Jonathan Schenkel

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Charlotte splits double header in First Pitch Classic

The 49ers played two games in the First Pitch Classic at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 24 against Youngstown State and South Carolina.

Game 1: Youngstown State 1, Charlotte 9

Youngstown State (0-6) had an early 1-0 lead after a solo home run by Maddi Lusk in the second inning.

In the third inning, Bethany Doty doubled to right field. Emma Ocker extended her hitting streak to six consecutive games with a double to center field. Doty scored on an errant throw from the Penguins centerfielder, tying the game 1-1.

In the fourth inning, Katie Manring hit her second home run of the season to deep left field, giving the 49ers (4-5) a 2-1 lead.

In the fifth inning, Doty was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning, followed by Ocker’s triple and a base-hit from Spenser Gray to give the 49ers a 3-1 lead. Later in the inning, Manring registered a two-run single and Imani Rochelle drove in a run to give Charlotte a 7-1 lead. Bailey Vannoy hit her first career home run as a 49er — a two-run shot — giving the 49ers a 9-1 advantage to end the game.

Freshman Maggie Cannon (1-3) earned her first win of the season and gave up one run on three hits, four walks and two strikeouts.

This was the second run-rule win of the season for Charlotte.

Game 3: South Carolina 9, Charlotte 1

Charlotte (4-6) fell to No. 14 South Carolina (10-2) 9-1 in a run-rule shortened game in five innings.

South Carolina scored their nine runs in the first four innings.

Charlotte scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth. Bailey Vannoy doubled to left center, driving in Lizzy Birch.

The 49ers starter Carson Pace (1-2) only lasted 2.1 innings and gave up seven runs all earned on five hits, a walk and a strikeout.

“Defensively, we were pretty strong early on and obviously we opened up the bats and really had a great attack at the plate,” Coach Aimee DeVos said. “We did an excellent job with runners in scoring position. I really liked what we saw. We had aggressive bats and we were sticking with the plan. For not playing in seven days, we did really well.”

Charlotte will be back in action on Monday, Feb. 25, playing against the Winthrop Eagles. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium.

Niners’ comeback not enough against Rice

Charlotte (12-9, 4-5 C-USA) fell to Conference USA leader Rice (17-3, 8-0 C-USA) 61-51 in Houston, Texas on Thursday night. The loss dropped the 49ers road record to 1-8.

The 49ers finished the game with two players in double-figures, sophomore guards Octavia Jett-Wilson and Mariah Linney. Jett-Wilson scored 12 points and Linney added 10 points. Senior Laia Raventós registered eight points to go along with four assists and three steals.

Rice had two players in double-figures, led by Erica Ogwumike who recorded a game-high 22 points to go along with 15 rebounds. The reigning Conference USA player of the week Nancy Mulkey added 18 points.

Rice began the game with a quick 4-0 lead before Raventós found Linney in the corner for a three-pointer at the 8:28 mark, cutting the margin to one. The Owls then went on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to seven points with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter. Linney hit another three to cut the deficit to four points. Three-straight points by Nicole Iademarco widened the deficit back to seven, 13-6, entering the last four minutes. Iademarco’s layup gave the Owls a 17-8 lead with about 2:16 left in the first quarter. The 49ers scored the final seven points in the period to cut the deficit to two at 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Jett-Wilson extended the Niner run to nine straight points, causing the only tie in the game at 17-17 with 9:22 remaining in the second quarter. Two straight layups by Mulkey and two free-throws from Ogwumike extended the Owls lead to six. Ka’Neeshia Brown hit a jumper to stop the Owls run. Brown’s jumper started another run for the 49ers, overcoming the deficit and taking its first lead 25-24 with 2:04 remaining in the first half. Rice’s Jasmine Smith banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer, putting Rice in front 27-25 at halftime.

The teams went back-and-forth to start the third quarter. Charlotte was down 34-33 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter. Mulkey connected on a jumper on Rice’s next possession but a Jazmin Harris layup and a Raventos jumper gave the 49ers a 37-36 lead with 5:03 left. Ogwumike hit a three in the corner at the 3:43 mark, to take the lead back for the Owls. The Owls outscored the 49ers 11-6 over the final 3:43. Rice took a 47-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Owls scored the first six points of the fourth quarter which extended their lead to ten. Linney then took control with a layup, making it a single digit difference again. A Haylee Swayze jumper gave the Owls a ten-point lead, 55-45, with 5:26 left in regulation but the Niners responded with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 55-51 with 3:15 remaining. The Charlotte offense could not convert the rest of the game and the Owls knocked down a jumper and four free throws to extend their lead at the end of the game.

