The Charlotte 49ers three game winning streak came to a close as they were taken down by the Virginia Cavaliers 65-61. This was their final non-conference opponent as they enter the conference season.
Charlotte got out to an early lead with a layup from redshirt junior Jade Phillips followed by a three-point play from sophomore Mariah Linney that gave the Niners a 5-0 lead. After a couple of Cavalier field goals, the hosts would lead 7-6 with 6:56 left to play in the first quarter. After each team exchanged a couple of field goals, the quarter would end in a 16-16 tie. Into the second quarter, with the score tied 20-20 with 6:31 left, it was Linney who would break the deadlock with a three-pointer to give the Niners a three-point lead. Each team would again exchange a pair of field goals that ended the quarter in another tie, 25-25.
Virginia junior Jocelyn Willoghby would open the third quarter with a three-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Cavaliers. Linney would convert a jumper 30 seconds later, but after that, the Cavaliers would go on the 13-point run to have a 41–27 lead with 5:29 left in the third. Laia Raventós and the Niners would try to bounce back in the quarter and entering the fourth while Virginia would still have a 51-40 lead. Two straight jumpers by freshman Jazmin Harris would trim the Cavaliers’ lead by seven. After a layup from Phillips, Charlotte cut Virginia’s lead to just 59-54 with 3:57 left in the game. However, the Cavaliers then scored four straight points. As the teams battled it out, the lead was soon cut down by three after three-point plays from Raventós and Ka’neeshia Brown with three seconds left. Unfortunately, Charlotte would get no closer than that.
Linney would lead the Niners in scoring with 20 points while Phillips would record a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Cavalier Lisa Jablonowski would lead Virginia in scoring with 17 points with Brianna Tinsley would add on to the Virginia score with 12 points of her own.
The Charlotte 49ers will now begin conference play with a road game against defending league tournament champs WKU on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.