Charlotte (2-2) was led by freshman guard Malik Martin who scored a career-high 17 points to lead all scorers in a 42-39 win over Longwood (4-1).
Dravon Mangum registered nine points and his first career double-figure rebounding effort with 10 rebounds.
“I am very excited that we had a defensive game like this, this is enjoyable to me, to watch this come together and to see these guys lay it on the line, not because we were down or trying to make up a deficit like we have in the past,” Charlotte 49ers coach Ron Sanchez said. “Like I have stated before we are just trying to grow whether we win or lose we want to continue our journey as a group. I think today we learned how to close a game which is really important. We didn’t do it perfectly, but we will watch the film and study and we will learn from this one as well.”
Longwood had two players in double-figures with Isiah Walton scoring 12 points and Lorenzo Phillips adding 10 points.
The game started off slow on the offensive end before Longwood scored the first basket of the game. The Niners were down 5-2 before Martin converted four consecutive free throws to give the 49ers their first lead at 6-5 with 15:14 remaining in the first half.
When the game was tied at seven, Longwood went on an 8-1 run to take the lead. The Lancers led by eight points with 3:40 remaining, but a layup and a pair of free throws by Martin cut the deficit to four points with 1:34 left in the first half. At halftime, Longwood was leading 19-15.
Longwood began the second half on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 11 points. Charlotte responded with a 10-0 run to cut the margin down to one. Martin hit a three-pointer to give the 49ers a one-point lead with 10:27 remaining. The Lancers answered with a three on their next possession before Martin hit another three to give Charlotte the lead at 31-30 with 9:35 left in the second half.
A free throw by Martin and two free throws from Jon Davis helped the Niners’ lead grow to 34-30. Walter responded with a three-pointer to cut the margin down to 34-33. Then Davis drained a three to extend the lead to four points with 6:49 remaining. Mangum made two consecutive layups to give Charlotte a 41-33 lead.
The Lancers went on a 6-0 run to cut the margin to two with 39 seconds remaining. On Charlotte’s next possession, Davis missed a shot then Walton got the rebound and called a timeout that Longwood did not have with 12 seconds left. The Lancers got a technical foul which allowed Davis to knock down a free throw to give the 49ers a 42-39 lead. Walton missed a game-tying three-pointer which secured the Charlotte victory.
The 49ers shot 11-of-42 from the field and 6-for-22 from three-point range. The 49ers held the Lancers to their lowest field goal percentage of the season at 35.6 percent. Charlotte committed 17 turnovers in the game. Led by four steals from Martin, the Niners forced the Lancers into a season-high 21 turnovers.
Charlotte goes on the road for the first time this season as they face Davidson on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.