The Charlotte 49ers defeated the FIU Panthers 69-54 to move to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play while also snapping a three game losing streak.
Both teams got off to a fast start, scoring on their initial possessions.
Freshman center Jazmin Harris in her return led the team in the first half with her 10 points, with 5-10 FG efficiency.
Head coach Cara Consuegra emphasized the importance of Harris’ return who was one point short of matching her career high.
“It’s certainly fantastic to have Jaz back in the lineup. That really hurt us in the Marshall game,” said Conseugra.
Harris played a crucial role on both sides of the ball with seven defensive rebounds, two steals and one block.
Harris and teammate Octavia Jett-Wilson both highlighted the level of aggressiveness by the team in their first half performance.
“Like Coach said, I think everybody was aggressive tonight which really opened up a lot,” said Jett-Wilson. “I got a lot of easy stuff off the rebound. We just got to carry over whatever we did today into practice all week to Saturday.”
The 49ers played consistently, holding the Panthers to an 11-point deficit at the half, that the team ultimately never recovered from.
In the second half of the game, Jett-Wilson took on a more active role, leading the 49ers in points with eight.
“Tae is just becoming more and more consistent for us. She didn’t settle. She was able to get to the basket. She rebounded very well and did things that are within her role,” said Coach Consuegra.
The 49ers successfully contained FIU’s lead scorer, Chelsea Guimares, who was limited to one free throw the entire game, as well as the second leading scorer, sophomore guard Tamiracle Taylor who was held to one successful FG.
Junior guard Jade Phillips also played a meaningful role against FIU in her 31 minutes, leading the team with her five assists, and also totaling nine rebounds.
Coach Consuegra emphasized the momentum gained by the home court advantage.
“Our energy is just fantastic. The support for our games this year has been great,” she said.
The 49ers will play FAU Saturday, Jan. 12 at home in another conference game at 4 p.m.