College Basketball

49ers’ game against Wake Forest key for Alexis Alexander

Alexis Alexander says she isn’t ready to end her career with the women’s basketball team at Charlotte.

That’s why the 49ers’ game against Wake Forest on Thursday in the opening round of the Women’s NIT postseason tournament is so important to her.

“It’s now just survive to play again, to play another day,” said Alexander, a 6-foot-1 forward and one of two seniors on Charlotte’s roster with 6-1 forward Kira Gordon.

“Kira and I don’t want this season to end without doing something good here. So we’re going to keep on playing hard, keep on winning and lead this team.”

The 49ers (19-11), who host the Deacons (16-15) at 7 p.m. at Halton Arena, made the postseason for the 13th time in the past 14 years, and the fourth time in five seasons under coach Cara Consuegra.

“Our ultimate goal is to get back to the NCAA tournament, there’s no doubt about that,” Consuegra said. “But the WNIT is a really good tournament. It offers our kids the opportunity to learn how to win in a tournament setting.

“Hopefully, this helps build that experience, and we can get back to the NCAA tournament as we grow.”

Thursday’s winner will play either Florida Gulf Coast or Bethune-Cookman in the second round.

A win would give Charlotte its first 20-win season since going 26-6 in 2012-2013, Consuegra’s second year. The 49ers also made the WNIT’s round of 16 that season for the second time in three years.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Consuegra said. “They have a goal of winning 20 games. ... There’s still a lot left for them to play for.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do that without (Alexis) and Kira, so they feel a lot of urgency to finish their careers really, really strong.”

Scouting the Deacons

▪ Wake Forest finished tied for ninth in the ACC with Virginia. The Deacons were eliminated by Georgia Tech in the second round of the ACC tournament.

▪ Wake Forest is making its fifth appearance in the WNIT overall, and first since 2012.

▪ The Deacons lead the all-time series with Charlotte at 9-4, and are 2-0 against the 49ers in the WNIT. They beat Charlotte in first-round games in 2005 and 2012.

▪ Sophomore guard Amber Campbell averages 13.2 points to lead Wake Forest. Freshman guard Ariel Stephenson and junior forward Milan Quinn, who played at Berry Academy, average 10.7 points.

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