Charleston, SC – Charlotte 49ers had five players in double-figures but College of Charleston scored with one second on the clock to beat the 49ers, 83-82.
“You have to give College of Charleston credit, they kept battling,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “This was a heartbreaking loss. I was very encouraged thjat we looked very good for long stretches of the game. We just need to learn to finish.”
Pierria Henry led the 49ers with 21 points. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out six assists and recorded five steals. WillieClayton recorded his fifth career double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds with eight of those rebounds on the offensive glass. He scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the second half. Terrence Williams scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Shawn Lester scored 14 points off the bench. Mike Thorne Jr. rounded out the 49ers double-figure scorers with 10 points.
“Willie Clayton did a great job in the second half of keeping the balls alive on the offensive glass,” Major said.
Charlotte finished the game with a 16-8 advantage in bench points. The 49ers also outscored College of Charleston 42-28 in the paint.
The majority of the first half the lead went back and forth with six ties. With the game tied at 38 with 2:52 left in the half, Charlotte closed out the half on an 11-0 run taking a 49-38 halftime lead. Lester scored eight points during the 49ers run.
For the majority of the first six minutes of the second half, the 49ers maintained a double-figure lead. At the 14:01 mark, College of Charleston went on a 7-0 run cutting Charlotte’s lead to 56-51 with 10:41 on the clock.
Then, the 49ers behind the scoring of Henry and Clayton went on an 11-2 run over the next three minutes pushing their lead to 67-53 with 7:14 on the clock.
The 49ers lead was between eight to 11 points for the next six minutes until College of Charleston’s Canyon Barry connected on a three cutting Charlotte’s lead to 75-71 with 1:24 on the clock.
Clayton and Williams converted on free throws pushing Charlotte’s lead to 78-71 with 1:05 on the clock. With 39 seconds left in the second half, Charlotte led 80-73. A couple of three point baskets by the College of Charleston cut Charlotte’s lead to 82-81 with 11 seconds on the clock. The 49ers missed two free throws and then College of Charleston’s Willis Hall scored inside with one second on the clock giving College of Charleston an 83-82 win.
The 49ers return to action in Halton Arena against Elon, Friday, November 15 in a special 4 pm start.