Charlotte basketball's Octavia Jett-Wilson scored a career-high 42 points in a historic stretch and surpassed 1,000 points in a two-overtime win against Old Dominion on Feb. 13.
Jett-Wilson earned Conference USA (C-USA) Co-Player of the week, ESPN's national player of the week, and made the NCAA starting five of the week after her performance.
"I know for me, scoring 1,000 points is one of my bigger accomplishments in college," said Jett-Wilson. "I scored 1,000 points in high school, and I am thankful to get it (1,000 career points) in both."
Being down two starters in Jada McMillian and Mariah Linney, Jett-Wilson knew that she had to step up in a big way by initiating her team's offense. Charlotte only had seven players available in the first game against Old Dominion, and without both McMillian and Linney, Jett-Wilson ran the floor as a point guard.
"Knowing that we were down two players, we knew that everyone had to step up," said Jett-Wilson.
Head Coach Cara Consuegra described the play-calling down the stretch in a postgame interview.
"There are a lot of great players in the nation, no doubt, but for a player to do that under those circumstances, in my mind, there was no question she was the best player in the nation that week," said Consuegra.
Consuegra and her staff's faith in Jett-Wilson down the stretch of a big game showed the high-level Jett-Wilson played all week.
She averaged 38 points and 11 rebounds for the two-game series and shot 43% throughout the series. To add to the offensive performance, she shot nearly 91% from the free-throw line.
With Charlotte being down at halftime in the first game, Consuegra gave her team some tough love in the locker room and told her team they were getting outplayed.
When asked about her team out rebounding ODU, Consuegra said, "You want to know the truth? I chewed them out at halftime. We lost the first half because we didn't box out."
Jett-Wilson resembled these remarks as well.
"Coach said that we weren't playing hard enough and that we were getting outplayed," said Jett-Wilson.
Jett-Wilson and the team took this to heart and ended the game with five players with double-digit rebounds. Rebounding is something that Consuegra and company emphasize and expect from their team.
"Our kids knew they could be better and made a choice to focus on getting those box-outs in the second half," Consuegra added.
In what was an unusual turn of events, during the second overtime of Game 1 of the series, Charlotte ended up playing five on four due to two of ODU’s players having fouled out of the game. Both Consuegra and Jett-Wilson had similar thoughts on the situation and it was simply that they needed to stick to the gameplan.
Looking at the series as a whole, Jett-Wilson said that "...being in attack mode and finding my teammates is something I focused on during the games."
Jett-Wilson's game has been taken to the next level this season, and she admires the LA Clippers' Paul George's game. Both George and Jett-Wilson are high volume yet efficient scorers. They shoot at a high level from the free-throw line and are both shooting guards and natural scorers.
It was announced on Tuesday, Feb. 16, that Jett-Wilson was chosen as the National Player of the week for her performances against ODU. This award was given to her by ESPN, which recognizes the country's most dominant players each week.
The next day it was announced that Jett-Wilson was named to the NCAA starting five for the week. This honor goes to the five best players across the country from the previous week.
"I felt that she was the best player in the nation," coach Consuegra said in her mid-week press conference. The coach also noted that Jett-Wilson played out of position and did so at a high level.
Consuegra said that her team is not going to make excuses. She referenced not having Jada McMillian in the first game and not having Mariah Linney for both games against ODU.
How teams deal with these challenges and tough situations is what builds their character. Jett-Wilson took the adversity she and her team were dealt and turned it into two C-USA wins.
Coach Consuegra said in an interview with ESPN 730 last week that she felt this was Jett-Wilson's team while not discrediting her other seniors and the leadership they have brought to the program this season either.
Charlotte did not travel to UTSA last week for their scheduled series as a Winter Storm tore through the state of Texas.
There are still plenty of unknowns for the rest of the season, but Jett-Wilson and the team look forward to more success with only two more series left this year.