The Charlotte 49ers garnered another conference win against the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters with a final score of 55-37. Without starter Christian Hithe able to take the court, junior guard Octavia Jett-Wilson stepped up for her first start of the season and a 13-point performance.
Putting forth a quality defensive effort, shutting down LA Tech's offense and capitalizing on LA Tech's 19 turnovers for 20 of Charlotte's 55 points, the Niners worked hard to be the better team. Charlotte committed 21 turnovers, but kept LA Tech from gaining any more than eight points off of Niner mistakes.
"I thought we really bought into getting back to what it is that makes up Charlotte Women's Basketball,” Head Coach Cara Consuegra said. “That is to outwork, out-hustle, to be tougher, to focus on one possession at a time, to celebrate with great enthusiasm, and I thought we did all of those things tonight. And because we did all of those things, that translated into us playing an incredible game in terms of our game plan.”
Offensively, Jett-Wilson led with her 13 points, and not far behind were Dara Pearson with 12 and Jade Phillips with 10. Five other 49ers contributed to the 55-point victory, including Lauren Harley who put up seven points and pulled down four rebounds, three of which were offensive. Pearson matched her largest scoring contribution of the season that came previously in 61-57 win over Delaware where she was the second-leading scorer behind Phillips with 24 points.
“She works so hard, she plays so hard and sometimes offensively, she loses her confidence. And I thought today she played really confident. She played physical. I know everybody is super proud of her free throws that, that poor kid has been shooting free throws until her hands fall off,” Consuegra said. "That's what I love about Dara; she's going to keep working. She's going to keep finding a way. You know that she's always going to come back. And five offensive rebounds, I mean, she was definitely a difference maker for us, especially in the second half."
Had Charlotte controlled things like turnovers and a good deal of missed shots just a little better, the win margin by the end of the game should've been much larger. Going 1-10 from three isn't ideal, but 23-55 from inside the arc also isn't really something to be mad at.
While the Niners may have committed 21 turnovers, they still managed to make the most of the turnovers from LA Tech and effectively out rebounded the Lady Techsters 41-25.
“We'll come back tomorrow and just try to do one thing at a time. You know, the next thing we need to do is have a great film session on Southern Miss tomorrow and that's what we'll do," Consuegra said. "And I think if we can continue to stay focused on that...we'll continue to build on what we're doing right now.”
The Niners remain at home to take on Southern Miss on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m.