When we speak of, the ‘2013 Road to Final Four, most think in terms of NCAA Men’s Basketball, Division 1; perhaps, some might include the Women’s program. But in the backdrop, there’s also the Women’s 2013 NIT. Today, this March 21, 2013, in Halton Arena, on the campus of UNC Charlotte, the Charlotte 49ers hosted a first round NIT game against the Appalachian State Mountaineer’s. The score, while this remark seems a cliché, does not reflect the multiple streak-i-ness of play, for both teams. Just when times gave an impression the 49ers were ready to runaway with this game, the Mountaineers came storming back. In fact, the closing, within a two or three point difference, happened often enough, after leads of seven points or better by the 49ers, you served yourself well by staying put until halftime, or the game’s conclusion.
These streaks, when in the positive, for either, caused turnovers upon the other team; yet, also involved scenarios, where each could not buy an easy basket, during their own dark moments. To have been there, whether fan, media, or other, it’s fair to say, the experience included watching some senior play, on both teams, come alive, in one form or another, when their team needed them. In afterthought, perhaps, there are those who will remember this as a contest, which epitomized what is desired of college basketball; excitement on the hard court, with fans, cheerleaders, and band members adding support. But, as is the nature of the beast, one team will celebrate and move on; another team’s season will come to an end, while pondering the what-ifs. On this occasion, the Charlotte 49ers, Women’s Basketball team, won 79 to 61, with much of the final damage in the last 5 to 6 minutes. The high scorers for Charlotte, were Jennifer Hailey (20 pts) and Amanda Dowe (19 pts); for Appalachian State, Anna Freeman (20 pts) and Bria Huffman (11 pts).
For the Charlotte Ladies, as victors, they get to play host, once again, on this coming Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 2 pm, against Davidson. On the same day, as Basketball College playoffs are in the air, the NCAA Division 1, First Round, for women, will include action at Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC. And as one ACC team aptly stated: time to ‘Rise to the Occasion.’