|Charlotte Rallies Past Georgia Tech, 86-83, in Double OT|
"That's what you want a team to be. Everybody chipping in to get it done," said head coach Alan Major.
For the fourth straight game, Charlotte (8-6) rallied from a halftime deficit, and still trailed by six with under 5:00 minutes to play, only to reverse fortunes and post a dramatic 86-83 double overtime victory at Georgia Tech. It was Charlotte's sixth win in their last eight games.
"In a nutshell, this game was about fighting," said Major. "They jumped on us early but we scrapped back into it at halftime. And it was every guy. Guys taking charges, loose balls, steals. We continue to keep scrapping. I couldn't be prouder of our guys."
It was the 49ers second straight road win and their fourth straight come-from-behind victory.
Junior Derrio Green led the 49ers with 21 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 free throws and he matched his career high with nine assists. Phil Jones came off the bench to contribute 15 points with four blocks, Javarris Barnett added 15 points and Chris Braswell had 14.
Charlotte trailed by as much as 14 with 4:40 left in the first half only to put together a 10-2 run over the final 2:50 to close to within three, 40-37, at the break. Again, Tech jumped out fast, scoring the first five points of the second half to push the lead to 8, 45-37 before the Niners again began to whittle away at the lead, getting as close as one, 50-49. Georgia Tech answered and pushed it back to eight, 58-50 with 8:28 to play. Still trailing by six with 4:48 left, Charlotte closed the half with a 10-4 run to force overtime.
In the first OT, Charlotte took its first outright lead, only to see Georgia Tech answer on an Iman Shumpert three to go ahead by two, with 1:36 to play. Chris Braswell scored four points in the final minute to force the second overtime period.
This time, Charlotte used a three-pointer from Green and a conventional three-point play by Jones to take a nine-point lead, 83-74 with 2:34 left. Two long threes from Glen Rice, Jr. and Shumpert brought the lead back to three and after an An'Juan Wilderness free throw for the 49ers, Brian Oliver drained a three to make it a one-point game with 21 seconds left. Phil Jones was fouled underneath and canned two free throws to push the lead back to three, 86-83, with 13 seconds left.
On Tech's final possession, Barnett slapped a pass free and chased it down in the backcourt before it went out of bounds with :04 left. Tech was able to muster a halfcourt three by Rice but is bounded off the rim to give Charlotte the win.
"On the road you have to be exceptional," Major added, of the second overtime lead. "They kept coming at us and hit some big shots. That was a big steal by JB down the stretch. It's those little hustle plays that win these."
"I think this team is playing well," said Green, who posted his first 20-point outing of the season. "We have a lot to learn, but we're gelling and coming together -- and we're playing defense. I think we're headed in the right direction."