“I thought for the most part in this game our team played very well,” Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra said. “We put ourselves in a position to win the game. The start of the fourth quarter offensively for us was really the difference maker, but at the same time, we didn’t allow that to close the game. We still fought back, we still showed great grit, toughness and just stayed confident throughout the entire game. This was a battle tonight and I think we showed that if we continue to believe in each other and we continue to fight like that, we can have an opportunity to be in every game we play the rest of this year.”

Charlotte will stay in Texas to take on North Texas on Saturday, Feb. 2. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

49ers fall at UTEP

Charlotte (5-15, 2-7 C-USA) executed a late comeback but it was not enough as the 49ers fell to UTEP (7-12, 2-6 C-USA) 57-53 in El Paso, Texas.

The Niners finished the game with two players in double-figures, led by Jon Davis who registered 23 points. Freshman Brandon Younger scored 10 points and added six rebounds.

UTEP had three players in double-figures, led by Evan Gilyard who recorded 13 points. Nigel Hawkins scored 12 points and Paul Thomas added 11 points.

The game started with both teams exchanging baskets in the first several minutes. Efe Odigie’s jumper tied the game at nine with 13:41 remaining in the first half. UTEP scored four straight points to take a 13-9 lead. After Younger hit a three-pointer, UTEP went on a 7-0 run taking a 20-12 advantage with 6:25 left. UTEP’s Kobe Magee made a three-pointer to extend their lead to nine points with 3:07 remaining. Charlotte finished the half with a jumper by Davis and a three-pointer by Jaylan McGill to cut the deficit to 23-19 at halftime.

The 49ers scored the first five points of the second half taking a 24-23 lead when Milos Supica connected on a jumper in the lane at the 17:51 mark. There were several lead changes over the next five minutes. Then UTEP went on a 10-2 run to take a 41-33 lead with 9:31 left. Then the 49ers went on their own 10-2 run tying the game at 43 when Davis knocked down a jumper with 5:07 remaining. Davis scored all 10 of the Niners points during their run. Miner Paul Thomas converted on a three-point play to give UTEP a 46-43 lead with 4:34 left in regulation. UTEP held a six-point lead with 1:29 remaining. Davis hit two free throws and a jumper to bring the 49ers within three points with 42 seconds left. With that jumper Davis scored his 1,900th career point.

UTEP committed a five-second call with 36 seconds remaining. On the Niners next possession Bo Blight made a layup cutting UTEP’s lead to 53-52 with 34 seconds remaining. Davis attacked the baseline and attempted a game-tying layup that was blocked by Jordan Lathon. UTEP made free throws down the stretch to close out the game.

Charlotte shot 38 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range. UTEP shot 36.4 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range.

Charlotte outscored UTEP 24-12 in the paint.

“I was proud of the way we fought today,” Charlotte coach, Ron Sanchez said. “We did not quit tonight.”

Charlotte returns to action when the 49ers take on Rice in Halton Arena on Thursday, Jan. 31. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Defense lifts Charlotte to Victory over Louisiana Tech

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.

Charlotte defeats FAU to earn first conference victory

The Charlotte 49ers (4-11, 1-3 C-USA) won their first Conference USA game and their first road game of the season against Florida Atlantic (11-5, 2-2) 65-60. The 49ers snapped a six-game losing streak.

“We did a good job sharing the ball,” Charlotte head coach Ron Sanchez said. “Defensively, we had a lot of defensive stops. The key to getting the victory today was our defense. We made some shots. Jon’s efficiency today was the best that I have seen. He controlled the game.”

The Niners had three double-figure scorers. Jon Davis led the way with 24 points, a career-high nine rebounds and four assists. Jaylan McGill made 4-of-5 three-pointers and scored 12 points. Brandon Younger recorded 10 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Florida Atlantic had three players in double-figures with Xavian Stapleton scoring 17 points, Anthony Adger registering 15 points and Michael Forrest adding 13 points.

The game started with both teams exchanging baskets in the first seven minutes. Florida Atlantic went on a 7-0 run taking an 11-9 lead with 13:31 remaining in the first half. The 49ers responded with six straight points by Davis to give the 49ers a 15-11 lead at the 8:53 mark.

