The Charlotte 49ers (14-10, Conference USA: 5-6) play Conference USA co-leader Middle Tennessee (19-7, C-USA: 9-2) in Halton Arena, Thursday, February 20 at 7 pm.
Last time out, Charlotte lost to Marshall, 59-56, in Halton Arena last Saturday. Shawn Lester scored 16 points off the bench. Willie Clayton grabbed a career-high tying 16 rebounds. Pierria Henry recorded a career-high 10 assists. Terrence Williams scored 14 points in the game.
Lester leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game. Lester has recorded 17 double-figure scoring games off the bench. Henry is the only player in Conference USA that averages double-figure points (11.9 ppg) while averaging at least five rebounds (5.0 rpg) and five assists (6.2 apg) per game. Clayton ranks eighth in the nation and first in Conference USA in offensive rebounds (4.00 off. rpg). Clayton ranks second in Conference USA with a team-leading 9.2 boards per game. Clayton averages 11.5 points per game. Williams rounds out the 49ers double-figure scorers at 10.5 points per game. Williams also averages 5.0 rebounds per game. Mike Thorne averages 9.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Denzel Ingram averages 7.7 points per game. Ben Cherry, who averages 6.8 points per game, leads Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (49.4%). Clayton leads Conference USA in field goal percentage (60.7%). Marcus Bryan has given the 49ers solid production off the bench this season so far.
Middle Tennessee enters the game on a seven-game winning streak. Shawn Jones leads Middle Tennessee in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Neiko Hunter averages 13.4 points per game. Kerry Hammonds averages 12.9 points per game.
Thursday’s game will mark the second-ever meeting between Charlotte and Middle Tennessee. The 49ers won the previous meeting 78-63, in a game played in Lexington, Kentucky, December 18, 1987.
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