The Charlotte 49ers women's basketball hosted Gardner-Webb on Friday, Dec. 3. The 49ers pulled out the 79-57 victory in a hard-fought contest.
"We're still growing as a team," said Head Coach Cara Consuegra. "It's still a young season. We got to get to a point where we put together a full 40 minutes of basketball. We're not quite there yet, and we know that, and we own that. But we are going to continue to work to get there, and we will."
Coming into the game, a big focal point in practice for the 49ers was ball movement which seemed to pay off as Charlotte dished out 23 assists which doubled their average assists per game.
"Offensively, we did a lot of great things tonight. I'm really excited about our 23 assists on 32 buckets, something we've been focusing on in practice on how to work together and share the ball," said Consuegra.
The 49ers came out on top thanks to solid performances by multiple key players. With the decisive win, Charlotte improves to 3-4 on the season and is on a two-game win streak following a four-game losing streak.
Gardner-Webb came out the gates red hot as they started with a 7-3 scoring run to begin the game led by the Bulldogs' Alasia Smith, who had a block, steal, rebound and contributed two points during the stretch.
A layup by KeKe McKinney followed by a three-point shot from Kameron Roach gave the 49ers an 8-7 lead over Gardner-Webb, their first of the game. Charlotte ended the opening quarter with a 9-3 scoring run closing to push their lead to 19-12.
The 49ers started the second quarter with a 6-2 scoring run to grow their lead to 26-15, but the Bulldogs answered back with a 7-2 scoring run of their own.
Both teams fought back and forth, going on scoring runs. But ultimately, Charlotte won the quarter 15-14 pushing the lead up 34-26 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, turnover cost Charlotte as they allowed the Bulldogs to make a strong push in their comeback hopes. Gardner-Webb dominated the quarter, outscoring the Charlotte 22-17, cutting the 49ers' lead to just 51-48.
Charlotte scored a season-high 28 points to close out the fourth quarter. The 49ers' defense stepped up to hold the Bulldogs to only nine points. Charlotte ended the game on an astounding 16-2 scoring run to win 79-57.
Players of the game:
McKinney had a strong game getting her second consecutive double-double scoring 10 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, blocking three shots and recording two steals.
Sophomore forward Molina Williams scored 16 points on an efficient at 60% with four rebounds and one steal. Williams contributed her success to her teammates in the contest.
"Credit goes to my teammates," said Williams. "They found me easy shots, so most of my shots were easy buckets at the basket. So as long as we keep moving the ball, sharing the ball, playing team ball, it will continue to happen."
Fifth-year guard Octavia Jett-Wilson gave a dominant stat sheet filling performance that fans have grown accustomed to over the seasons. She put up 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
The 49ers will travel to Morgantown, WV, to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Tuesday, Dec. 7. This will be a tough matchup as coming into the season West Virginia( 4-2) was nationally ranked. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at 7 p.m., Tuesday.
"I think again, like Coach Cara said, improving our defense and our offense always will come. We just got to focus on getting stops, especially with West Virginia. We are very capable of it, and if we take care of it, it will be a very good game," said Jett-Wilson.