CHARLOTTE, NC - Behind four double-figure scorers and clutch play down the stretch, the Charlotte 49ers (8-0) defeated cross-county rival Davidson (4-4), 73-69, in dramatic fashion to retain the Hornet's Nest Trophy.
"It was a great game to be a part of," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "I am incredibly proud of our team and the way they hustled and played with tremendous effort tonight. This was a tremendous win by our team."
With 3:51 left in the game, the 49ers were trailing Davidson, 65-62. Then, Charlotte's Chris Braswell, who led the 49ers with 15 points, scored five straight points including a three-pointer from the top of the key giving the 49ers a 67-65 lead with 2:20 on the clock.
Davidson's Ian Cochran connected on two free throws tying the game for the ninth time. Then, Charlotte's Pierria Henry, who scored six points in the final 1:14 of the game, gave the 49ers a 69-67 with two free throws with 1:14 on the clock. Davidson's De'Mon Brooks tied the score for the tenth time with two free throws with 59 seconds on the clock.
Then, Henry gave the 49ers the lead for good with a difficult 14-foot jump shot on the baseline that arched over the outstretched hands of a Davidson defender and into the basket with 24 seconds on the clock. Davidson's Brooks missed a shot on the other end. Henry grabbed the rebound and was fouled with four seconds on the clock. Henry knocked down two free throws giving the victory.
Braswell led the 49ers in scoring for the fifth time this season with 15 points off the bench. Darion Clark scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Willie Clayton scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Henry with another stat stuffing performance with 11 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. Terrence Williams added seven points for the 49ers.
Jake Cohen led four Davidson Wildcats in double-figures with 15 points.
Charlotte finished the game with a 38-30 advantage in points in the paint. The 49ers 14-6 advantage in offensive rebounds led to an 18-7 advantage in second chance points.
Charlotte began the game on an 8-2 run behind the scoring of Denzel Ingram, Clark, Clayton and Williams.
Davidson answered the 49ers run with a 7-0 run taking a 9-8 lead when Clint Mann knocked down a jump shot at the 14:33 mark.
Charlotte regained the lead when Henry scored inside at the 13:51 mark, then Davidson went on a 13-5 run taking a 22-15 lead when Brooks scored inside at the 7:49 mark.
With Davidson leading 23-18 with 4:29 left in the first half, Charlotte went on a 5-0 run behind a basket from Williams and three at the top of the key by E. Victor Nickerson tying the score at 23.
Davidson regained the lead with an 8-0 run pushing their first half lead to 31-23 with 1:50 on the clock. Charlotte behind the scoring of Clayton and Braswell cut Davidson's halftime lead to 33-29.
The 49ers began the second half by scoring 15 of the first 19 points taking a 44-37 lead when DeMario Mayfield knocked down two free throws with 14:34 on the clock.
Davidson answered the 49ers run with a 9-2 run tying the score at 44 when Cohen scored inside with 12:57 on the clock.
The game went back and forth with the lead changing hands several times over the final 12 minutes until Henry scored the game's final four points giving the 49ers the victory.
Charlotte returns to Halton Arena when they play Central Michigan, Saturday, December 8 at 2 pm.