Andrien White dribbles through traffic. Photo by Pooja Pasupula

The Charlotte 49ers could not bounce back from their victory Monday and suffered their seventh loss of the season against the USF bulls in a close one, 78 – 76. This marked Charlotte’s final non-conference game before they enter conference play.

The Niners started off the game when senior Austin Ajukwa burying his first three-pointer of the game. Later in the first half Charlotte would go on to score nine straight points that gave Charlotte a 31-17 lead with eight minutes left to play in the first half.

With the 49ers leading, 36–26 with five minutes left to play in the half, USF would bounce back with a 10–2 run capped by a three pointer by USF’s Payton Banks that would cut Charlotte’s down to two with a minute left to play in the half. With 15 seconds left to play in the half and Charlotte leading, 41–36, USF’s Da Silva banked in a three pointer that would cut the Niners lead down to two.

15 seconds into the second half, USF’s shoots an easy jumper that would tie the game up. With the Niners leading USF, 55–52, the Bulls would go on a 15–4 run and took the lead, 67 –59 with seven minutes left to play in the game. With USF leading, 70–62 with 6:37 left to play in the game, the Niners would go on to score six straight points capped off by a dunk by Charlotte junior Jailan Haslam.

With USF leading 76–70 with 1:30 left to play in the game, the 49ers would score six of the next eight points with threes coming from Charlotte’s Jon Davis and Najee Garvin to cut USF’s lead down to two. Charlotte had possession of the ball with seven second left to play in regulation, but Davis’s three-point attempt would ultimately hit the back of rim at the buzzer.

The 49ers would have three players score in double-figures with junior Andrien White leading the team with 16 points. Jailan Haslam would have a team-high eight rebounds. USF sophomore Tulio Da Silva would lead the game in points with 23 points. USF led the game in bench points as well as points in the paint. Charlotte led the game in second chance points.

The 49ers will begin conference play when they take on Old Dominion, Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.