There would be no crazy comebacks for the Charlotte 49ers on this day. Dwayne Evans scored 23 points on 8 of 9 shooting and 9-9 from the line as Atlantic 10 tournament top seed Saint Louis dropped the Niners, 72-55, in the A-10 quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.
Charlotte got off to a slow start in this one, falling behind 5-0 while recording two turnovers in the process. They did get within 5-4 but from that point the Billikens lead grew and shrunk, at one point reaching as much as 16 (32-16) in route to a 39-28 halftime lead. In the end, turnovers did the Niners in (20 to SLU’s 9) and they were never able to get closer than 11 the rest of the way.
They couldn’t stop Evans, either, who despite his red-hot shooting battled a little foul trouble–he only played 24 minutes while accumulating three fouls.
Chris Braswell had a double-double for Charlotte, scoring 20 points and tearing down 10 rebounds–but committed four turnovers. No other Niner hit double figures; Willie Clayton–the next highest scorer–only scored eight.
The Niners will wait until Sunday to see their postseason fate. While an NCAA bid isn’t likely and a trip to the NIT may not be completely out of the realm of possibility, all bets are on the third-tier tournaments (CIT or CBI).
PIERRIA HENRY UPDATE: Things got scary late in the game with 3:48 left. Pierria Henry was elbowed in the throat and had to leave the game due to breathing problems; he was taken to a local hospital. Fortunately, he turned out to be OK, suffering a bruised trachea.
FAREWELL, A-10: So it’s farewell to the Atlantic 10. While things didn’t end the way anyone would have hoped, there still may be some basketball left to be played. Fans have to be excited for what they’ve seen from players like Clayton, who has the chance to be a high performer for this program; Denzel Ingram is also a strong player despite a few sub-par performances this season. Mike Thorne has shown some flashes and should play a bigger role next year, and Henry has emerged as a leader apart from a few games where he has committed some miscues. We haven’t seen Shawn Lester yet so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table in the 2013-14 season.
The big question is this: why have there been no signees as of yet? Whoever Alan Major brings in, despite the promising youth, they may need to be in a position to immediately contribute if this team is able to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
SEAGER WALKS OFF TO LEAD BASEBALL OVER SIENA: A walk-off double by Justin Seager in the bottom of the ninth led the baseball team to an 7-6 win over Siena in the first game of a four-game set…
After a scoreless five innings, the Niners put up six in the bottom of the sixth to jump ahead, but gave it right back in the top of the seventh. That set up Seager’s heroics, as he stroked a two-out double to score Shane Basen from first and get the fans celebrating.
A doubleheader is set to start at noon tomorrow…