Charlotte (11-13, 7-4 C-USA) had four players in double figures in its 64-51 victory over Louisiana Tech (16-10, 7-6 C-USA).
With the win Charlotte moves into fourth place in the Conference USA standings with five league games remaining. The 49ers converted on 43 percent shooting from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line.
The 49ers great defense led Louisiana Tech to shoot a season low 29 percent from the field.
Nyilah Jamison-Myers tallied her third double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high tying 11 rebounds. She added a career-best six blocks. Octavia Wilson scored 14 points while shooting 4-of-8 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Laia Raventos chipped in 13 points, while grabbing eight rebounds to go with her six assists. Mariah Linney came off the bench to score 12 points for her third-straight double-figure scoring contest. Dara Pearson grabbed 10 rebounds, her eleventh double-digit performance on the glass this season.
“It was a really good team win for us. We came out and we knew we had to be tough. We just let them know that we were here. Around the rim we are going to block shots, get rebounds, they might be physical, but were going to use our length,” said Nyilah Jamison-Myers.
Alexus Malone led the Lady Techsters with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The 49ers set the tone early in the game with four of their nine team blocks in the first quarter. The timely defensive stops helped keep Charlotte close as Wilson made a basket on a jumper to tie the game, 4-4, with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter. Anthony Kierra hit the game’s first three, putting Louisiana Tech ahead, but Raventos and Wilson answered and the Niners held a one-point advantage with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter. The teams were going back and forth until Taylor Stahly hit a three to expand the Charlotte deficit to four, 14-10, with 1:49 remaining. Linney got a late three pointer to pull the 49ers within one, but Reauna Cleaver hit a shot just before the buzzer to extend Louisiana Tech’s lead 16-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Louisiana Tech went on a 9-2 run in to extend their lead to, 25-15, in the first three and a half minutes of the second quarter. Consuegra called a time out and the 49ers responded. Jamison-Myers started the run, followed by four consecutive by Linney to close the gap to four, 25-21, with 4:45 remaining. Cleaver had a put back layup to make it 27-21 at the 4:11 mark, but Louisiana Tech would not score the rest of the half. The 49ers finished the half on a 7-0 run to take a 28-27 lead at halftime.
Amaya Ransom, who was held scoreless in the first half, got on the scoreboard to begin the second half by making a three pointer. It was the start of a 5-0 run, punctuated by another Ransom jumper, to extend the lead to six, 33-27, with 7:33 remaining in the third quarter. Malone ended the 49ers run with a jumper, but Jaida Robinson scored in the post and Ransom made another three pointer, making it a nine-point lead for the Niners, 38-29, with 5:48 left. The two teams alternated points the rest of the period with the 49ers lead never dropping below five and they held onto a 44-39 lead at the end of the third quarter.
As the defense continued to play its strong role, two steals early helped Charlotte extend their lead to ten, 49-39, with 8:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. Louisiana Tech used free throws to cut the Niners deficit back to eight by the 4:11 mark, but Linney drove to the hoop and laid in a finger roll that pushed Charlotte’s lead back to a double-digit margin. It was free throws that kept the Lady Techsters hopes alive, as they pulled to within seven, 55-48, with 3:12 remaining. Jamison-Myers’ layup at the 2:51 mark was the 49ers final field goal, as they connected on 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch. Wilson connected on two free throws with 55 seconds to go, which provided Charlotte with its largest leads of the game at 13, 61-48. Mariah Linney sealed the victory at the free throw line to finish the game.
“This game was all about our defense, just a tremendous defensive effort against a very good Louisiana Tech team. For us to hold them to 29 percent shooting and 19 percent in the second half was just a tremendous effort. We knew this was going to be tough with the way that they were able to get the ball inside and get paint touches and I thought all of our kids, but in particularly our post players just battled inside. We showed a true toughness that I haven’t seen from our team like this all season long,” said Head coach Cara Consuegra.
The 49ers road trip continues as they head to Birmingham to face UAB on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.