Gregory breaks four records in rout over Panthers
Ciara Gregory was shoulder-deep in her bag of tricks on Saturday afternoon, as the senior from Pennsylvania put on a dazzling display of shooting for the Charlotte 49ers women’s team. Gregory dropped 32 points, including nine three-pointers, while both Grace Hunter and Nyilah Jamison-Myers added 22 points and 11 boards apiece to help Charlotte rout the FIU Panthers 101-54.
Kayla Rogers had 17 points to lead the Panthers, who were down by as many as 47 points during the contest. Tianah Alvarado was the only other double digit scorer for FIU, as she added 10 points.
“I thought it was very important for us to get off to a good start,” Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra said after the game. “I thought our players were really focused. Really proud of our offensive effort…. We did a much better job of moving the ball. We took care of some of the issues we were having offensively… we could see the difference today in terms of how we executed.”
The Niners got off to a torrid start, as Gregory went to work. The guard hit five of her six three-point attempts in the first quarter for 18 points. Charlotte hit 11 of their 17 field goals as a unit. While Gregory handled the perimeter scoring, Jamison-Myers held down the paint, as she accounted for seven points and four rebounds in the first frame. FIU only shot 2-for-19 in the period, and Charlotte led 30-4 at the buzzer. The four points were the fewest ever surrendered by Charlotte in a quarter.
The second quarter was filled with more scoring, as Hunter helped extend the 32-0 Charlotte run. Hunter netted nine points, Myers netted seven and Gregory added six during the quarter. The Niners out-rebounded the Panthers 14-8 and hit 9-20 (45 percent) field goals. Meanwhile, the Panthers only hit 7-18 (39 percent) field goals but still managed to put up 17 points in the quarter. Charlotte led 54-21 at halftime, and would only continue their romp.
The third quarter featured balanced scoring for the Niners, as seven different players found the bottom of the net. Gregory hit another three-pointer, but Rogers started to get hot for FIU. Rogers scored 14 points on 4-7 shooting in the third, helping cut the deficit to 31 points. Both teams hit 50 percent of their shots in the third: Charlotte was 8-for-16, while the Panthers shot 7-of-14. Charlotte went into the final frame up 81-42.
In the final quarter, Gregory hit her final three-pointer, which broke the school record for most threes made in a career set by Hillary Sigmon. Gregory’s shot gave her 204 threes in her career. The quarter also saw her break the record for most threes made in a game with nine, as well as most threes made in a season (75) and attempted (208). Meanwhile, Amaya Ransom scored to give the Niners 100 points, and the Niners cruised the rest of the way.
“She played with such confidence, took really good shots. Obviously our team did a great job of getting her the ball,” Consuegra said. “She didn’t play a whole lot as a freshman. She played a little bit more as a sophomore, but not a lot… C took that adversity and put work in the gym to get better. She didn’t just say ‘I’m gonna transfer and go somewhere else,’ like a lot of young people do. …To see her get this record, after adversity and knowing things weren’t always perfect for her, was just incredible.”
Charlotte will welcome the Niners back home on Thursday, February 9 as they look to take on the UAB Blazers. The game will be televised on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. and will be the first of the four remaining home games.