The Charlotte 49ers (15-5, 8-1 C-USA) are coming off of a tough home loss against Rice from this past week, but look to bounce back on the road against Florida Atlantic Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Boca Raton, Florida.
The last time these two teams met (Jan. 30, 2016), it was a high scoring affair that ended with the 49ers victorious, 85-79, despite Kat Wright of FAU tying a Conference USA record with 11 three-pointers.
Closer look at Charlotte
Charlotte is currently being led by sophomore Grace Hunter on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 16.0 points per contest. The sophomore from Raleigh, North Carolina, also leads the team in the rebounding department, reeling in 7.3 boards per game. Senior guard Ciara Gregory is second on the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game, including a team-high 64 threes on the season.
Lefty Webster is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, while scoring 13.4 points per game in her senior campaign. Clemson transfer, Nyilah Jamison-Myers, rounds off the double-digit scorers, as she averages 10.6 points per contest, while bringing in 5.7 rebounds per game.
Jamison Myers is coming off of an impressive week for the 49ers, tallying 16 points in the loss against Rice on Saturday and scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against North Texas last Thursday.
First quarter struggles for the 49ers
The 49ers have been struggling in the first quarter as of late, going through a rough spell against Rice and North Texas each time they have played them over the past month. Against Rice earlier in the season, Charlotte trailed 13-20 after the first frame, while in Denton, Texas, against the Mean Green, the 49ers trailed 14-24. In both occasions, Charlotte responded well in the second and third quarters, ultimately pulling away with two victories on their Texas road trip, but seemed to bring the first quarter struggles back to Charlotte against the two respective teams.
Against North Texas last Thursday, the Niners came out slow and found themselves down 10-21, but responded in a big way in the second and third quarters, holding the Mean Green to single digits to win 66-49. But on Saturday, the Rice Owls jumped on Charlotte early in the first, leading 14-6 after the first quarter. Charlotte made their comeback in the third and late in the fourth, but it was not enough as the Owls pulled out a close win, 55-52, inside Halton Arena.
Scouting the Owls
FAU (4-14, 0-8 C-USA) has gotten off to a rough start in conference play, with their latest lost coming against Florida International, 60-65, at home.
Sasha Cedeno has been leading the way for the Owls this season on offense, scoring 10.3 points per game, the only player for FAU to average in double figures. Katelyn O’Reilly is second on the team in scoring with 8.3 points per contest, followed by Raven Doyle, averaging 7.9 points per game. Doyle also leads the team in the rebound department with 6.3 per game.
Coming into Thursday’s game with the 49ers, FAU is scoring 63.2 points per game, compared to the 71.4 points they are allowing to their opponents. Cedeno is FAU’s No. 1 three-point threat, connecting on 36 three-point shots this season.
The 49ers have an obvious advantage on the boards with Hunter and Jamison-Myers reeling in rebounds at such a high rate this season, so look for Charlotte to capitalize on second chance points after offensive rebounds and transition points on outlet passes to Charlotte’s quick guards.