The Charlotte 49ers (11-14, C-USA 5-9) travelled to Norfolk, Virginia Saturday night to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs (16-10, C-USA 9-5) in a game that proved to be a disappointing 72-48 loss to ODU. Charlotte’s own, Jon Davis, was able to put up an impressive 26 points, recording his 12th 20-point game of the season. Davis made eight of his twenty shots from the field and 3-8 from three-point land. He also saw nineteen of his points come from the 2nd half alone.
In the paint, Davis made his presence known, finishing the night with five boards, all of them being defensive. Davis was not the only 49er in double digits on Saturday, as junior Austin Ajukwa finished with 12 points, five boards and one block to give Davis some help on both the defensive and offensive front.
The Niners had a rough first half, trailing ODU for a total of fifteen minutes while only leading two. Charlotte as a team shot 40 percent from the field, knocking down eight of their 20 shots. From behind the arc, Charlotte saw four of their twelve shots fall, finishing the half at a somewhat ineffective 33 percent. It was the free-throw line which proved to be Charlotte’s saving grace, as it has many times before. The 49ers were a perfect 5-of-5 from the line.
ODU saw just as many struggles in the first half as Charlotte, shooting an overall 40%, 13-32 from the field and an even more surprising 25 percent from three-point land.
ODU came out of halftime swinging, quickly putting up six quick points on the board to lengthen the lead. Charlotte reacted accordingly to this offensive run by the Big Blue with a run of their own. Ajukwa and Davis proved to be Charlotte’s X-factors during the second half, facilitating an 11-2 run over the next few minutes that put them within two points of ODU’s lead.
Charlotte’s defensive fortitude coupled with the offensive intensity of Davis and Ajukwa and seemed like it gave the 49ers the jolt of livelihood they needed to mount a comeback, but that is not how things played out.
Over the rest of the half, Charlotte traded blows with ODU, with each team gaining and losing momentum with respective streaks. In the end, ODU proved too much for the Niners to handle on the road, falling 48-72.
The Niners will take on Western Kentucky in Halton Arena Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.