Senior Austin Ajukwa scored 18 points to lead Charlotte past Methodist 116-76 in its dominating season opener. This was the biggest win in a home opener since the 1976-77 season when Charlotte beat Georgia College 111-63.
Charlotte had seven players score in double-figures. The 49ers got off to a great start by hitting two three pointers on their first two possessions, both were assisted by Jon Davis. Jon Davis finished the night scoring 15 points with 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Najee Garvin was very aggressive on offense and defense. Garvin finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Andrien White added 10 points and 2 steals. Luka Vasic had 10 points in his college debut.
The game was tied at 18 with 13:42 left in the first half, but then Hudson Price hit a big three and the 49ers held the lead for the rest of the game. Going into halftime Charlotte was leading 54-36. In the second half, Charlotte came out shooting hot like they did in the first half, scoring 62 points.
“I felt really good, I knew we would play hard because our energy has been good in practice,” Charlotte head coach Mark Price said. “Sometimes in the first game you don’t know how well you’re going to play, so I was really pleased. Execution-wise shooting 62% for the game was great. I thought our ball movement was good, seven guys in double-figures and 22 assists with only 12 turnovers. That’s just the kind of basketball we have to play to win.”
Freshman forward Milos Supica had 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting in just 13 minutes off the bench.
“We had no idea Milos was even going to be able to play, he got Mono like three weeks ago. He was able to start practicing this week. He played thirteen minutes, but I planned on playing him about 8-10 minutes. Can’t say he wasn’t productive in his minutes that’s for sure, I was thrilled with how he played for us tonight,” Price said.
Hudson Price had 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field and added 6 rebounds.
“That’s honestly our main goal, we get in trouble when we try to break out of the offense and play one on one and do our own thing, but tonight we played really well together and moved the ball really well,” Price said.
The 49ers shot 62.7 percent from the field including 11-22 from three and 75 percent from the free throw line.
Charlotte finished the game dominating the points in the paint with a 58-26 advantage and a 57-14 advantage in bench points.
“The energy and effort level was great, it’s a challenge sometimes particularly when everyone knows what our schedule is including our players. It’s easy to take a game like this and overlook it thinking we got Oklahoma State on Monday, I have hardly mentioned the word Oklahoma State for a week to try to prevent that from happening. I was just proud of the folks with the intensity that we had as a team. Obviously there is a bright future here in Charlotte,” Price said.
Charlotte goes on the road to face Oklahoma State on Monday, tip-off is set for 8 p.m. The 49ers return home to face College of Charleston on Saturday, Nov. 18. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.