Charlotte brought Presbyterian’s record to 1-4 Monday night and their own to 2-2, after pushing past the Blue Hose with a win at a score of 83-74. Jon Davis recorded his 49th career double figure scoring game and his 20th 20-point scoring game, leading the Niners with 24 points as well as recording 3 rebounds.
Davis also had 7 assists to help his teammates gather 19 points throughout the game including points by Ryan Murphy, Austin Ajukwa, Jailan Haslem, Jaylan McGill and Andrien White.
With four players in double figures, Murphy, Ajukwa and Milos Supica all followed Davis with 11 points each. Together, the team shot 41.7% from the three point line in the first half, going 5-12, which is the same three point percentage the Niners shot by the conclusion of their last game in a loss against College of Charleston. A tremendous improvement that may otherwise go unnoticed, shows this team is working to better themselves as an all around offensive threat.
“We spaced the floor better, that was something we emphasized yesterday. Guys weren’t getting to their spots consistently and it wasn’t allowing Jon to penetrate and we’ve got to get him space so that he can draw defenses and make the plays and I thought we did a much better job of that night,” head coach Mark Price said.
Other players contributed to Charlotte’s winning score as well. Najee Garvin gathered nine, Haslem with five, White with four, Hudson Price and McGill each had a three and Luka Vasic gave Charlotte two. The team led the game in points off the bench 45-17 behind Murphy, Ajukwa and Supica’s points.
Murphy recorded his first career double figuring scoring game with his 11 points, going 3-5 from the three point line, certainly making his playing time count coming off of his redshirt season.
The Niners and the Blue Hose had quite a tight, back and forth game for nearly the first seven minutes of the game until Ajukwa hit a three to give Charlotte the lead for most of the half. At 5:49 Ajukwa would get a tip-in giving Charlotte their last big lead of the first half over Presbyterian at 33-27. Within the last five minutes of first half play, the Blue Hose would score 11 points to put them on top with a score of 38-33 at the conclusion of the first half.
Charlotte then scored 14 of the first 24 points in the second half bringing their deficit to only one point behind when Murphy scored a three with 14:50 left on the clock bringing the score to 48-47.
With 12:30 left, Ajukwa scored his final three, giving Charlotte a lead that would keep climbing for the rest of the night at 52-50.
Seven points by Reggie Dillard and a layup by Davon Bell within three minutes brought the score back to within only one point by 9:21, but Charlotte would be able to keep their lead and get a win. Dillard and Bell were Presbyterian’s leading scorers with 18 and 27 points.
Haslem led the team with seven rebounds starting off with three in the first two minutes of the game to set the tone for his playing time. Price and Garvin would also have six and five rebounds, respectively.
The 49ers may have a lot of hard work to put in, but they are certainly starting to translate that work into wins and hope to continue to do so.
“I think it starts with the guys that have been here before, we have to know not to settle, not to just rest on one win because it’s a long season. This is only our fourth game. So, it’s a quick turn around, we have a game against a good team Friday, so we go home, be happy about the win, have a day off tomorrow, but we’ve got to get back in the gym on Wednesday and get ready for High Point,” Davis said.
Charlotte will face High Point University in Halton Arena for their third of four straight home games on Friday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.