CHARLOTTE, NC -Behind four players in double-figures and a dominating scoring effort in the paint, the Charlotte 49ers (7-0) defeated East Carolina (5-1), 76-64, to set the school-record for best start. The 49ers 7-0 start is the best start in school history; the previous mark was 6-0 which was set three previous seasons.
"Tonight's win was a total team effort," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "Everybody contributed to tonight's win. We played with a great deal of energy. The crowd was tremendous tonight and they really gave us a boost."
Chris Braswell recorded his fourth straight double-figure scoring game with a team-leading 18 points. Braswell also grabbed seven rebounds in the game. Willie Clayton recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. DeMario Mayfield recorded his fourth double-figure scoring game of the season with 12 points off the bench. Terrence Williams recorded his fourth double-figure scoring game of the season with 11 points. Pierria Henry finished the game with six points and five rebounds. Darion Clark scored six points and added four rebounds.
Charlotte finished the game with a 46-24 advantage on points in the paint. The 49ers bench behind the scoring of Mayfield and Braswell finished with a 37-11 advantage in bench points. Charlotte also behind the rebounding of Clayton and Braswell finished the game with a 45-21 advantage in rebounding.
Charlotte never trailed in the game. The 49ers began the game with a 9-2 run over the first four minutes behind the scoring Pierria Henry, Darion Clark, Clayton and Williams. Charlotte pushed their first half lead to 28-10 when Ivan Benkovic knocked down a three from the wing with 8:46 left in the first half.
East Carolina scored 16 of the next 23 points cutting Charlotte's lead to 35-26 when Miguel Park connected on two free throws with 2:12 left in the half. Clayton knocked down two free throws four seconds later pushing the 49ers lead to 37-26. Charlotte enjoyed a 37-26 halftime lead.
East Carolina's Michael Zangari scored the first basket of the second half cutting Charlotte's lead to 37-28. However, that would be as close as East Carolina would get to the 49ers as Charlotte pushed their lead back to 14 points with 16:44 on the clock, 42-28, with a 5-0 run behind the scoring of Clark, Clayton and Williams.
East Carolina cut Charlotte's lead to 10, 44-34, with 15:09 left in the game. Then, the 49ers went on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes pushing their lead to 53-36 when Mayfield scored inside with 12:36 on the clock.
Charlotte maintained a lead of 13-19 points the remainder of the game. With 2:48 left in the game, Clayton connected on a free throw giving the 49ers their largest lead of the game, 75-56.
Charlotte returns to action when they play cross-county rival Davidson on the road, Wednesday, December 5 at 8 pm.
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