The Charlotte women's basketball team defeated North Texas 66-63 on Friday, March 12, in the C-USA tournament semifinals. After the victory over the Mean Green, the 49ers are moving onto the C-USA Championship game.
This is now the fourth consecutive time Charlotte has defeated North Texas, and there wasn't a better time to do so. With this semifinal win, the 49ers move onto the C-USA Championship game for the first in program history.
Louisiana Tech took down Middle Tennessee 80-72 in their semifinal game. The 49ers defeated the Lady Techsters earlier in the season 59-56. They also are on a three-game losing streak against the 49ers and are 5-6 all-time against Charlotte.
Reaching the championship game wasn't an easy task for the 49ers. Their game against North Texas was a nail-biter. Head Coach Cara Consuegra talked about her team's fight in the contest.
"I talked to our team a lot about when we came to this tournament; we were going to get every team's very best," said Consuegra. "I believe we got North Texas' very best. When we had them on the ropes, they came back. But our team is built for toughness and doing hard things. Our kids are never, ever rattled, and that's our experience. We expect games like this, and we're ready for them."
Both teams started slow out of the gate, with the first bucket scored at the 7:28 mark. It was North Texas who scored first. From there, the 49ers went on an 11-2 run to take a seven-point lead. Eight of the 15 first-quarter points were scored by Mikayla Boykin, who dropped 20 in their quarterfinal game against Rice.
Charlotte held their lead for the remainder of the quarter, leading 15-10 by the end of the first.
The 49ers outscored the Mean Green 14-12 in the second, a back and forth quarter. Jett-Wilson drained two free throws with less than a second in the half to give Charlotte a seven-point lead at the break, 29-22.
The 49ers carried their momentum into the second half, with their lead stretching to 15 with 06:25 remaining in the third. During that 15-5 run from Charlotte, Jett-Wilson scored 13 points and shot perfect from the free-throw line and the field.
Something finally clicked for North Texas from that point on, going on a 17-4 run. With this run, North Texas outscored Charlotte 24-19 in the quarter and headed into the fourth, trailing by two, 48-46.
Jett-Wilson opened up the fourth with a jumper, but the game was tied three minutes later. Jett-Wilson drained two free throws to give Charlotte their lead back, but North Texas answered right back with a jumper to tie the game up at 55-55.
Charlotte scored eight points to gain breathing room with 02:05 remaining. North Texas answered back with five straight points, but a Jada McMillian jumper slowed their momentum and gave the 49ers a five-point lead with just 23 seconds remaining. North Texas drained a basket before the game ended, but it wasn't enough, giving Charlotte the 66-63 victory.
Jett-Wilson was a massive part of the 49er victory, scoring 28 points. Jett-Wilson's 28 points were her third highest of the season and highest since Charlotte's game against Marshall, where she dropped 34.
Jett-Wilson shot 56% from the field and added six rebounds. Jett-Wilson shot a perfect 9-9 from the free-throw line. She has 160 made free throws, putting her eighth among all NCAA players.
Boykin shot 50% from the field to give her 15 points. Boykin had a career-high five steals while also adding five rebounds.
With the win over the Mean Green, the 49ers move onto the C-USA tournament Championship game, where they will play the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters, who took down Middle Tennessee 80-72.
Charlotte will tip-off in their first-ever Championship game at 5:30 p.m; at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The game will be available to stream on CBS Sports Network and 730 The Game, ESPN Charlotte.