Ruston, LA – Charlotte had three players score in double-figures led by Pierria Henry’s 20 points but the 49ers (12-6, C-USA: 3-2) lost to Louisiana Tech (16-4, C-USA: 4-1), 80-60, on the road.
“We had a great start to the game,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “Once they made a run we tried to get everything back at once. Louisiana Tech is a good team. We need to learn from this game.”
Henry’s 20 points marked the third time this season and the fifth time in his career that he scored 20 points. Henry also grabbed five rebounds. Shawn Lester recorded his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season off the bench with 10 points. Willie Clayton recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Thorne added nine points.
Louisiana Tech’s Alex Hamilton led all scorers with 22 points.
Charlotte began the game by scoring 14 of the game’s first 20 points taking a 14-6 lead after a Thorne dunk with 15:09 on the clock. Terrence Williams and Henry knocked down threes during the 49ers early run.
Then, Louisiana Tech scored 13 of the next 15 points taking a 17-16 lead with 9:22 on the clock. Henry scored inside helping the 49ers regain the lead 19-18 with 8:16 on the clock.
Louisiana Tech went on a 17-6 run over the next five minutes taking a 35-25 lead with 3:02 on the clock. The 49ers behind a dunk by Lester and a jumper by Henry cut La. Tech’s lead to 35-29 with 2:01 on the clock.
Louisiana Tech pushed their lead back to nine points when Cordarius Johnson connected on a three from the corner with three seconds on the clock. Then, Louisiana Tech’s Michale Kyser was called for a flagrant two foul under the basket. Kyser was ejected. Then, Ben Cherry made two free throws cutting Charlotte’s halftime deficit to 40-33.
Henry connected on a layup cutting Louisiana Tech’s lead to 40-35 with 18:38 on the clock. However, that would be as close as the 49ers would get as 17-7 run over the next seven minutes taking a 57-42 lead with 11:16 on the clock.
Charlotte continues their Conference USA road trip when they travel to Houston, Texas to face Rice, Saturday, January 25 at 8 pm.