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Charlotte battles back in three- game series at LA Tech

Charlotte huddles up before going out on the field. Photo by Austin Chaney

The 49ers  (16-10, 1-2 C-USA) weathered the winter storm and headed to Ruston, Louisiana to take on the Lady Techsters (16-9, 2-1 C-USA) in their first conference match of the season. Charlotte struggled early, unable to score during either game in Friday’s double header but rallied back to win the series finale on Saturday.

Game One:

The two teams were off to a slow start as both pitchers held the batters scoreless in the first two innings. Tori Charters and Taria Page got the Lady Techsters rolling with base hits and LA Tech never looked back scoring five runs in the 3rd inning. They dominated the next three innings, sealing Charlotte’s fate in an 8-0 loss.

Redshirt sophomore, Erin Powers, delivered the only hit for the 49ers.

Game Two:

LA Tech came out strong in Friday’s second match, taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Lady Techsters then hit another 3rd inning spark, scoring three more runs and taking a 6-0 lead before finishing the game at the top of the 6th inning, 8-0.

This time sophomore second baseman, Lizzy Birch, delivered Charlotte’s only hit.

Game Three:

The 49ers came back with a vengeance Saturday, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the 3rd inning. Sophomore first baseman, Meredith Harris, had a perfect day at the plate, delivering her first homerun of the season in the 2nd inning while junior shortstop, Haley Pace, hit her seventh of the year.

LA Tech strove to make a comeback, led by Taria Page and Pauline Tufi who cut Charlotte’s lead in half, 4-2 but they were unable to close it out.

Junior pitcher, Haley Wiseman, led the 49ers to their first Conference USA win this year and improved to 11-6 on the season.

The 49ers will be back at home Wednesday to face Elon in D.L Phillips Complex.

49ers fall to Thundering Herd in close battle

Anthony Vanhook looks to find the rim. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (12-15, C-USA: 6-10) fell to the Marshall Thundering Herd (16-13, C-USA: 9-7) in a close battle, 93-89. The 49ers rallied back to overcome a 14-point lead early in the first half but suffered from foul trouble and were out-rebounded in the second half, leaving them unable to close out the victory.

“A disappointing loss,” Charlotte coach Mark Price said. “Marshall is a team that scores a lot of points. I thought we did a pretty good job on them in the first half, rebounding the ball well and we let all that stuff get away from us in the second half.”

Senior, Anthony Vanhook led the 49ers in his last performance in Halton Arena, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Andrien White also contributed seven rebounds and 18 points. The two got in foul trouble early in the second half, stifling Charlotte’s offense. Guard Jon Davis delivered 17 points while Austin Ajukwa added 15.

The 49ers were able to come back from a 14-point Marshall lead early in the first half to create a close game. With help from Vanhook, Charlotte took their first lead of the contest around the five minute mark. The carried the lead through the half, 48-41.

Charlotte came out strong the second half, going on a 6-0 run and securing a 13-point lead but the 49ers battled through four ties and two lead exchanges during the second half. The Thundering Herd climbed their way back by making it to the free throw line where forward, Ajdin Penava, tied the game at 63.

Marshall secured the lead and controlled the tempo as Charlotte fought to stay in it. With 1:30 left on the clock, Vanhook grabbed an offensive board for a layup leaving Charlotte trailing, 85-80. Ajukwa drove through the paint for a three-point play with Marshall up 89-85 and 34 seconds left on the clock. A full-court press lead to a Davis steal which Vanhook finished with a layup, bringing the 49ers within two points. A couple of free-throws from Marshall’s Jon Elmore secured the Herd’s victory at 93-89.

Charlotte will be in Texas next week as they finish up conference play against UTSA and UTEP.

 

PREVIEW: 49ers take on Thundering Herd in last home game of the season

Anthony Vanhook finishing at the rim around a WKU defender. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (12-14, 6-9 C-USA) will be back in Halton Arena as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd (15-13, 8-7 C-USA) Saturday at 6 p.m. The 49ers will black out the Mine as they honor the seniors at this season’s last home game. Charlotte will also honor the 1977 Final Four team, including a visit from Celtic-great and 49er-great, Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell.

The two teams met earlier in the season as Charlotte fell to Marshall, 110-93. During their last battle, Charlotte’s offense was on fire with seven 49ers scoring double-figures but they could not contain Marshall’s Jon Elmore, who led the Herd’s offense with 28 points and nine assists.

Keeping the Momentum

Charlotte is looking to keep their momentum as they come off Thursday’s big win against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. With four players in double-figures, Charlotte’s offense continues to thrive. Sophomore guard Jon Davis led the way with 23 points and was 3-6 from behind the arch. Davis is Charlotte’s leading scorer, averaging 20 points per game.

Senior Braxton Ogbueze followed Davis with 16 points against the Hilltoppers and continues to be a three-point threat for the 49ers, shooting 40 percent from behind the arch. Fellow senior, Anthony Vanhook, led the Niners with a career-high 20 points in their last match-up against Marshall, so look for Vanhook be a key player to watch in this upcoming game.

Scouting Marshall

Junior guard, Jon Elmore is heading the Thundering Herd, averaging 19 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Austin Loop has been another contributing junior guard for the Herd and dropped 18 points in Marshall’s latest game, a loss to Old Dominion.

In the last half of the season, forward Terrence Thompson has been a big presence inside the paint for the Thundering Herd. At 6-foot-7, Thompson dominated down low with 12 points and six boards against Old Dominion.