After dismantling Gardner-Webb 74-49 on Tuesday, Nov. 5, Charlotte looks to defeat Richmond in their second game of the season.
“We just want to continue to build on our first win,” said Charlotte Head Coach Cara Consuegra. “I think we did a lot of good things in that game, but we’re always just trying to be one percent better.”
The Spiders enter the matchup against Charlotte after defeating Greensboro 70-62 on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
“[They’re] difficult to scout because they have a new coach and they’ve only played one game,” said Consuegra. “But at the same time, if we’re focused in on our standards, our principles and how we’re supposed to play things defensively regardless of what they run, I think that puts us in a really strong position.”
Senior Forward Jaide Hinds-Clarke, who led the Spiders in scoring last season, returns for her final year to lead Richmond. Against Greensboro, Hinds-Clarke led the spiders in scoring with 14 points on 6-13 from the field. Tenacious Junior Forward Dara Pearson will be given the critical task of defending Hinds-Clark.
“Dara provides so much that you can’t see on a stat sheet,” said Consuegra. “Her leadership, her defensive presence, her IQ and her effort [make her special].”
Additionally, back-court partners Aniyah Carpenter and Kate Klimkiewicz complemented Hinds-Clarke’s performance by scoring nine and 13, respectively. The Charlotte backcourt will need to carry over the suffocating perimeter defense they showcased against a quality Runnin’ Bulldogs group of guards to keep the Richmond backcourt in check.
“I feel that this team can be elite defensively,” said Richmond Freshman Elaina Chapman. “So we just have to be constantly pushing them and tweaking things so that we improve.”
Forwards Hinds-Clarke and Chapman anchor the Richmond defense. Fresh off of averaging a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game last season, Hinds-Clarke continued to be a force in the paint by grabbing six rebounds against Greensboro. And although she did not start, Chapman corralled five rebounds in 23 minutes during her college basketball debut.
Hinds-Clarke and Chapman will have their hands full against 2018 C-USA All-Freshman Team member Jazmin Harris, who kept pace from her exceptional freshman year by scoring 15 points against the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
Additionally, Klimkiewicz and Carpenter have a tough job of guarding the 49ers’ deep backcourt comprised of Jade Phillips, Octavia Jett-Wilson and Christian Hithe. The Charlotte backcourt trio showed significant strides in offensive prowess from last season by scoring 15, 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“I want to become better offensively based off our numbers last year,” said Consuegra.
The 49ers host Gardner-Webb in Halton Arena on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m.