The Charlotte 49ers (14-8, Conference USA: 5-4) play Conference USA foe Southern Miss (20-3, C-USA: 7-1) on the road in a game that will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network, Sunday, February 9 at 2 pm.
The last time out, Charlotte lost on the road at Tulane, 64-63, Friday. The 49ers had the ball with 27 seconds left in the second half with the game tied at 63 but Charlotte committed a turnover. Then, Tulane missed a shot but got the rebound and made one free throw with just over a second left in the game to take the lead. Pierria Henry’s half-court shot at the buzzer nearly went in but it hit the front of the rim. Henry led the 49ers with 14 points and six assists. Willie Clayton recorded his 21st straight double-figure scoring game with 13 points. Mike Thorne recorded his fourth double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Terrence Williams scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Shawn Lester leads the team in scoring at 12.8 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 (5.0 rpg) and five assists (6.19 apg) per game. Clayton (12.0 ppg) and Williams (10.5 ppg) round out the double-figure scorers. Thorne averages 9.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Denzel Ingram averages 7.8 points per game. Ben Cherry averages 7.1 points per game. Clayton leads Conference USA in offensive rebounds (4.05 per game). Cherry leads Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (51.3%). Ingram is fourth in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (43.1%). Clayton leads Conference USA in field goal percentage (61.5%). 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.
Southern Miss enters the game on a six-game winning streak. Neil Watson leads three Southern Miss players in double-figures at 12.1 points per game. Michael Craig averages 11.3 points and team-leading eight rebounds per game.
Sunday’s game will mark the 31st meeting between Charlotte and Southern Miss. The 49ers hold a 26-4 series advantage in a series that dates back to 1971. The 49ers have won the last 12 meetings between the two teams. Charlotte defeated Southern Miss, 81-58, at home in their last meeting, February 26, 2005. Charlotte has won 11 of the 12 meetings between the two teams in Hattiesburg. The 49ers defeated Southern Miss, 78-72, in their last meeting in Hattiesburg, February 21, 2004.