Hillary Sigmon has put an infinite stamp on the Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball program with not only a record-breaking shot against Conference USA foe Western Kentucky, but with an amazing career here in the Queen City.
From starting off her freshman year earning an All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team honor to being named All-GSU Holiday & Hoops Tournament Team her sophomore year and hitting 67 of her now 203 3-pointers, Hillary Sigmon knew she was destined to be remembered at Charlotte for years to come. In her junior year, Sigmon positioned herself 11th on the school’s single-game scoring list when she dropped 32 points against UTEP. This heroic act was noticed by ESPN.com column “Weekend Wrap” written by Graham Hays. However, Sigmon’s career along with other seniors Holmes and team captain Olivia Rankin came to an end Thursday night as the 49ers lost in a gut-wrenching defeat to Western Kentucky.
From the get-go, it seemed as if Western Kentucky could not miss a shot from the outside. Govan hit two 3-pointers in a three-minute span to extend their early lead to 8-2. WKU went on another 6-0 run after a couple of made baskets from charlotte to make the difference 16-6 early in the first half.
The game proceeded to advance back and forth between the teams. WKU had their eyes set on gaining a huge cushion when up by as much as 13 points, but Charlotte’s Lefty Webster had other plans, converting on a long-range triple, following senior Ayanna Holmes’ baseline jumper to close the gap to an 8-point deficit.
The Niners found a groove later on, going on a 7-0 scoring spree, making the score 29-25 with 3:24 remaining in the period. The first half would end 34-27, advantage WKU, as they went on a two-bucket binge after freshman Griffin Dempsey hit a layup with only a minute left.
Once again, WKU started the second half on point, going on an 8-0 run for a 42-27 score at only the 17:58 mark. Charlotte would continue to be out of the game until sophomore Ciara Gregory brought life back in the team, hitting a trey at the 12:41 mark, shortening the lead of WKU to within nine, 50-41. Consequently, WKU then went on another scoring spree, to extend the lead before Charlotte’s last surge to comeback was finalized. In the attempt to comeback, that was when senior Hillary Sigmon hit her record-breaking 3-point shot at 7:02.
The game came down to the last minute, as free throws were becoming more and more critical. Charlotte’s Kira Gordon and Sigmon were both put on the charity stripe, where they both hit all their shots, inching back into the game late.
WKU then hit a scoreless spree, and Charlotte gained possession after each miss with an acrobatic rebound. Momentum shifted in the hands of the Niners, as the gap was shortened to only five points. Unfortunately, the 49ers couldn’t hang on to the Lady Toppers, as the No. 1 seed took the win from No. 8 Charlotte in the quarterfinals of the C-USA tournament.