The Charlotte 49ers (10-5, Conference USA: 1-1) play Tulsa (7-9, C-USA: 2-0) in their Conference USA home opener in Halton Arena, Thursday, January 16 at 7 pm.
The 49ers have won six of their last eight conference home openers. Since the 1991-92 season, the 49ers are 16-6 in their league home opener.
Last time out, the 49ers fell on the road, 85-77, at Conference USA foe UTSA last Saturday. Denzel Ingram led four 49ers in double-figures with 17 points.
Shawn Lester has scored in double-figures in 12 of Charlotte’s 15 games this season. Lester (12.8 ppg) leads the 49ers in scoring. Willie Clayton (11.9 ppg), Pierria Henry (11.6 ppg), Terrence Williams (11.2 ppg) and Mike Thorne (10.5 ppg) round out the 49ers double-figure scorers. Ingram averages 9.3 points per game. Henry is second in Conference USA in steals per game at 2.36. Clayton is fourth in Conference USA in rebounding at 9.1 boards per game. Clayton leads Conference USA in offensive rebounds (4.5 per game). Ben Cherry has knocked down 27 threes in the last 12 games. Cherry leads Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (50.0%). Clayton leads Conference USA in field goal percentage (63.7%). Marcus Bryan has given the 49ers solid production off the bench this season so far. Last week, Bryan grabbed a career-high seven rebounds off the bench at UTEP.
Tulsa enters Thursday’s game on a three-game winning streak. James Woodard leads three Tulsa players in double-figures averaging 14.4 points per game. Woodard also averages a team-leading six rebounds per game. Rashad Smith averages 12.4 points per game. Shaquille Harrison averages 10.3 points per game. Tulsa is coached by former Kansas All-American Danny Manning.
Thursday’s game will mark the fourth meeting between Charlotte and Tulsa, who leads the all-time series, 3-0. Tulsa defeated Charlotte, 65-50, in their last meeting which came in Halton Arena, January 10, 2009.