EL PASO, TEXAS – Behind a balanced scoring attack with five players in double-figures, the Charlotte 49ers (17-13) defeated UAB (18-13), 80-70, in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Ingram led the 49ers with 18 points for his ninth double-figure scoring game of the season. Ingram was 7-for-10 from the field and 4-for-4 from beyond the three-point line. Terrence Williams recorded his 16th double-figure scoring game with 16 points. Shawn Lester recorded his 19th double-figure scoring game of the season off the bench with 11 points. Ben Cherry scored 10 points including going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Cherry’s 10 points was his sixth double-figure scoring game of the season. Marcus Bryan recorded his second double-figure scoring game of the season with 10 points. Bryan also tied his career-high with seven rebounds which marked the second time at UTEP that he has grabbed seven rebounds in a game this season. Willie Clayton recorded his 13th double-figure rebounds game of the season with 11 rebounds.
“We came out with the idea to get out them early and not give them room to breathe and keep attacking,” Ingram said. “My teammates were able to find me. We played well together tonight and I was able to hit some shots.”
The 49ers shot 53.3% from the field in the first half en route to scoring a 2014 Conference USA Tournament high 46 points in the first half.
Ingram began the game’s scoring with a three just five seconds into the game giving the 49ers the lead for good. Charlotte began the game on a 10-2 run capped off by a three by Williams in the corner at the 16:33 mark.
Charlotte maintained a lead of 7-10 points for the next five minutes until UAB’s Chad Frazier, who scored 19 points in the game, scored inside with 11:21 on the clock cutting the 49ers lead to 19-14.
Then, the 49ers behind a layup by Bryan, a three by Cherry and a jumper by Lester went on a 7-0 run pushing their lead to 26-14 with 9:33 on the clock.
Charlotte maintained a double-figure lead even pushing it to 15 points on two occasions over the final nine and half minutes of the first half. Charlotte led UAB 46-33 at the half.
UAB began the second half on a 7-0 cutting Charlotte’s lead to 46-40 when Preston Purifoy scored inside with 18:01 on the clock.
Then, the 49ers went on a 5-0 run behind baskets by Bryan and Ingram and a free throw by Henry pushing their lead to 51-40 with 17:02 on the clock.
UAB would never get any closer. Charlotte enjoyed their largest lead when Clayton scored inside with 4:44 on the clock giving the 49ers a 74-51 lead.
The 49ers advance to the Conference USA Tournament quarterfinals where they will play top seed Louisiana Tech, Thursday, March 13 at 10:30 pm.