Charlotte (1-2) executed a late comeback but it was not enough as the 49ers fell to James Madison (4-0) 64-59 in Halton Arena.
Jon Davis led Charlotte with 20 points while Jailan Haslem fell short of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.

“I think it all started with practice. I think we did not come out and practice as hard as we could have and been [sic] as focused as we could have, and I think that’s on me and Jon as leaders of this team.” Haslem said.

Milos Supica had a season-high 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and five rebounds.

James Madison sophomore guard Darius Banks had a game-high 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field while going 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

The 49ers started slow but took their only lead of the game at 4-2 on a fast-break layup from Cooper Robb with 16:22 remaining in the first half. The Dukes responded with consecutive baskets to give them a 6-4 lead. James Madison quickly went on a 15-4 run to take a 21-8 advantage with 9:06 remaining.

The Niners cut the deficit down to eight points on a Davis layup. A Haslem free throw made it a seven-point game with 38 seconds left in the first half. At halftime, James Madison led 30-23.

To start the second half, Supica went on an 8-2 run to cut the margin down to five at the 16:05 mark. The Dukes quickly responded with a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 14 points with 12 minutes remaining. The 49ers, who overcame a 24-point deficit against Oklahoma State last Saturday, trailed by as many as 18 points against the Dukes in the second half.

Charlotte was trailed by those 18 points with 5:53 remaining before attempting another big comeback. The 49ers used a 13-0 run to cut the lead down to 55-50 with 1:35 remaining. James Madison went back up by seven points on a pair of free throws by Matt Lewis.

Brandon Younger hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit down to four, 59-55, with 1:06 remaining. The Dukes converted five more free-throws in the final minute to seal the win. Charlotte struggled shooting for most of the game. The 49ers shot 21-of-53 from the field and 4-19 from three-point range.

“I said from the beginning that this group has fight in them,” Charlotte 49ers coach Ron Sanchez said. “Credit to JMU, I thought they did a great job; they were hungry and they got after us and they played a great game. As far as our team, I think we need to come out with more urgency as a group. We can’t come out and fall behind and give up transition baskets or being loose with the ball. As much as I credit this group for having tremendous fight, I’m not sure the fight was there today from the beginning.”

The Charlotte 49ers will face Longwood on Monday, Nov. 19 in Halton Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Photo by Chris Crews

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