The Charlotte 49ers needed a win to get into the Atlantic 10 tournament. No matter how pretty or ugly it was. This one leaned well into the “ugly” column. But, most importantly, it was a win.
A sluggish game that saw the Niners (20-10, 8-8 A-10) only go 15-46 from the field saw them defeat Saint Joseph’s, 52-40, at Halton Arena on Saturday night on Senior Day. With the win, Charlotte is headed to Brooklyn, clinching the ninth seed in the A-10 tourney, which begins Thursday.
This one wasn’t pretty at all. Teams combined for 27 turnovers (Charlotte had 14) and 4-35 from beyond the arc (1-13 for the Niners). In fact, it wasn’t until senior Colby Lewis nailed a buzzer-beating three that they hit a shot from long range. To give you another look at how ugly this was, consider that the score was 19-18 at the half.
But, as the old saying goes, a win’s a win, and an ugly win is certainly better than a loss.
Charlotte was led by Willie Clayton, who scored 12 points on 6-8 shooting. Pierria Henry led the team in rebounds with 11 and also scored 12 points, but was held to 1-5 shooting despite a 10-12 night at the line. Chris Braswell (10 points, 4-10 FG) also hit double digits in his final game at Halton.
Langston Galloway was the top point man for the Hawks with 13 (5-12 FG, 3-9 from three). None of his teammates hit double figures; Ronald Roberts was the top St. Joe’s rebounder (8).
We’ll figure out who exactly they’ll play in the first round. In any event, the Niners are in. And in the tournament, anything can happen.
A-10 Women’s Tournament: Temple 48, Charlotte 47
It was a disappointing one-and-done for the 2nd-seeded Niners in Hagan Arena as they were upset by the 10th-seeded Owls this afternoon. Temple advances to tomorrow’s semifinal game against Fordham.
The Niners were victimized by Rateska Brown, who went 5-7 from beyond the arc en route to a game-high 23 points. Charlotte’s Jenn Hailey, finishing with just five points, was held at bay, but Amanda Dowe picked up the slack with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Jai Forney pitched in a solid 15 points as she helped key an early-second half run that put Charlotte ahead momentarily. But in the end, the Owls made more plays as they gutted out a win over the favored Niner squad.
Charlotte’s postseason fate now lies in the hands of the selection committee, as the loss launches a nine-day waiting period until March 18′s NCAA women’s selection show.