|Critical home contest Sunday afternoon for 49ers|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's basketball team will play host to one of its most important Atlantic 10 matchups of the season when it welcomes Duquesne to town for a 2 p.m. Sunday tip inside Halton Arena. The game, although still early in the conference race, could determine future seeding and positioning in the league standings at the end of the regular season.
Charlotte brings a season-high tying four-game winning streak into the contest with its 15-4 overall and 4-1 A-10 mark. The 49ers are 7-3 at home this season, including a win in their last contest inside the friendly confines of their home arena.
The Niners are coming off a 64-57 victory at St. Bonaventure Wednesday night in which they led the whole way but battled through a tough, resilient Bonnies squad for the full 40 minutes. Senior Jennifer Hailey, the reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, led the way with her 14th double-double of the season and 34th of her career, finishing with game bests of 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Hailey currently leads the Atlantic 10 in conference-games only with averages of 19.6 points and 13.2 rebounds, and along with teammate Amanda Dowe, stands among an elite group of 37 players nationally to average a double-double entering the weekend.
Dowe brings overall averages of 10.5 points and 10.4 boards, while the other three primary starters (Hillary Sigmon, Ny Hammonds, Jai Forney) all average at least 9.0 points per game to complete a balanced scoring attack for head coach Cara Consuegra.
An integral part of the team's success lately has been the defense, which has allowed just 49.7 points per game in the last eight outings. The 49ers have limited their opponents to 60 points or less in those eight-straight games, setting a new program record for longest consecutive streak.
Charlotte currently is a game-and-a-half in the A-10 race behind Duquesne, who owns a 17-3 overall and 6-0 league ledger entering Sunday. The Dukes, coached by fifth-year mentor Suzie McConnell-Serio, have won six straight since dropping a 54-49 decision to Miami (Ohio) in their final non-conference tilt.
Duquesne needed double overtime Wednesday to knock off George Washington on the road, 63-59. Wumi Agunbiade, who joined Hailey on the league's preseason first team, paces the squad with 14.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
Jocelyn Floyd is the nation's top steals producer, swiping 93 at this point in the season for a 5.2 average, which is more than one per game better than second place.
At halftime of Sunday's game, the Charlotte athletics department and women's basketball program will honor 20 former players, coaches, trainers and managers who are returning as part of Alumni Day in conjunction with the University's Homecoming weekend.
Sunday's contest can be heard live on ESPN 730 AM regionally with Bobby Rosinski as play-by-play and Lanny Ford handling color analyst duties. It marks the second game this season, and in the history of the program, in which the flagship station for Charlotte 49ers athletics has carried a women's basketball contest from Halton Arena.
Live video and stats will also be available on Charlotte49ers.com and updates can also be located on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.