Charlotte, N.C. – Behind a balanced offensive attack led by three double-figure scorers, the Charlotte 49ers (15-13, C-USA: 6-9) defeated Old Dominion (14-16, C-USA: 8-7), 74-63, in their final home game. With the victory, the 49ers improved to 11-0 in their final home game as a member of Conference USA.
“It was good to get a win in our last home game,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “Obviously to snap the skid that we were on but more importantly for our guys to know that they are as good as we know they are. It was great for senior Ben Cherry who has been a wonderful teammate and person for our roster that we were able to win his final home game. Good win for various reasons.”
Willie Clayton and Mike Thorne each finished the game with 14 points and nine rebounds. Clayton scored 10 points in the first half. Marcus Bryan came off the bench and recorded his first career double-figure scoring game with 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field and going 4-for-4 from the line. Cherry and Shawn Lester each scored eight points. Pierria Henry recorded his second career double-figure assists game with 10 assists and only two turnovers. Henry also scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds. Denzel Ingram scored seven points and Terrence Williams scored six points with five rebounds and four assists.
Charlotte finished the game with a 40-28 advantage on points in the paint. The 49ers also had a 35-25 rebound advantage.
Charlotte never trailed in the game. The 49ers began the game by scoring 18 of the first 25 points taking an 18-7 lead when Bryan knocked down a jump shot with 11:42 on the clock.
Old Dominion went on an 8-2 run cutting Charlotte’s lead to 20-15 with 8:21 on the clock. A three by Ingram and a basket by Lester pushed the 49ers lead back to double-figures, 25-15, with 7:26 on the clock.
Old Dominion closed the first half by scoring 11 of the final 18 points cutting Charlotte’s halftime lead to 32-26.
Old Dominion scored six of the first eight points of the second half cutting Charlotte’s lead to 34-32 with 18:26 on the clock. Charlotte called a timeout and after the timeout the 49ers scored six straight points behind baskets by Thorne, Clayton and Henry regaining control of the game.
With 13:23 on the clock, Lester knocked down his first of two straight threes pushing Charlotte’s lead to 57-40 with 12:41 on the clock. Thorne gave the 49ers their largest lead when he knocked down two free throws giving Charlotte a 62-44 lead with 9:44 on the clock.
Old Dominion cut Charlotte’s lead to 12 points on a couple of occasions but that would be as close as they would get until Aaron Bacote scored inside with 25 seconds on the clock making Charlotte’s final margin of victory, 74-63.
Charlotte closes out the regular-season on the road at Marshall, Thursday, March 6 at 7 pm. The game will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
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