Charlotte, N.C. - Behind four double-figure scorers the Charlotte 49ers (6-1) defeated UNC Asheville (1-7), 77-56, for their fifth straight win.
Willie Clayton picked up his fifth double-double of the season scoring 12 points off a 4-4 from the floor and notching 12 rebounds. Shawn Lester contributed 16 points off the bench with 12 coming in the second half. Denzel Ingram contributed 14 while Mike Thorne Jr. fell a rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Terrence Williams scored nine points going 4-6 from the floor. Ben Cherry knocked down two threes in the second half. Pierria Henry finished the game with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Charlotte behind the scoring of Lester and Ingram finished the game with a 36-4 advantage on bench points. The 49ers finished the game with a 38-22 advantage on points in the paint. The 49ers also shot 50.9% from the field while limiting UNC Asheville to 34.5% shooting from the field.
Charlotte fell behind in the early minutes of the game, but used a 25-7 run to take a 25-11 lead when Williams knocked down a free throw with 7:04 on the clock. Marcus Bryan, who scored six points off the bench, Lester, Thorne and Ingram also scored during the 49ers early run. The 49ers shot 56% during the 11 minute span.
The Bulldogs fought back to within four points with under a minute to play at 35-31 after UNCA’s Sam Hughes hit a three. Ingram would answer with a trey of his own hitting his third three of the night before the buzzer to giving Charlotte a 38-31 advantage heading into the locker room. Ingram led the 49ers with 11 points at the half and finished with 14 points with a 4-5 performance from behind the arc.
Charlotte scored 21 points off the bench in the first half and finished the night with 36 points off the bench.
“We are happy with the scoring balance and bench contributions tonight,” said Coach Alan Major.
The Niners would take care of business in the second half shooting 53.6% from the field and limiting the Bulldogs to 25 second half points. UNC Asheville would get to within five points, 44-39, with 16:15 on the clock. Then, Charlotte behind the scoring of Ingram, Thorne, Lester and Clayton went on a 17-7 run over the next six minute pushing their lead 61-46 after Lester had an emphatic dunk with 10:12 on the clock.
“I am happy with the way we pulled away in the second half.” Major said.
Charlotte pushed their lead to a game-high 23 points when Thorn converted a free throw giving the 49ers a 77-54 lead with 3:04 on the clock.
Charlotte returns to action when they host cross-county rival Davidson, Wednesday, December 4 at 7:00 pm in Halton Arena. The game will be shown live in the Charlotte area on WCCB Charlotte.