The Charlotte 49ers (12-15, C-USA: 6-10) fell to the Marshall Thundering Herd (16-13, C-USA: 9-7) in a close battle, 93-89. The 49ers rallied back to overcome a 14-point lead early in the first half but suffered from foul trouble and were out-rebounded in the second half, leaving them unable to close out the victory.
“A disappointing loss,” Charlotte coach Mark Price said. “Marshall is a team that scores a lot of points. I thought we did a pretty good job on them in the first half, rebounding the ball well and we let all that stuff get away from us in the second half.”
Senior, Anthony Vanhook led the 49ers in his last performance in Halton Arena, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Andrien White also contributed seven rebounds and 18 points. The two got in foul trouble early in the second half, stifling Charlotte’s offense. Guard Jon Davis delivered 17 points while Austin Ajukwa added 15.
The 49ers were able to come back from a 14-point Marshall lead early in the first half to create a close game. With help from Vanhook, Charlotte took their first lead of the contest around the five minute mark. The carried the lead through the half, 48-41.
Charlotte came out strong the second half, going on a 6-0 run and securing a 13-point lead but the 49ers battled through four ties and two lead exchanges during the second half. The Thundering Herd climbed their way back by making it to the free throw line where forward, Ajdin Penava, tied the game at 63.
Marshall secured the lead and controlled the tempo as Charlotte fought to stay in it. With 1:30 left on the clock, Vanhook grabbed an offensive board for a layup leaving Charlotte trailing, 85-80. Ajukwa drove through the paint for a three-point play with Marshall up 89-85 and 34 seconds left on the clock. A full-court press lead to a Davis steal which Vanhook finished with a layup, bringing the 49ers within two points. A couple of free-throws from Marshall’s Jon Elmore secured the Herd’s victory at 93-89.
Charlotte will be in Texas next week as they finish up conference play against UTSA and UTEP.