The Charlotte 49ers faced off against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Jan. 12 in a game that showed us defense prevails. The Niners kept the momentum going riding off a 69-54 win against FIU and none seemed to rub off in this contest.
In the opening of the first quarter, the Owls started off with an early three. Niner Jazmin Harris started a tear hitting the first three shots for Charlotte and Octavia Jett-Wilson added a jumper of her own, setting the tone with a score of 8-5 at the eight minute mark. As they got it going early with an 8-0 run, the score was 12-5 with Charlotte leading by seven. Amber Gaston ended the minor drought for the Owls, hitting a free throw with 5:49 remaining in the first. Charlotte gently pulled away as Mariah Linney sunk back to back threes to put Charlotte up 18-6 with FAU trailing by 12, forcing an FAU timeout. After the timeout, the Owls managed to get it together with Gaton leading the charge with seven points of a 9-0 run to make it 18-15 to close the first quarter.
Entering the second quarter, Maddie Moore opened with consecutive layups, followed up by Linney hitting two free throws to extend the Niner lead to 24-15. Linney was the only player in double-digits for the Niners with 14 points. A Gaston layup would start the Owls off for the quarter with the lay-in while a jumper from Jayla Adams capped off the only scores before the half for FAU. At the five minute mark, Charlotte was on an 11-2 run to further the score to 35-19 with a 16 point lead. A combined effort from the team and Moore scored the next two points and led the Niners into the half.
In the third quarter, Charlotte grabbed a 19 point lead with 7:28 left from a Linney layup and free throws from Jade Phillips. For the next three minutes of the quarter, it was a back to back tradeoff between the two teams while Laia Raventós came up with the saucy three point tray at 4:28 making it a 20 point lead; the largest lead of the contest. Lauren Harley put herself on the board with a layup as Charlotte put on a 5-0 run. FAU brought the score within 16 with a Juliette Gauthier three at 1:33. The Niners gained the points right back from the Owls as Phillips sank in two layups and one shot before the end of the third quarter. Going into the fourth, the score was 51-33.
Charlotte ran away once again with a combined Christian Hithe and Phillips 6-0 run pushing the 49ers to a 24-point lead with a score of 59-35. The lead grew to the highest of the contest, a 27-point lead from Hithe’s three with 3:29 left in regulation. FAU went on an 8-2 run which came much too late for the Owls and the Niners sealed the win 66-39 with a two from freshman Jada McMillian.
Charlotte looks forward to traveling to Southern Miss for a contest at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17.