Charlotte freshman guard Cooper Robb scored a team-high 12 points in the 49ers’ (5-12, 2-4 C-USA) 55-40 victory against Louisiana Tech (13-7, 3-4 C-USA) on Saturday at Halton Arena.
“I’m very happy with our defensive effort tonight as a team. The lesson today for us was we were thankful for what we learned from Thursday and this is a group that is learning and applying the lessons learned,” Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez said. “Thursday, we had a nine-point lead and we lost our way there at the end, and the challenge yesterday when we watched film was what lesson is there for us? We discussed it and they did a great job today because I thought we were in the same spot with about seven minutes left [when] we started to lose our way again and they found a way to stay together. I am really pleased with the overall team effort, the fight and grit.”
Charlotte held Louisiana Tech, who averages 76.1 points per game, to only 40 points which is a season-low scoring output.
Malik Martin added 10 points, Jon Davis recorded nine points and Brandon Younger registered five points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Two Bulldogs reached double-figures in the game. DaQuan Bracey scored 13 points and Mo Muhammed added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Charlotte opened the game with a three-pointer by Robb. The Bulldogs responded with a quick lay-up from Bracey to make it 3-2 with 19:21 left. Another lay-up by Bracey gave the Bulldogs their only lead of the game at 4-3 with 17:53 remaining. The Niners took another lead before the Bulldogs tied the score at nine with 11:36 remaining. Robb answered with a three to extend the lead to 12-9 with 10:12 left.
Jailan Haslem made a lay-up and Davis hit a three-pointer to increase the 49ers lead to six with 6:42 remaining. Louisiana Tech responded with a 5-0 run to cut the margin down to one, 17-16, at the 3:46 mark. Martin hit a three from the corner which capped the 49ers 6-0 run with just over a minute and a half remaining. Louisiana Tech answered with back-to-back lay-ups to cut Charlotte’s halftime lead to 23-20.
Louisiana Tech started the second half with a three-pointer to tie the game at 23. Milos Supica scored six points as part of a 9-3 run to open the second half and the 49ers were up 32-23 with 16:16 remaining. Louisiana Tech cut the margin down to three on three consecutive lay-ups from Muhammed with 14:03 left. Younger hit a three in front of the 49ers bench to end the Bulldogs run. Louisiana Tech got as close as 37-33 after Younger’s jumper, then went 11 minutes without a field goal as Charlotte stretched its lead to 51-38 with 1:53 remaining. Davis and Jaylan McGill made two free throws each to secure the victory for Charlotte.
The Niners outscored the Bulldogs 18-12 in the paint in the second half and converted 13 points off 15 Louisiana Tech turnovers.
Charlotte shot 44 percent from the field. Louisiana Tech shot 28 percent from the field and 1-for-23 from three-point range (four percent).
The 49ers face Old Dominion in Halton Arena on Monday, Jan. 21. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.