San Antonio, Texas – The Charlotte 49ers (10-5, C-USA: 1-1) lost on the road at UTSA (6-9, C-USA: 2-0), 85-77.
“It is disappointing, we did not have the level of energy we needed to start the game,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “Our turnovers snowballed in the first half a little bit as a result of maybe trying to do some things to quickly to get back into the game. I will look at myself in the mirror as a coach and we will get this corrected.”
The 49ers had four players score in double-figures for the 12th time this season. Denzel Ingram led the 49ers with 17 points off the bench for his sixth double-figure scoring game of the season. Terrence Williams recorded his ninth double-figure scoring game with 15 points. Williams went 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Willie Clayton recorded his 14th straight double-figure scoring game with 13 points. Clayton also grabbed seven rebounds. Pierria Henry recorded his 10th double-figure scoring game of the season with 12 points.
The game was tight for the first five and half minutes. The 49ers found themselves down, 12-11, with 14:38 on the clock after Ingram knocked down a three. Then, UTSA went on a 14-1 run over the next five minutes taking a 26-12 lead when Edrico McGregor scored on a short jump shot with 9:10 on the clock.
Charlotte was able to cut their deficit to seven a couple of times over the remainder of the half including when Shawn Lester scored inside with 4:56 on the clock cutting Charlotte’s deficit to 30-23. However, UTSA closed out the half by scoring eight of the half’s final 13 points taking a 38-28 halftime lead.
UTSA pushed their lead to 54-33 at the 12:54 mark of the second half. Then, the 49ers went on a 16-3 run over the next four minutes cutting UTSA’s lead to 57-49 when Ingram knocked down his second straight three from the corner with 8:09 on the clock. Henry, Clayton and Williams scored during the run. Ingram scored eight points during the 49ers run.
The 49ers could not get closer than eight points. With the 49ers trailing 61-53 with 6:35 on the clock after a Williams dunk, UTSA went on a 7-0 run pushing their lead to 68-53 with four minutes left on the clock.
Charlotte trailed 78-61 with 1:30 on the clock, then, the 49ers went on a 13-4 run over the next minute cutting UTSA’s lead to 82-74 when Ben Cherry knocked down a three at the top of the key. Henry scored eight points during the run including knocking down two threes. However that would be as close as the 49ers would get. UTSA scored three more points and then Ingram knocked down a three at the buzzer making UTSA’s final margin of victory, 85-77.
Charlotte returns to Halton Arena to play Tulsa in their Conference USA home opener, Thursday, January 16 at 7 pm.