After eight seasons in the Atlantic 10, the Charlotte 49ers make their return to Conference USA play tonight as they play host to the Old Dominion Monarchs at Halton Arena. Here’s three things you need to know before the ladies hit the court this evening:
–The player to watch for the Monarchs is undoubtedly Shae Kelley. Kelley averages a double-double (16.4 and 10.7) per game, so if the Niners are to win this one, they’ll need to stop the junior forward. She’s had a bumpy road to Old Dominion, by the way.
–ODU is 7-7 after topping N.C. Central 68-44 in Norfolk on Sunday. Kelley was held to 12 points on 5-12 shooting and 11 rebounds, but the Monarchs’ defense was able to hold the Eagles at bay despite their leading scorer’s output.
–Old Dominion leads the all-time series 9-3, but the two teams haven’t played each other since December 29, 2010, a 81-75 Monarchs win. But hey were rivals in the old Sun Belt Conference as they played a total of seven times from 1985-91. Charlotte has lost the last two meetings.
Bonus points: These two teams came close to meeting in the 2013 WNIT, but the Davidson Wildcats ended up beating the Monarchs in the tournament’s first round. Davidson, of course, advanced to take on Charlotte, and ended up falling to the Niners 72-60…We caught up with Josh Feldman, the radio voice of the Niners, about his thoughts on the season so far and what’s to come. You can read that interview here.