Charlotte women’s basketball coach Cara Consuegra knew her team would be challenged when it opened its season Friday night against Big Ten power Wisconsin.
Behind a stout defensive performance, the 49ers passed their opening test with flying colors, defeating the Badgers 63-48 at Halton Arena.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 7-1 lead as Charlotte struggled to find its groove offensively. Once the 49ers did, there was no looking back. They entered halftime with a 35-20 lead after limiting their opposition to 15.2 percent shooting from the field.
The Badgers made a second-half charge, cutting the 49ers’ lead to eight points with 7 minutes, 57 seconds left, but Ciara Gregory’s third 3-pointer sparked a 12-0 run that put the game out of reach.
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Three who mattered
Lefty Webster: Charlotte’s top returning scorer from last season shouldered the offensive load, tying for the team lead with 16 points. She went 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.
Laia Raventos: A sophomore guard, she made up for six turnovers by scoring 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and adding five assists.
Amaya Ransom: One of three 49ers who had offseason surgery, Ransom led the team with nine rebounds. She also scored seven points.
▪ A season ago, Wisconsin ranked 36th nationally with a 35.1 3-point percentage. Charlotte held the Badgers to 5-for-26 from behind the arc.
▪ Wisconsin had 18 offensive rebounds but only scored nine second-chance points.
▪ Making his debut as Wisconsin’s coach was Jonathan Tsipis, a North Carolina graduate who has made stops at Duke, Elon and UNC Greensboro.