Photo CreditCharlotte 49ers Athletics
The Charlotte 49er Women’s basketball team advanced to the Conference USA Championship game with a thrilling win over North Texas in the semifinals.
The 49ers were led by C-USA Player of the Year Octavia Jett-Wilson with 28 points. Jett-Wilson’s performance is nothing new for her and for the Niner Nation faithful as she is Player of the Year for a reason.
It was transfer Mikayla Boykin who got the Niners off to a fast start scoring eight of the team’s 11 points midway through the first quarter. Then Jett-Wilson got in on the action scoring big buckets at the rim, and on several occasions, getting the foul as well.
Down the stretch of the game, it was senior guard Jada McMillan who electrified the Niner faithful in attendance at the Ford Center.
McMillan’s arguably most important play came late in the fourth quarter in a drive to the basket in which she drew contact from the Mean Green’s best player, Aly Gamez, and fouled her out of the game in the process of making the layup. She then hit a clutch basket to put the 49ers up five under a minute to go.
“Just incredible,” was coach Cara Consuegra’s response when asked how big McMillan’s shots were down the stretch. “We have been talking with Jada a lot about how we need her to score more.”
Score more, she did. McMillan finished with 13 points and none bigger than the five down the stretch of the game. Her leadership at the point guard spot has proven invaluable this season as she is always the one to calm the team down in stressful situations.
For coach Consuegra, this is her first championship game appearance but she was clear that the work was not done yet and that the goal is to win tomorrow.
For Octavia Jett-Wilson, this is one of the primary reasons that she came back for her extra year of eligibility was to win a conference tournament. She gets the chance to do just that.
“I came back to get here,” Jett-Wilson said. “But, like coach (Consuegra) just said in the locker room, we didn’t come this far just to come this far. This is what I came back for and we plan on finishing it.”
The 49ers will await the winner of Middle Tennessee and LA Tech tomorrow in the title game. Middle Tennessee won the two contests against the 49ers in the regular season, but if Jett-Wilson has anything to do about it, things will go differently if they meet again.
Tip-off of the championship game is set for 4:30 pm ET.