|Season opens Saturday for 49ers women’s basketball|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The 38th overall season and second under head coach Cara Consuegra begins at 6 p.m. Saturday for the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball program, as it plays host to in-state foe North Carolina Central inside Halton Arena.
The matchup, just the second all-time between the two schools, can be viewed and heard on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman handling play-by-play duties. The only other time the two teams have faced one another was in a forfeit victory for Charlotte Feb. 2, 1978.
The Niners, who enter the campaign third in the preseason Atlantic 10 poll, return nine letterwinners and all five starters to the floor for Consuegra's second go-around. In her first season at the helm in 2011-12, she guided Charlotte to a 16-14 overall record and 8-6 conference mark on its way to a WNIT berth, the 10th-consecutive postseason appearance for the 49ers.
With its 10-straight postseason berths, Charlotte is one of just 14 programs nationally to accomplish the feat and the lone non-BCS school to do so.
Senior Jennifer Hailey leads the Niners with her preseason nods to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team and All-Atlantic 10 Defensive Team. She is one of three players who will suit up in the green and white for the final time this winter, joining Amanda Dowe and Jai Forney.
Also returning as starters are junior Ny Hammonds and sophomore Hillary Sigmon, a member of the All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team last year.
A freshman quartet joins the club, including three from the Atlanta metro area. The class, Consuegra's first as a head coach, looks to help the program this season.
Charlotte is 21-16 all-time in season openers, having won its last two, both of which were played inside Halton Arena. The 49ers are 16-1 in program history when the campaign begins at home, including a 58-42 triumph over Presbyterian a year ago in Consuegra's debut on the bench.
North Carolina Central enters a new regime under head coach Vanessa Taylor. The Eagles went 3-27 a year ago, including 1-15 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
NCCU lost its last six contests to conclude the season, having last won Feb. 11, 2012, 50-38 over Savannah State.
The first 200 fans entering the arena will receive a free schedule t-shirt courtesy of Smoothie King.
Tickets are available by logging onto the ticket option on Charlotte49ers.com or by calling (704) 687.4949.
In addition to the live video and audio feeds on Charlotte49ers.com, live updates will be given throughout the game on Twitter @49erGameDay and live stats will be available on Charlotte49ers.com as well.