Charlotte's women's basketball team (5-6, 4-2) looks to get back on track this weekend as they return home to host the Middle Tennessee Raiders (11-4, 9-1) in a conference doubleheader. The Niners are coming off two one-point losses against Western Kentucky and look to beat one of the conference's best teams.
"We fought hard, and the team gave us everything that they had," said Head Coach Cara Consuegra of the WKU series. "We are ready to get back out there and improve as a team."
Game time for both games will be at 3 p.m. on Feb. 5 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 6. These games will be broadcasted on ESPN+.
Key Players for Charlotte
Senior guard Octavia Jett-Wilson played great in the first game against Western Kentucky and led the team down the stretch. Jett-Wilson had an outstanding 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in a heartbreaking loss after three overtimes. Jett-Wilson will be somebody to watch out for, especially if the Niners look to come out on top.
Another key player to watch for will be junior guard Jada McMillian. McMillian had a great series against WKU, as in the first game as she scored 19 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and then followed it up in the second game with 17 points on 8-12 shooting. McMillian has been great for Charlotte so far this season and will look to keep it up against Middle Tennessee.
Junior center Jazmin Harris has been a huge paint presence for the Niners this season, and she showed it in a stellar performance in the second game of the series against WKU. Harris was big off the bench as she ended the game with 15 points and a dominant 11 rebounds. She will have to step up if Charlotte wishes to come out on top.
Key Players for Middle Tennessee
The Raiders are coming off a successful series against UAB as they swept to improve to nine conference play wins. This is partially due to the play of junior guard Anatasia Hayes. Hayes had some monster performances against UAB as she scored 42 points in the first game and then followed it up with 35 points to close out the series. Hayes has been on a tear lately and will look to provide another great performance.
Another player to watch for is sophomore guard Aislynn Hayes, a consistent scoring option for the Raiders so far. Hayes had 16 points, and seven rebounds in the Jan. 28 game against UAB and then was able to continue the scoring trend in the second matchup as she brought in 18 points with six rebounds.
Lastly, sophomore forward Courtney Whitson is another player to watch for in this weekend's series. Whitson had a great performance in the second of two games against the Blazers. Whitson was able to score 15 points on 6-7 shooting from the field as well as controlling the paint with 11 rebounds for the Raiders.
Keys for a Charlotte Win
Free throw shooting is the first key for Charlotte. The 49ers missed in games that ultimately could have changed their outcome. Charlotte missed six free throws in the first game against WKU and then missed seven free throws in the second game. The Niners will need to improve on this.
Another key has to be continuing to win the rebounding battle. Second chance points will be important and will help the Niners win the series. The Niners won both rebounding battles against WKU, which allowed them to stay in the game. They will need to continue this this weekend.
Lastly, Charlotte will look to play together as a team this weekend as they try to bounce back. Head Coach Consuegra feels this team has a long way to go but is trending in the right direction.
"This is going to be a tough matchup, but together we have the confidence that we can fight back," said Consuegra. "What it comes down to is what can we do as a team to make that extra play that will allow us to win."