The Charlotte 49ers (16-13, A-10: 7-9), who finished the season tied for eighth in the Conference USA, are the ninth-seed at this week's Conference USA Tournament which will be played at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, March 11-15. The 49ers, who have a first round bye, play the eighth-seed UAB (18-12, C-USA: 7-9), Wednesday, March 12 at 10:30 p.m. The winner of the game advances to play top seed Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals, Thursday, March 13 at 10:30 p.m.
The 49ers finished the regular-season on a two-game winning streak with victories over Old Dominion (74-63) and a road win at Marshall (74-70).
The 49ers, who are an original member of Conference USA, returned to league this season after spending the last eight years as a member of the Atlantic 10. The 49ers are 15-8 all-time in Conference USA Tournament games. Charlotte won the 1999 and 2001 Conference USA Tournament titles.
Pierria Henry is the only player in Conference USA and among a handful of players in the nation that average double-figure points (12.6 ppg) while averaging five rebounds (5.2 rpg) and five assists (6.0 apg) per game. Henry ranks among Conference USA and the nation’s leaders in assists and steals. Shawn Lester is second on the team in scoring at 12 points per game. Lester has recorded 18 double-figure scoring games off the bench this season. Willie Clayton (11.0 ppg) and Terrence Williams (10.2 ppg) round out the 49ers double-figure scorers. Clayton ranks second in Conference USA in rebounds (8.8 rpg). Clayton leads Conference USA in offensive rebounds at 3.79 per game. Williams has tallied 15 double-figure scoring games this season. Mike Thorne Jr., who recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds on the road at Marshall, averages 9.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Denzel Ingram, who has recorded eight double-figure scoring games this season, averages 7.5 points per game. Ben Cherry, who was named to the Conference USA All-Academic team, averages 6.4 points per game. Cherry is second in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (46.9%). Bryan has scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench in the last three games.
Wednesday’s game will mark the 43rd meeting between Charlotte and UAB, who leads the all-time series, 27-15. In their first meeting this year, UAB defeated Charlotte, 64-62, in Charlotte’s Halton Arena, February 22. Henry led three 49ers in double-figures with 16 points. Thorne grabbed 10 rebounds in that game.
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