On a night where the Charlotte 49ers turned the ball over 21 times. were outrebounded on the offensive glass 24-12 and shot 22-31 from the free throw line, they still won. Aided by an ice-cold shooting performance by La Salle, the Niners were able to get out of their own way and drop the Explorers 74-65 to go 1-0 in their Atlantic 10 farewell season.
The first half belonged to the Niners, as they held the visitors to just 17 points, the lowest amount they have allowed in a half all season. But La Salle opened the 2nd half on a 7-0 run–a half in which they outscored their opponent 48-41. The Niners responded with a 6-0 run of their own but conceded 12 of the next 16 points to get it to 43-36 with 11:45 left. Charlotte went on another 6-0 run to open up a 13-point advantage midway through (four of those points by Pierria Henry). La Salle would eventually get as close as 65-69 following a massive Ramon Galloway dunk with 2:53 left, but the Niners would hold the rest of the way en route to the victory.
Henry had a solid night for his club in the win. The sophomore scored 20 points (7-12 from the floor and 6-7 from the line), adding two steals and an assist to go along with five rebounds. But he committed six of the Niners’ 21 miscues. Three other players hit double figures for Charlotte, including E. Victor Nickerson (13), Darion Clark (12) and DeMario Mayfield (10). Chris Braswell started this one but was held to seven points on 3-8 shooting. Willie Clayton, despite 6 points, picked up a team-leading eight boards, including three offensive.
Charlotte benefited from atrocious La Salle shooting. The Explorers were 32.5 percent from the field (25-77) and went a pitiful 4-29 from beyond the arc; this game would have been a lot closer (and maybe a La Salle blowout) if at least half of those went in. The A-10′s leading scorer, Ramon Galloway, did lead the team with 23 points, but went 7-29 from the floor, 3-14 from three-point land and 6-7 from the line. Tyreek Duren (12) and Jerrell Wright (11) scored about their average but went a combined 10-24 from the field. Galloway and Wright each added nine rebounds while Steve Zack pitched in 8.
There will be a lot of teaching moments to take from this one, but fortunately it’s a win for the Green and White. They visit Rhode Island on Saturday before hosting Fordham a week from tonight.