McGill hit a three with 7:23 remaining to give the Niners a five-point lead. The Owls went on an 8-0 run to take a 21-18 lead with 3:34 left in the first half. Five straight points by Bo Blight and a free throw by Dravon Mangum gave Charlotte a 24-21 lead with 38 seconds left in the half. Adger made a three-pointer with two seconds left to tie the score at 24 at halftime.

Florida Atlantic went on a run to start the second half. The Owls scored seven of the second half’s first nine points to take a 31-26 lead with 17:21 remaining in the second half. Charlotte went on a 15-5 run to take a 41-36 lead on a three by McGill at the 13:34 mark. Younger gave the 49ers a 48-46 lead with 7:12 remaining in the second half.

The Niners started a 15-3 run after Younger’s basket as Charlotte took control of the game. Charlotte held a double-figure lead until the Owls hit three consecutive threes to cut the 49ers final margin of victory.

The 49ers shot 50 percent from the field and shot 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three-point range against the Owls. The 49ers held the Owls to 33.3 percent shooting from the field.

Charlotte returns to Halton Arena to face Southern Mississippi on Thursday, Jan. 17. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Defense propels Charlotte in win over East Carolina

Charlotte’s (5-1) lock down defense held East Carolina (5-2) to 26.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Pirates by 20 in a 52-46 victory.

Redshirt junior Jade Phillips led the 49ers to their third consecutive win with her second consecutive double-double. Phillips registered 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Laia Raventós scored a game-high 15 points along with six assists and three steals.

Justice Gee was the Pirates leading scorer with 12 points while Raven Johnson pulled down nine rebounds.

Charlotte started scoring early with a quick 11-0 run in the first eight minutes. The 49ers run began with a three-point play from freshman Jazmin Harris. Free throws from Harris and Raventós extended the lead to 8-0 with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter. East Carolina tried to end their shooting drought but were denied because of a Dara Pearson block. The Pirates ended their drought on their next possession with a three-pointer from Jade Lewis. The Pirates finished the quarter on a 4-0 run to make it 13-7 after the first quarter.

East Carolina started the second quarter with a full court press which tested the 49ers. Charlotte committed seven turnovers in the quarter. The Pirates used their defense to keep their momentum on the offensive end. Necole Hope and Gee hit threes to tie the score at 13 with 9:33 remaining. The Niners then went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes. Raventós scored 6 of the 49ers points during that stretch, as the 49ers lead blossomed to an eight point lead at 23-15. Sophomore Octavia Jett-Wilson’s layup helped Charlotte close the half on a 6-0 run which expanded their lead to 32-21 at halftime.

A Raventós layup brought the lead to 12 before the Pirates made another run. Two Johnson free-throws started a 6-0 run to cut the margin down to six. Phillips made back-to-back layups extending the lead back to 10 points. Gee responded with a layup and a three-pointer to bring the Pirates within five with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter. Charlotte closed the quarter on a strong note defensively by not allowing the Pirates to score again in the quarter. The 49ers scored five-straight points to take a 46-36 lead at the end of the third quarter.

East Carolina’s defense got them back in the game in the final quarter. Layups from senior Ka’Neeshia Brown and junior Lauren Harley added to Charlotte’s total in the first six-plus minutes. The Pirates used a 10-4 run to cut the deficit to four with 4:56 remaining. Raventós scored the game’s final bucket with 3:17 remaining which secured the win for the 49ers.

Charlotte committed 18 turnovers and the Pirates scored 24 points off those turnovers.

“I am extremely proud of the team,” Coach Cara Consuegra said. “Right now for us, offensively, we haven’t clicked yet. We are going to, and when we do, we are going to be an extremely good team. Until that happens, we are learning how to be a defensive team and that’s what I am so proud about.”

Charlotte will face Wake Forest on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

49ers top Longwood

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.

49ers comeback falls short against James Madison

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

Davis’ game-winning three-pointer propels Charlotte over Oklahoma State

The Charlotte 49ers (1-1) defeated Oklahoma State (0-1) on Jon Davis’ game-winning three-pointer with .6 seconds left to lift the 49ers to a huge comeback win 66-64. The 49ers overcame a 24-point second half deficit in the final 14 minutes.

