Jon Davis and Andrien White combined for 49 of Charlotte’s 73 points but it was not enough to complete the second half comeback in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament, falling to UAB 73-74 inside Legacy Arena.
“It was an extremely good basketball game,” head coach Mark Price said. “Our guys kept playing, kept fighting and kept ourselves in it and had to shot to win it there at the end. It’s disappointing. Anytime you lose a game like that, it’s disappointing. But I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and the effort they put forth today.”
Davis missed a jumper with 31 seconds left, down 70-72, but chased down Lee Williams Jr. of UAB on the other end of the court, poking the ball away from him and giving Charlotte what they thought was their last crack at taking the lead. Davis pushed the ball up the court and drove the lane, only to kick it out to White who was wide open in the left corner for three, knocking down the shot and giving the Niners a one-point lead with 12 seconds to go.
UAB marched right back down the court and threw up a wild shot that missed everything, but Lee was there to clean up the shot at the rim, giving the Blazers the one-point lead with six seconds left.
Charlotte inbounded the ball to Davis who rushed up the court and fired a three-pointer from about three feet from behind the arc, missing it short off the rim, sending the Blazers to the second round of the C-USA Tournament.
The Blazers got out to a hot start against the 49ers, taking an early 12-5 lead after a made layup from Chris Coakley. Charlotte took back the lead with a made three-point shot from White with 13:11 left in the first, one of his five threes on the night. The 49ers held on to their lead until Williams made a layup with 8:05 left in the first half, giving the Blazers a 24-23 lead.
Charlotte went scoreless from the field for 10 minutes to close the half, but only trailed 29-23 going into halftime.
After a pair of made free throws from Najee Garvin two minutes into the final half, Charlotte saw themselves tied with UAB, 31-31. The Blazers then created their biggest lead of the ballgame with 14:13 remaining after a made jumper from Tosin Mehinti, up by nine.
White helped cut the lead as he scored 10 straight points for the 49ers coming off of the bench with 9:33 to go, part of his 24 points on the night. With just over nine minutes remaining, White handed the keys over to Davis who knocked down shot after shot down the stretch.
Davis started to attack the lane and get to the rim at will, cutting the lead to one with 3:04 to go, backed by a couple threes from White and Braxton Ogbueze. After knocking down a three with :59 remaining from straight away to take the 70-69 lead, Lee scored the final five points for the Blazers to give them the one-point victory. Davis finished with 21 points in the second half for Charlotte.