The 49ers (26-9) avenged a regular-season loss to Florida (20-15), and will now travel to Virginia for a 7 p.m. EST game Saturday in the Elite Eight round.
The game was a returning-home of sorts for Florida coach Amanda Butler, who coached at Charlotte from 2005-2007 before going to Florida. Her Gators team got 23 points from Jaterra Bonds.
Charlotte head coach Karen Aston, who has the team in the fourth round of the WNIT for the first time in school history, saw Shannon McCallum step up for the 49ers with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The 49ers will play at Virginia, who held on to defeat Boston College 53-48 in an ACC battle.
Virginia’s Ariana Moorer, the ACC’s Sixth Player of the Year award winner, led the Cavaliers (19-15) with 15 points. For Boston College (20-13), Carolyn Swords closed out a stellar career with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
In another game Thursday, Syracuse managed to keep Eastern Michigan just barely at bay for the majority of the game before widening the gap and earning a 72-63 victory.
The Orange (25-9), who are a perfect 7-0 in WNIT home games over the years, got 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting by Iasia Hemingway. They move into the fourth round and will play at Toledo at 2 p.m. EST Sunday.
Eastern Michigan (24-13) stayed within two to four points much of the game before succumbing at the end. Paige Redditt (22 points) helped close the Eagles’ most successful postseason in school history.
Illinois State’s second-half charge proved to be the difference in their Round 3 game against visiting Duquesne. The Redbirds, down 33-31 at halftime, came back for a 79-66 victory. They will next host Arkansas at 2 p.m. EST Sunday in the quarterfinals.
Illinois State (23-10) improved to 16-0 at home this season with the help of Emily Hanley’s 24 points and 6 rebounds. They kept Duquesne from expanding on their nation-leading 14-3 road record. Samantha Pollino (17 points, 7 rebounds) led the Dukes (24-9), who earned their first two postseason victories in program history leading up to this game.
In front of 7,247 passionate fans in Laramie, Wyoming, the Wyoming Cowgirls saw their season end with a 70-58 loss to the University of Colorado.
Colorado will host Southern Cal at 3 p.m. EST Sunday in the Elite Eight. The Buffaloes earned their way to that round with a hot shooting night at Wyoming, finishing 50 percent from the field (25 of 50) and the 3-point line (8 of 16).
Brittany Spears (23 points, 9 rebounds) boosted Colorado to a 19-16 lead in the first half, and the Buffs (18-15) didn’t trail again. Wyoming (24-9) closed the gap to 53-50 with 8:41 left, but Colorado went on a 10-1 run to shut the door.
Hillary Carlson of Wyoming led all scorers with 27 points, and added 11 rebounds.
Round 3 Games
Thursday, March 24
Syracuse 72, Eastern Michigan 63
Virginia 53, Boston College 48
Charlotte 81, Florida 77, OT
Illinois State 79, Duquesne 66
Colorado 70, Wyoming 58