Davis scored a game-high 27 points, including five points in the final five seconds. Davis went 9-of-17 shooting from the field while going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Malik Martin tallied his second straight double figures scoring game with 13 points while Dravon Mangum added 12 points. Milos Supica led the game with a career-high 12 boards.

Cameron McGriff led the way for the Cowboys scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds. McGriff went 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

“Jon Davis was really kind, after the game in the locker room he presented me with the game ball. How awesome is that,” Charlotte 49ers coach Ron Sanchez said. “I love the fact that we learned on Tuesday and got better. I loved their courage.”

Sanchez enjoyed his first win as a college head coach with Charlotte in only their second game of the season after falling to Chattanooga earlier in the week 80-69.

Oklahoma State got off to a fast 7-0 start then the Niners responded with a 7-0 run which was capped off with a Martin layup tying the score at seven with 12:32 remaining in the first half. The Cowboys made consecutive buckets to push their lead to 12-7. The 49ers went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 14-12 on a Martin three-pointer with 8:47 to go in the first half.

The Cowboys responded on a steal and emphatic dunk from McGriff to tie the game at 14. Oklahoma State took the lead on a three-pointer to make it 17-14 with 7:28 remaining in the first half. The Cowboys led the rest of the first half and went into halftime with a 37-19 advantage. Oklahoma State led by as much as 21 points in the first half.

Oklahoma State continued to hold a favorable advantage in the second half, leading 50-26 with 14:01 remaining. The Cowboys led 54-38 before Charlotte went on their huge run. With 7:47 remaining, the 49ers went on a 17-2 run to cut the deficit down to 56-53. Davis then hit the game-tying three on the next possession to tie the game at 56 at the 1:22 mark.

The Cowboys reclaimed the lead on a pair of free throws to make it 58-56 with 50 seconds remaining. Supica committed a turnover and a 49ers foul allowed the Cowboys to make two more free throws to extend their lead to 60-56 with 30 seconds left. On the next Charlotte possession, Mangum was fouled while shooting a three and made all three free throw attempts to cut the margin down to 60-59 with 18 seconds remaining.

McGriff converted two free throws which pushed the Cowboys lead to three points. Then Supica was fouled on an offensive rebound and he went to the line knocking down both free throws cutting Oklahoma State’s lead to 62-61 with eight seconds left. McGriff went back to the free throw line converting both which pushed the Cowboys lead to 64-61 with seven seconds remaining.

The Cowboys tried to foul Davis to put him on the line for a 1-and-1 rather than allowing him to attempt a potential game-tying three-pointer. After the foul, officials gathered at the monitor and called Oklahoma State’s Lindy Waters for a flagrant foul with five seconds left. Davis made two free throws and Charlotte got the ball on the side with a chance to win. Davis hit a clutch game-winning three off the glass from the top of the key with .6 remaining to give Charlotte a huge comeback victory.

“I put in a lot of work over my four years of college and put in a lot of work in basketball my whole life and honestly I believe every shot that I take is going in,” Davis said.

Oklahoma State shot just 23 percent from the field in the second half and 21 percent from three-point range. Charlotte shot 13-of-22 from the field in the second half, finishing 20-of-46 for the game. Charlotte committed 22 turnovers in the game but overcame that by coming back from a huge deficit in the second half.

“Being good isn’t pretty; it’s not sexy,” Sanchez said. “You got to get dirty. When you don’t feel like you have any more, you have to be willing to dig in. And they did. They didn’t lay down. They just fought.”

The 49ers will face James Madison on Friday, Nov. 16 in Halton Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

One Last Dance

Point guard Jon Davis and center Jailan Haslem are the only seniors on the 2018-19 Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball team. They are hoping to be competitive and have a memorable senior year.

Davis, a 6-foot-3-inch guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is going into his fourth year at Charlotte. Last season he averaged 17.6 points per game, 5.5 assists per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. Davis was also named to Conference USA’s preseason all-conference team.

“I always want to win games. My individual goals are my team goals. One does not go without the other. My individual goals don’t mean anything if the team doesn’t achieve anything. At this point, I’m just worried about getting wins.” Davis said.

Davis is trying to be the best leader he can for the rest of the team and is looking forward to playing with the freshman.

“In the past it’s been by example, but seeing in how I’m 4-5 years older than some of these guys, I’ve turned into a vocal leader. I’ve been talking a lot more. I have a lot of basketball knowledge that I will like to pass on to the younger guys,” Davis said. “I just want to leave a lasting impression on them. I want them to leave here saying that I was one of the better leaders they’ve had. I want them to try to walk in my footsteps. I want them to try to break some of the records that I have here, and I want them to have individual success along with team success in the future.”

