On a day when sophomore Grace Hunter overcame illness to match her career-high of 32 points, her layup at the end of regulation proved to be the most crucial shot for the Charlotte 49ers’ women’s basketball team.
Trailing Western Kentucky 81-79 with 3.2 seconds left, Hunter received the inbounds pass and drove to the rim, making a shot just before the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
The extra time was all the 49ers needed to secure their eighth straight win, as they outscored the Lady Toppers 8-4 in overtime en route to an 89-85 win Thursday afternoon at Halton Arena.
The shot gave Charlotte (11-3, 3-0 Conference USA) momentum heading into overtime. That showed on the defensive end, where the 49ers limited Western Kentucky (10-5, 2-1) to 1-for-8 shooting during the extra period.
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Nyilah Jamison-Myers made a layup with 1 minute, 45 seconds left in overtime that gave Charlotte an 86-85 lead — and one it wouldn’t relinquish.
Three who mattered
Hunter, Charlotte: She went 13-for-24 from the field and made all three of her 3-point attempts. She also added nine rebounds.
Jamison-Myers, Charlotte: The redshirt junior recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Kendall Noble, Western Kentucky: The C-USA Preseason Player of the Year scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and fell just two assists shy of a triple-double.
▪ Charlotte outscored Western Kentucky 40-30 on points in the paint. Twenty of the 49ers’ points in the paint came in the fourth period and overtime.
▪ The Lady Toppers dominated on the boards and finished with a 20-12 edge on the offensive glass. Charlotte, however, only trailed 23-17 in second-chance points.
▪ The 49ers’ overtime win marked their first since defeating Virginia Tech 81-75 on Nov. 16, 2011, during Cara Consuegra’s first season as coach.
▪ Charlotte has won two straight against Western Kentucky after the Lady Toppers went 4-0 against the 49ers after joining C-USA before the 2014-15 season.
They said it
“It was an amazing feeling. I wasn’t really nervous. I just knew I really wanted to win. I just drove to the basket as hard as I could.” – Hunter on her layup that sent the game into overtime.