Charlotte will finish up a two-game home stand as the 49ers take on Western Kentucky (10-6, 2-3).
After a tough 1-2 road trip to start off conference play, the 49ers have bounced back well as they picked up a win against Marshall on Jan. 16. Now with a record of 2-2 against Conference USA teams, Charlotte will be able to boost their resume before another road trip.
The quick turnaround will be a challenge for Charlotte Head Coach Cara Consuegra and company.
“It’s always tough in C-USA will these turnarounds,” Consuegra said. “It’s particularly tough with a team like Western Kentucky.”
In their last two games, Charlotte has held teams to under 60 points but will have a tough task on hand against WKU.
Western Kentucky has a strong offense that is averaging 72.1 points per game and their defense has to be known to wreak havoc for its opponents.
“They bring a lot of different looks at you from their defense,” Consuegra said. “We are getting for how we are going to go against their different presses and zones.”
Players to Watch
Jade Phillips, Charlotte: The red-shirt senior has been a constant leader for the 49ers and will be a key component for Charlotte as they have a tough defense to compete against. Phillips is the second leading scorer and rebounder in the conference. If the guard can excel at those skills against the Hilltoppers, the 49ers will be in good hands.
Angel Middleton, Charlotte: The 6-6 freshman, who is the tallest player in program history, made her college debut on Thursday and immediately made an impact for the Charlotte defense. Marshall only scored five points in the second quarter after Middleton came into the game. They shot 1-11 from the field. Her presence in the post can help the 49ers protect the paint more efficiently.
Dee Givens, Western Kentucky: The red-shirt senior has the most experience for WKU and is second when it comes to minutes per game in C-USA. While averaging 15.9 points a game, Givens has been a go-to scorer all season long and is able to explode on any given night. Givens scored a season-high 41 points back in December and will be a top priority for the Charlotte defense.
Keys to a victory
Charlotte is coming off their lowest amount of points scored in a win this season as they only put up 52 against Marshall. While spreading the ball around hasn’t always been an issue for the 49ers, it will definitely be something to improve on against one of the better defensive teams in C-USA.
Stick to the plan on defense
Charlotte has always been known to be a force on defense and that will be a huge key to victory tonight. Grabbing rebounds and turning them into points has been a focus for Charlotte. Phillips, who leads the conference in rebounds per game, will also be a big part of success on that end of the spectrum. If Charlotte sticks to their strengths on defense, there’s a good chance they can add another conference win.