The Charlotte 49ers (14-7, Conference USA: 5-3) travel to New Orleans to play Tulane (11-11, C-USA: 3-4) on Friday, February 7 at 8 pm. Charlotte’s Ben Cherry played the last three seasons for Tulane. Cherry was a Conference USA All-Academic team selection last year at Tulane. Cherry graduated from Tulane last May with a degree in Business Marketing.
The last time out, Charlotte defeated FIU, 73-61, last Saturday night. Cherry led five 49ers in double-figures with 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Shawn Lester recorded his 15th double-figure scoring game off the bench with 13 points. Willie Clayton recorded his 20th straight double-figure scoring game with 13 points. Clayton also grabbed nine rebounds. Mike Thorne added 12 points. Pierria Henry scored 10 points and dished out seven assists. The 49ers defense held FIU to just 21 first half points.
Lester leads the team in scoring at 13 points per game. Henry is one of nine players in the nation and the only player in Conference USA that averages double-figure points (12.2 ppg) while averaging at least five rebounds (5.1 rpg) and five assists (6.2 apg) per game. Clayton (11.9 ppg) and Terrence Williams (10.5 ppg) round out the double-figure scorers. Clayton ranks 14th in the nation in double-doubles with ten. Mike Thorne averages 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Denzel Ingram averages 8.2 points per game. Clayton leads Conference USA in offensive rebounds (4.14 per game). Cherry leads Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (52.1%). Ingram is fourth in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (43.9%). Clayton leads Conference USA in field goal percentage (62.6%). Marcus Bryan has given the 49ers solid production off the bench this season so far. Bryan grabbed seven rebounds in the 49ers road win at UTEP, January 9.
Tulane is led in scoring by Louis Dabney who averages 16.9 points per game. Jonathan Stark averages 15.4 points and Jay Hook averages 14.3 points per game. Tre Drye leads Tulane in rebounding at 6.7 boards per game.
Friday’s game will mark the 24th meeting between the two teams. The 49ers, who have won the last seven meetings between the two teams, lead the all-time series, 15-8.