CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- South Carolina State guards Kyesha Lewis and Esther Udonsi had a game-high 15 points each, but host Charlotte outscored the Lady Bulldogs 35-22 in the second half to earn a 64-49 win over Coach Doug Robertson’s team Thursday.
SC State fell 4-5 with the loss.
Bryeasha Blair was also in double figures with 12 points for SC State, which had just nine players in uniform due to injuries. Sophomore guard Chantel Williams missed her third straight game with a shoulder injury and junior center Dashanique Peterson missed the contest after having surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured finger, an injury she suffered in the team’s 86-40 win over Johnson and Wales Dec. 21.
Jasmine Williams, starting in place of Peterson, failed to score in the contest but grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds for SC State, which trailed just 29-27 at the half.
“We gave a game effort despite being down to nine players because of injuries,” said Robertson. “They (the 49ers) had a big second half but I can’t complain too much because they just wore us down. We missed our last seven shots and that was certainly a sign of fatigue. We ran out of gas.”
Charlotte, up by just two at intermission, began the third quarter with an 11-2 run to build a 40-29 advantage with 8:02 left in the period. Lewis scored on a drive and Jenkins on a put back to cut the margin to 42-33 with just over seven minutes left in the period before the 49ers closed out the period with a 13-0 spree to go ahead 53-42 after three periods. The host outscored the Lady Bulldogs 11-7 in the final stanza.
SC State, which trailed by eight early and was down 21-15 after the opening quarter, outscored the host 12-8 in the second period to close to within 27-29 at the half.
Udonis had 12 points, including a 6-6 effort from the charity stripe and 2-2 from behind the arc, to lead the Lady Bulldogs after two periods. Blair, held scoreless in the first period, scored seven points in the second quarter to help Robertson’s team close the gap to two points at intermission.
The 49ers, despite scoring just eight second-period points, led by nine, 29-20, following a 3-pointer by Jada Martin with 2:39 left in the half, but the Lady Bulldogs scored the final seven points of the period to close to within two points of the host.
The 49ers, who improved to 4-8, were led by Jaida Robinson and Orangeburg native and O-W graduate Nylia Jamison-Myers with 11 points each. Robinson also grabbed a game-high 13 boards for Charlotte, which enjoyed a 51-45 advantage in rebounds.
SC State struggled offensively, nailing just 21.1 percent (15-71) of its shots from the field, while Charlotte connected on 43.5 percent (27-62) of its attempts for the game.
The Lady Bulldogs will continue a three-day, two-game road trip Saturday at Norfolk, VA in a 2 p.m. contest against Old Dominion.