CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Freshman Denzel Ingram's game-high 16 points led three 49ers in double-figures as Charlotte (3-0) defeated Lamar (0-3), 70-49 in Halton Arena. The 49ers have improved to 3-0 for the ninth time in school history and the first time since the 1995-96 season.
"It was a team effort," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "Everybody played hard and everybody who contributed to the win. I am excited for Denzel Ingram. I was pleased the we scored 40 points in the paint tonight as well."
Lamar felt Ingram's wrath on every piece of the court as he shot 75 percent (6-for-8) from the field, drained three 3-pointers, and recorded a game-high four steals. Ingram came off the bench and finished with three assists.
Junior DeMario Mayfield made the most of his debut as he recorded his 20th career double-figure scoring game with 12 points off the bench. Sophomore Terrence Williams also added 10 points for the Niners, notching his second double-figure game of the season.
Charlotte's balanced scoring attack also included Willie Clayton and Chris Braswell with nine points each, and Darion Clark with eight. Clayton and Clark led the Niners on the glass with seven boards each.
Charlotte finished the game with a 40-26 advantage on points in the paint. Charlotte's defense forced Lamar into 22 turnovers which led to 25 49ers points off turnovers. Charlotte's bench behind the scoring of Ingram, Mayfield and Braswell finished with a 43-13 advantage in bench points.
The Cardinals opened the second half with six straight points to cut Charlotte's lead to 39-26 with 19:22 left in the game. It was the closest that Lamar got in reach of the 49ers. Charlotte called a timeout to regroup and scored 14 consecutive points to take a 46-26 lead at the 15:15 mark.
The 49ers took its largest lead of the game, 68-39 with 5:24 left in the game.
After trailing 6-2 in the first half with 17:49 remaining, the Niners used multiple runs to take a 39-22 lead at halftime. Charlotte used a 6-0 run and took a 10-8 advantage, its first lead of the game at the 15:07 mark off a fastbreak layup from Clayton. The game stayed in Charlotte's favor as it sparked a commanding 19-4 run to cap a 29-12 lead after Mayfield scored inside with 6:55 left.
The Cardinals answered with a 6-0 run of their own to slice the Niners' lead to 29-18 with just under five minutes in the first half.
The 49ers stayed hot on all sides of the ball and took a 38-18 advantage with 1:51 remaining, following a 3-pointer from Ingram.
Lamar placed two players in double figures. Rhon Mitchell recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Amos Wilson also finished with 10 points each.
Charlotte will take its first road trip of the season on Nov. 22 -24 for the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. The Niners' first game in the tournament will be against Texas State, Thursday, November 22.