As far as playing for Charlotte’s new head coach, Ron Sanchez, Davis is excited to play for him and thinks Sanchez is perfect for what the 49ers are trying to do.

“Coach Sanchez’s impact exceeds on the floor. On the floor, he brings the pack-line defense which is really going to help us out a lot and he brings a lot of things that he learned from Tony Bennett. He has brought a culture with him,” said Davis. “He’s told us that we are going to be good students, good people, and we’re not just going to be basketball players. There’s a lot more to us being a good team then just performing on the floor and that the little things outside of basketball are what matters.”

Davis declared for the 2018 NBA draft without an agent and decided to withdraw from the NBA draft and return for his senior season. He worked out for the Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I knew probably ninety-eight percent that I was coming back to school. I did it for the experience to try and see where I’m at and try to get some feedback from different teams. I got great feedback when I went against some of the better guards in this year’s draft.” Davis said.

Although it is always hard for a collegiate athletic career to come to an end, Davis is looking forward to his future after college.

“Wherever God takes me, hopefully I will be blessed enough to play professionally at some level. If not the NBA, I wouldn’t mind overseas. I would play anywhere because I just like playing basketball.” Davis said.

The other senior, Haslem, a 6-foot-10-inch center from Warner Robbins, Georgia, is going into his second year at Charlotte. Last season he averaged 4.9 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Haslem had his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Marshall last season. The powerhouse started his college basketball career at a junior college called Gordon State College.

“The biggest difference would be the talent level and the energy. There is talent in junior college, but the talent here is way different.” Haslem said.

Haslem has been working on his defense during the offseason, working to stay more controlled and utilize his skills.

“My point of emphasis for improvement has been my defense. Last season, I got into a lot of foul trouble early in games and I think that hurt the team a lot because I wasn’t out there to be a rim protector,” Haslem said.  “I’m not expecting much this season but to be competitive. I just want us to play hard and go out there and set the tone for what Charlotte basketball is going to be in the next couple of years.”

Davis’ and Haslem’s goals are to have a competitive season and to make Charlotte men’s basketball far more relevant again.

Charlotte shutout by UTSA

Charlotte (8-8, 4-5 C-USA) allowed two goals early and got shutout by UTSA (6-9-1, 2-6-1 C-USA) 2-0 in their final regular-season road match. The loss extended the Niners losing streak to five.

In the eighth minute, UTSA scored their first goal when Sarah Bayhi assisted Marianne Hernandez who converted a header.

In the 10th minute, Olivia Nicholls utilized a header to extend the Roadrunners lead 2-0.

Charlotte had opportunities but was unable to capitalize. After UTSA scored their final goal, Emily Truelove forced goalie Michelle Cole to make her first save of the match.

Riley Orr had a great look at a shot that was deflected over the crossbar by Cole.

The 49ers continued to try to find opportunities to score in the second half, as they had four corner kicks in the opening 11 minutes with Truelove and Orr taking turns on who put the ball in play.

With 10 minutes left in the match, Megan Greene had a shot across the goal which was blocked by Cole.

Truelove, Greene and Orr finished the game with two shots each.

The Roadrunners outshot the 49ers 10-9.

The 49ers return home to finish the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 28 to face Rice at 1 p.m.

49ers shutout Elon

Tommy Madden hustles after the ball. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (3-1) dominated offensively and defensively in a 4-0 win at Elon (3-2).

In the 24th minute, John Ranshaw got a deflection from the Elon goalkeeper and put the ball in the net for his first career goal.

Preston Popp added to the lead in the 37th minute. Ethan Sawdon passed to Noah Seach who then passed it to Popp near the goal. Popp put the ball in the net from six yards out for his first career goal.

In the 62nd minute, Joe Brito assisted Tommy Madden who scored to extend the 49ers lead to 3-0.

In the 73rd minute, Luke Vallone scored his first goal of the season when he hit the ball over Elon’s goalkeeper Matthew Jegier into the net for his first career goal.

“This was a good road win,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. “It was a pleasing offensive performance as we scored in a variety of ways. It was exciting to have three players score their first college goals. I was very pleased with our defense in recording a clean sheet on the road. We were very strong, secure, sure-footed and determined defensively as we played the second half in a driving rain storm.”

