The Charlotte 49ers trailed by as much as 17 points in the second half on Thursday night. The 49ers fought hard and cut the lead down to a one possession late in the game but could not seal the deal as the Niners fell to the FIU Panthers 69-66. With this loss, Charlotte remains winless in conference play (0-3) and on the road (0-4) this season.
Charlotte finished the game with three players in double figures, led by Jon Davis who finished the game with 24 points and made four three pointers on the night. Freshman Brandon Younger finished the game with a season-high 16 points and Milos Supica finished with 12 points.
FIU also had three players in double figures, led by Trejon Jacob who finished the game with 19 points. Brian Beard Jr. came into tonight’s game as the leadings scorer, averaging 19.5 points per game for the Panthers but was held to eight points off of 2-for-16 shooting.
Charlotte had a slow start to the game as the Niners committed 14 turnovers and only recorded seven points with 5:32 remaining in the first half. Younger scored the first points of the game for the Niners but then the Panthers scored 18 of the next 22 points to take a 18-6 lead. With Charlotte trailing 30-13, the 49ers closed the first half with a 12-4 run, cutting the lead down to single digits going into the second half.
FIU started off the second half strong scoring 17 points in the first five minutes of the half capped off by Willy Nunez Jr. who made a three pointer. With the score at 51-34, Charlotte would score six straight points led by Jaylan McGill to cut the lead to 11. FIU, however, would push the lead back up to 15. The Niners and the Panthers would trade buckets the next few minutes and the Panthers would lead 60-46. Charlotte would then go on a 14-2 run led by Davis which cut the lead down to two points with 2:40 remaining in the game.
Beard Jr. scored four points for the Panthers which helped push the lead to five for FIU with 38 seconds left. After a made free-throw for the Panthers, Davis would score a layup and a three pointer for the Niners to cut the lead down to one with 13 seconds left in the game. Charlotte would then foul Beard Jr. who only made one of his two free throws, giving the Niners a chance to win. With under five seconds remaining, Davis committed a turnover for the Niners which sealed the deal for a Panthers victory.
Charlotte finished the game shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from the three-point line. FIU only shot 37.3 percent overall and 33.3 percent from behind the arc. The 49ers also out-rebounded the Panthers 41-38 in the game.
The Charlotte 49ers will continue their Florida road trip when they take on the FAU Owls on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4 p.m.