double-figure scorers nearly rallied from an 18-point deficit but the rally falls short as Charlotte's season ends with a 72-61 loss to Wake Forest in Halton Arena in the first round of the WNIT.
"I was proud of the team's character and resiliency in rallying in the second half," Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra said. "We did not give up and we battled back but we fell just short."
Amanda Dowe led the three 49ers in double-figures with 15 points. She also grabbed a team season-high 19 rebounds. Jai Forney scored 13 points. Jennifer Hailey scored 10 points and blocked four shots. Ny Hammonds scored eight points off the bench. Gabby Tyler scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds.
"Amanda Dowe was sensational tonight," Consuegra said. "She was unbelievable and her play really spurred our second half comeback."
In the first half, Wake Forest scored 28 of the game's first 38 points taking a 28-10 lead with 9:17 left in the first half. Charlotte behind the scoring of Forney, Dowe, Hailey and Ayanna Holmes went on a 16-4 run cutting Wake's lead to 32-26 when Katie Meador scores inside with 4:38 left in the half.
Then, Wake Forest scored six straight points pushing their lead to 38-26. Forney converted on a free throw with one minute left in the half cutting Charlotte's deficit to 39-29 at the half.
In the second half, with Wake Forest leading 49-31 with 13:52 on the clock, Charlotte went on a 22-5 run over the next eight minutes cutting Wake Forest's lead to 54-53 when Forney converts a layup with 5:34 on the clock. Epiphany Woodson, Dowe, Hammonds, Forney and Tyler scored during the run.
However, that would be as close as the 49ers would get as Wake Forest went on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes taking a 66-55 lead when Chelsea Douglas knocks down a three with 1:47 on the clock. Wake Forest converted on several free throws in the closing minutes to close out the game.
The 49ers, who made their 10th straight postseason tournament appearance, finished the season with a 16-14 record.
"I am excited about the future of our program," Consuegra said. "We will return a majority of our team for next year. We had a lot of players gain valuable experience this year. We just have to go back to work and improve in the offseason."