CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s basketball team returns to Mecklenburg County Saturday, though it will be just up the road in a contest at Davidson, starting at 1 p.m., in a cross-county showdown with the Wildcats. Although the teams have not met every season, it marks the third meeting in the last two years between the two local foes.
The 49ers own a 4-6 record entering the contest following a hard-fought, 83-81, setback at Stetson Tuesday. Five players reached double-figure scoring for a balanced offensive attack that produced the highest point total this year for the Niners.
Redshirt junior Gabby Tyler, who had missed the previous three games, returned with a career-high 18 points and added nine rebounds for a near double-double in just 26 minutes. She opened the contest with Charlotte’s first six points and reached a dozen by halftime.
Also posting near double-doubles were sophomore Alexis Alexander with a career-best 16 points and nine boards and junior Hillary Sigmon with 15 points and a career-high nine rebounds. The trio’s effort on the glass helped push the 49ers into the positive side in the column, winning the battle on the boards, 47-to-34.
On the season, Sigmon paces Charlotte with her 11.4 points per game scoring average. She has connected on a team-best 16 3-pointers and is 24-of-30 at the foul line.
Joining Sigmon with double-figure scoring averages are sophomore Kira Gordon and senior Ny Hammonds, who both are at 10.8 points per game. Hammonds, the program’s lone senior, has handed out 43 assists in her eight games played to move into fifth on the school’s career list. She needs 70 more this year to pass Markita Aldridge for the all-time record.
Alexander tops the team with 7.0 rebounds per game, while also setting the tone with 15 blocked shots. Tyler is the only other player with double-digit blocks, swatting 11 opponent attempts away from the hoop.
Trailing Alexander on the boards are Tyler (6.4 rpg) and Gordon (5.9). Gordon missed the Stetson game but has hit a team-best 53.7 percent of her field goals, while also leading the squad with 12 steals.
Davidson has won two-straight games, Southern Conference tilts against Wofford and Furman, to improve its season record to 5-6 entering Saturday. The Wildcats welcome the 49ers to Belk Arena for the fifth of a six-game homestand.
Laura Murray, a two-time SoCon Player of the Week, tops Michele Savage’s squad with 19.4 points per game. She is one of three ’Cats in double-figure points, joined by Hannah Early (14.1 ppg) and Dakota Dukes (13.6).
Dukes is the team’s top rebounder with an 8.3 average, while Shneeka Center and Early are next at 5.5 and 5.4 per game, respectively.
The 49ers improved their series lead to 13-8 following last year’s two wins, including eliminating the Wildcats in the WNIT Second Round March 24. Charlotte also won the regular-season meeting, which was the first time the two programs squared off since 2008.
Overall, the Niners have won four straight in the series and seven of the last eight, dating back to 2003. The series is tied 4-4 when the games have been played at Davidson.
Saturday’s contest can be heard live on Charlotte49ers.com with Josh Feldman handling play-by-play duties. Live stats and video are linked through the website, while updates can also be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.