The struggles continue for the Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball team. After a 88-67 loss to the Dayton Flyers at Halton Arena last night, there’s almost no talk about if this is an NCAA tournament team–rather, concerns are that they may miss the A-10 tournament altogether.
Darion Clark had his best game as a Niner, scoring 17 points and 8 rebounds to lead all scorers. Terrence Williams had 15 points and 6 boards (including two threes) and showed some signs of life after being maligned by the fanbase over the past few weeks.
But it’s what happened in the second half that changed everything. After taking a 34-29 lead into the locker room, Charlotte had nothing in the second half. They were outscored by the Flyers 59-33, and after shooting 50% from the field in the opening 20 minutes they dropped to 37%. Meanwhile, Dayton was a blistering 18-27 from the floor in the second stanza (66.7%) after a not-too-shabby 11-20 (55%) in half one.
By the way, Dayton hadn’t won a road conference game all season long until last night. Some of the reaction on Twitter:
What in the world Charlotte 49ers? How do you lose 88-67 to a team that HAD NOT WON A CONFERENCE ROAD GAME? (Dayton).
— Nelson (Born 9/10) (@nelroy78) February 28, 2013
— Joe Vaccaro (@josephvaccaro33) February 28, 2013
Absolutely pathetic showing by the #Charlotte49ers. Gotta hate teams that give up. They will be lucky to make the A10 trny, let alone NCAAs.
— Kevin Schaffner (@iamshaft3) February 28, 2013
Just a thought, but this may become a reality. If the #Charlotte49ers don't get it together, they may miss the Atlantic 10 Tournament
— Tim Parker (@TimRivals) February 28, 2013
We dont always lose, but when we do its by 20 or more. #Charlotte49ers
— Alex Stefanescu (@VAStefanescu) February 28, 2013
To add insult to injury: Charlotte is now only one game out of 13th in the A-10 standings (6-7; Dayton is 5-8)–only the top 12 teams make it to Brooklyn. Two of the next three games are on the road: St. Bonaventure on Saturday and Duquesne next Wednesday before Senior Day against Saint Joseph’s on March 9.
One team that has been rolling along is women’s basketball (22-4, 11-1 A-10), who looks to make history tonight against VCU at Halton Arena at 7pm. The Niners have won 11 straight, tied for the program’s longest winning streak.
It’s Senior Night, the last time we’ll see Amanda Dowe, Jai Forney and conference player of the year favorite Jenn Hailey in a regular season home game. Hailey mentioned to women’s hoops play-by-play announcer Josh Feldman that her mother would be seeing her play for the first time in college, so a little added storyline to keep in mind during tonight’s contest. Without question, this group will be sorely missed; they have almost single-handedly propelled this team into the position it’s in today.
It should be a fun night as another player of the year hopeful, VCU’s Robyn Parks (the conference’s leading scorer at 18.1 ppg), comes to town. We’re expecting quite a showdown between her and Jenn (third in the league at 16.0 ppg) this evening.
The women have one more game after this–a road contest at Richmond on Sunday. Then, it’s off to Hagan Arena for the opening rounds of the A-10 tournament. The Niners have already clinched a first round bye, but right now, it’s a matter of playing things out to see what the final seedings will be. As far as beyond the A-10 tournament, here’s the latest ESPN bracketology, showing the Niners moving to a 9th seed in the Norfolk region and playing LSU (an 8th seed) in Baton Rouge.