CHARLOTTE, N.C. –
Charlotte women’s basketball will open a two-week stretch featuring three home games in a four-contest period when it plays host to Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The other two matchups inside Halton Arena, where the 49ers are 7-4 this season, will be played next week.
Charlotte enters the critical series of games with an 11-12 overall and 5-5 Conference USA ledger. The Niners are 4-2 in their last half-dozen home games with three of those victories over league opponents.
The squad continues to feature a balanced attack with four players with double-figure scoring averages. Gabby Tyler
sets the pace with 12.3 points per game after tallying 17 at Marshall Saturday. She also added 13 rebounds against the Thundering Herd, raising her season average to a team-best 7.7 boards per outing and registering her third double-double of the campaign and sixth of her career.
Joining her with double-figure points per game marks are senior Ny Hammonds
(11.6), sophomore Kira Gordon
(11.0) and junior Hillary Sigmon
(10.6). Hammonds became the program’s all-time assists leader in Saturday’s contest, handing out six to surpass Markita Aldridge (1992, ’94-96).
Gordon is next to Tyler when it comes to collecting rebounds, grabbing them at a 6.5 per game rate. Tyler owns a slight edge, 146-to-144, over her teammate in overall boards despite playing three fewer contests.
Florida Atlantic owns a 13-11 overall and 3-8 league mark coming into Wednesday’s meeting. The Owls, under the direction of second-year head coach Kellie Lewis-Jay, are also in their first season as a Conference USA member.
Kimberly Smith leads the squad with 12.8 points per game, including 71 3-pointers. She has taken 180 of her 230 field goal attempts from behind the arc, helping FAU knock down 204 triples as a team and approach the single-season conference record.
Latavia Dempsey (11.8) and Takia Brooks (10.8) also average double-figure points for the senior-laden squad that features six players in their final collegiate campaign among the 10 on the active roster.
While scoring has not been a problem for the Owls, they do face a deficit on the glass, getting out-rebounded by more than eight per contest. Smith is the team’s leader with 5.7 boards per game, just ahead of Shanequa Schrouder’s 5.0 average.
Wednesday’s meeting marks just the second all-time meeting in the series with Charlotte collecting an 81-56 victory the last time the two teams faced each other, Nov. 25, 1988, in a neutral-site tilt in Atlanta during the Southern Invitational.
That contest served as the inaugural game for former 49ers head coach Ed Baldwin, who went on to post 175 victories during his career on the Charlotte sideline. The 175 wins are the most by any Niners head women’s basketball coach in program history.
Josh Feldman will call all the action Charlotte49ers.com with live video and live stats linked through the website. Updates are also available on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.