The Charlotte 49ers fell 70-79 in a thrilling final home game against Rice. Charlotte suffered on both ends of the ball during the first half of the game, only shooting for 28.6 percent.
Rice enjoyed an even distribution of the ball throughout the first half, with four players scoring in double-digits and two others putting up nine points. The Owls completed 53.8 percent of FG’s, allowing them to stretch the deficit to 14 points. Rice’s top scorer, Drew Peterson, closed the half with back to back three-pointers.
Charlotte responded with a three-pointer off of a fast break by Jaylen McGill, cutting the lead to eight.
The 49ers entered the second half with a renewed energy. Charlotte improved to 45.5 percent FG through key plays from Senior Jon Davis who scored a total of 29 points and put up six assists.
The 49ers played toe-to-toe with Rice in the second half of the game, eventually cutting the lead to just one. After Davis completed a three-point attempt at 14:57, Charlotte took the lead 41-42.
But Charlotte struggled to maintain the lead due to Rice’s three-point efficiency throughout the rest of he game. Ako Adams shot for 50 percent 3FG contributing to the team’s overall 63.6 percent.
Rice eventually stretched the lead to eight with 3:06 remaining.
“Not a very good first half, in my opinion, on either end of the floor. I think we played a somewhat selfish brand of basketball which is not what we do,” said Sanchez. “I think we tried to remedy that at half time, and I think we did a much better job in the second half of kind of defending and sharing the basketball a lot better. I think we were taking some uncharacteristic shots in the first half that I think helped Rice in their offensive attack.
“This is a team sport and you have to play together if you wanna have the opportunity to compete,” said Sanchez.
The 49ers will travel to Houston, Texas to face Rice again for the final game of the season at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.