Charlotte, NC – Behind five double-figure scorers and a 49-point second half explosion, the Charlotte 49ers defeated Wingate, 81-57, in an exhibition game in Halton Arena.
“Good to come out and have some great defensive energy, especially to start off the second half,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “Wingate, for those who don’t know, is one of the best
teams in this area. Probably out of all the exhibition games, this is the best team we’ve played.
So, it was good for us, and we are in a mode of trying to get some young guys some playing time.”
Pierria Henry led the 49ers with 18 points which all came in the second half. He connected on three three-pointers. Shawn Lester tallied 15 points off the bench. Mike Thorne recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Willie Clayton scored 13 points. Clayton also grabbed nine rebounds in the game. Terrence Williams rounded out the 49ers double-figure scorers with 12 points.
“I feel like the ones that were scoring in the first half had great looks at the rim,” Henry said “I rather have the game come to me, and as a point guard I am looking to pass first and try to get my team involved before being selfish and getting my own points. I thank my team for having confidence in me and setting good screens to get me open.”
Charlotte finished the game with a 14-0 advantage on fast break points. The 49ers behind the scoring of Lester enjoyed a 17-9 advantage in bench points.
In the first half, the lead exchanged hands several times with ten ties. With the game tied at 27 with 2:08 left in the first half, the 49ers behind the scoring Thorne and Williams scored five of the final seven points taking a 32-29 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, Wingate scored six of the first eight points taking a 35-34 lead. Then, Henry connected on a jump shot helping the 49ers regain the lead for good with 17:16 left in the second half. Charlotte went on a 13-2 run over the next three minutes taking a 47-37 lead when Henry knocked down a three with 15:03 on the clock.
Wingate scored five unanswered points cutting Charlotte’s lead to 47-42 with 14:16 on the clock. Then, Charlotte exploded on a 19-5 run over the next five minutes taking a 66-47 lead after Lester scored on a layup with 9:10 left in the second half.
Charlotte pushed their lead to a game-high 26 points, 77-51, when Thorne scored inside with 4:50 on the clock. The closest that Wingate would get the rest of the way was 22 points, 79-57, when Terrill Hilliard connected on two free throws with 3:08 on the clock. Lester closed out the game’s scoring with a layup with 2:50 left in the second half.
Charlotte tips off the regular-season as part of a 49ers basketball doubleheader, Friday, November 8. The 49ers play ETSU in their season-opener which is the second game of the 49ers basketball doubleheader at 7:30 pm on Friday, November 8.
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