Anchorage, AK - Behind a balanced scoring attack led by DeMario Mayfield and Chris Braswell, the Charlotte 49ers (5-0) defeated Oral Roberts (3-2), 72-58, to advance to the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. With the victory, the 49ers improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season.
"Hard fought win," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "I thought that last night's game was physical but tonight's game may have been twice as physical. Oral Roberts is a very good team. We got contributions from everybody tonight."
Mayfield led the 49ers with 17 points with 14 of those points coming from the free throw line. Braswell recorded 11 points. Every 49er that played in the game scored at least three points. Terrence Williams scored nine points. Willie Clayton and Ivan Benkovic scored eight points apiece. Benkovic went two-for-three from beyond the arc. Pierria Henry scored seven points, dished out seven assists and recorded five steals.
The 49ers bench behind the scoring of Braswell and Mayfield outscored Oral Roberts bench, 42-0.
The 49ers defense held Oral Roberts to 58 points and caused a team that was shooting 49.3% from the field entering the game to 33.9% shooting from the field.
With the game tied at seven at the 14:40 mark, the 49ers went on a 10-0 run behind the scoring of Braswell and Benkovic taking a 17-7 lead at the 11:31 mark. Braswell knocked down a three from the wing at the 14:08 mark which gave the 49ers the lead for good.
Oral Roberts went on a 15-8 run over the next nine minutes cutting Charlotte's lead to 25-22 with 2:24 left in the first half. Charlotte closed out the first half on a 7-1 run which was capped off by two Mayfield free throws with eight seconds left in the half. Charlotte led Oral Roberts, 32-23 at the half.
Oral Roberts scored the first five points of the second half cutting Charlotte's lead to 35-28 at the 18:31 mark. The 49ers scored six straight points behind the scoring of Denzel Ingram and Clayton pushing their lead to 38-28 with 17:48 left in the second half.
Oral Roberts cut Charlotte's lead to 40-35 when Shawn Glover scored inside with 16:10 left in the second half. However that would be as close as Oral Roberts would get to the 49ers as Williams scored five straight points for the 49ers pushing their lead to 10 points. Charlotte's lead remained in double-figures for most of the rest of the game. Mayfield knocked down a three at the 6:39 mark giving the 49ers their largest lead, 66-48.
Charlotte advances to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship game where they will play Northeastern, Sunday, November 25 at 12:30 am. The game will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network.