Charlotte had a 12-9 edge in shots, Madden led the Niners with six shots. Vallone also had two shots among the 49ers offensive attack. Chaouche, Brito, Popp and Ranshaw also added a shot each to keep up the Niners’ offensive energy. Charlotte goalkeeper Elliot Panicco has recorded 18 career shutouts which moves him into fourth place on the 49ers all-time career shutout list.

Charlotte’s season-high four goals is the most goals scored by the 49ers since scoring four in a 4-3 win over Georgia State on October 24, 2017.

Charlotte returns home on Friday, Sept. 14 to face FAU in a C-USA match at Transamerica Field at 7 p.m.

49ers top Furman 2-0

The Niners celebrate after Montgomery scores. Photo by Chris Crews.

The Charlotte 49ers (2-0-0) shut out the Furman Paladins (1-2-0), 2-0, Friday night at Transamerica Field.

With the shutout win, Charlotte has kept clean sheets in back-to-back games.

In the 63rd minute, Daniel Bruce got a penalty kick for the 49ers. Callum Montgomery got to his spot and kicked it in to give the 49ers the 1-0 lead.

In the 86th minute, Bruce took the ball from a Paladins defender, dribbled the ball down the sideline and passed it to midfielder Joe Brito who then passed it to Tommy Madden. Madden dribbled into the box and slotted it pasted the goalkeeper to extend the 49ers lead 2-0.

Charlotte outshot their opponent again, finishing the game with a 13-5 advantage over the Paladins. Charlotte posted a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Madden led the Niners in shots with three. Bruce, Montgomery and Teddy Chaouche had two shots each and Patrick Hogan, John Ranshaw and Ethan Sawdon all added one shot to the 49ers offense.

Elliot Panicco came up big for the Niners backfield again, allowing Furman only three shots on goal.

“First half was little bit of sparring between the two teams. Furman sat in and asked us to build and if we got it wrong they would break. We did not do a really good job of breaking them down and they were very organized,” said 49ers head coach Kevin Langan. “

We got a bit frustrated. At halftime, we made some corrections and upped our pace. In the second half, I thought we got into good positions. As good teams do they pushed back after we scored the first goal, we were again strong in goal, through the back and into the midfield. I am really happy with two goals and a clean sheet.”

The Niners will face Old Dominion on the road on Friday, Sept. 7th at 7 p.m.

Charlotte pitching shuts down High Point

Harris Yett round first base. Photo by Chris Crews

Charlotte scored five unanswered runs to make up for an early two-run deficit to beat High Point 5-2.

High Point (20-16) broke a scoreless ballgame up in the fourth getting a couple of two-out runs for a 2-0 lead. Tanner Wells drove in the first with a two-out double down the left field line. JJ Woodward scored from third on a balk.

Charlotte (19-17) responded quickly in the fifth by posting four runs on four hits to take the lead 4-2. Todd Elwood started things with a one-out bunt for a single. Elwood advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a Tommy Bullock single to center field. After Hunter Jones walked and Jackson Mims was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Harris Yett came up big with the go-ahead, two-out, two-run single to left for a 3-2 lead. Drew Ober finished off the inning with a single to center which scored Mims.

In the eighth, Zack Smith and pinch-hitter Jesse Gonzales hit back-to-back singles while Elwood walked to load the bases for Bullock. The 49ers added an insurance run on a Bullock walk with the bases loaded.

Colby Bruce picked up the win with four scoreless innings of relief allowing just two hits with a career high six strikeouts. Jonah Patten recorded his fifth save of the season getting two strikeouts in the ninth, he needed just 13 pitches, 12 of which he threw for strikes.

Led by Bruce’s six strikeouts, Carson Pinkney and Jonah Patten each picked up two, fanning High Point a total of ten times, marking the eighth time Charlotte has struck out double-digit opponents in a game.

Six different 49ers recorded a hit with Yett and Bullock each driving in two of the five runs.

“We didn’t play great, but we did what we needed to do and our pitching really picked us up again tonight. I thought we played really good defense. The latest projections have High Point in the NCAA tournament winning the Big South. It was a good effort by our pitching staff,” Head Coach Loren Hibbs said.

This weekend is Baseball Alumni Weekend. The Charlotte 49ers will return to Conference-USA action this Friday, April 20 at 6 p.m. at Hayes Stadium to begin a series against Old Dominion.