Charlotte’s (5-1) lock down defense held East Carolina (5-2) to 26.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Pirates by 20 in a 52-46 victory.
Redshirt junior Jade Phillips led the 49ers to their third consecutive win with her second consecutive double-double. Phillips registered 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Laia Raventós scored a game-high 15 points along with six assists and three steals.
Justice Gee was the Pirates leading scorer with 12 points while Raven Johnson pulled down nine rebounds.
Charlotte started scoring early with a quick 11-0 run in the first eight minutes. The 49ers run began with a three-point play from freshman Jazmin Harris. Free throws from Harris and Raventós extended the lead to 8-0 with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter. East Carolina tried to end their shooting drought but were denied because of a Dara Pearson block. The Pirates ended their drought on their next possession with a three-pointer from Jade Lewis. The Pirates finished the quarter on a 4-0 run to make it 13-7 after the first quarter.
East Carolina started the second quarter with a full court press which tested the 49ers. Charlotte committed seven turnovers in the quarter. The Pirates used their defense to keep their momentum on the offensive end. Necole Hope and Gee hit threes to tie the score at 13 with 9:33 remaining. The Niners then went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes. Raventós scored 6 of the 49ers points during that stretch, as the 49ers lead blossomed to an eight point lead at 23-15. Sophomore Octavia Jett-Wilson’s layup helped Charlotte close the half on a 6-0 run which expanded their lead to 32-21 at halftime.
A Raventós layup brought the lead to 12 before the Pirates made another run. Two Johnson free-throws started a 6-0 run to cut the margin down to six. Phillips made back-to-back layups extending the lead back to 10 points. Gee responded with a layup and a three-pointer to bring the Pirates within five with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter. Charlotte closed the quarter on a strong note defensively by not allowing the Pirates to score again in the quarter. The 49ers scored five-straight points to take a 46-36 lead at the end of the third quarter.
East Carolina’s defense got them back in the game in the final quarter. Layups from senior Ka’Neeshia Brown and junior Lauren Harley added to Charlotte’s total in the first six-plus minutes. The Pirates used a 10-4 run to cut the deficit to four with 4:56 remaining. Raventós scored the game’s final bucket with 3:17 remaining which secured the win for the 49ers.
Charlotte committed 18 turnovers and the Pirates scored 24 points off those turnovers.
“I am extremely proud of the team,” Coach Cara Consuegra said. “Right now for us, offensively, we haven’t clicked yet. We are going to, and when we do, we are going to be an extremely good team. Until that happens, we are learning how to be a defensive team and that’s what I am so proud about.”
Charlotte will face Wake Forest on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.