Greenville, N.C. – Charlotte rallied from a 19-point first half deficit to tie the score in the second half, however, the 49ers (14-13, C-USA: 5-9) came up short with a 75-68 loss at East Carolina (16-13, C-USA: 5-9).
Pierria Henry recorded his fourth 20-point scoring game of the season with 20 points. Henry scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half.
“Pierria did a nice job tonight attacking the basket,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “He was not settling for jump shots tonight.”
Denzel Ingram knocked down three three-point field goals for his eighth double-figure scoring game of the season with 11 points. Terrence Williams recorded his 15th double-figure scoring game of the season with 11 points. Willie Clayton grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
The 49ers finished the game with a 34-14 advantage on points in the paint.
Akeem Richmond led East Carolina with 27 points on eight three-point field goals.
East Carolina began the game by scoring 21 of the game’s first 23 points. Then, Charlotte went on a 13-3 run cutting East Carolina’s lead to 24-15 when Williams knocked down a jumper in the lane with 4:25 on the clock. Marcus Bryan, Ben Cherry, Ingram and Henry also scored during the 49ers run.
Charlotte cut East Carolina’s lead to 32-24 at the half after Shawn Lester knocked down two free throws with 38 seconds on the clock.
The 49ers began the second half by scoring five of the first seven points cutting East Carolina’s lead to 34-29 when Ingram knocked down a three with 18:36 on the clock.
East Carolina pushed their lead to 48-34 with 13:58 on the clock when Michael Zangari connected on a jump shot.
Then, the 49ers went on a 16-3 run over the next five minutes tying the score at 50 when Clayton scored inside with 8:44 on the clock. Ingram knocked down two threes and Bryan scored four points during the 49ers’ run.
With the game tied at 54 after a Mike Thorne dunk with 7:18 on the clock; East Carolina scored five straight points regaining the lead for good.
Charlotte cut the East Carolina lead to one point on two occasions; the last time was when Henry knocked down a jump shot with 4:13 on the clock. However, that would be as close as the 49ers would get.
Charlotte returns to action when they play Old Dominion in Halton Arena in their final home game, Sunday, March 2 at 4 pm. Prior to the game, the 49ers will honor their lone senior Ben Cherry.