The Charlotte 49ers wanted to take their frustrations out on App State after a tough overtime loss to Davidson earlier in the week. Mike Thorne figured he would help out in any way he could.
Thorne went off for a career-high 26 points, Willie Clayton notched another double-double despite early foul trouble and the Niners avoided back-to-back losses with a 77-59 defeat of the Mountaineers in Boone Sunday afternoon.
Charlotte (7-2) got off to a slow start in this one, trailing 11-10 to the Mountaineers (2-6) before turning on the jets and pulling away throughout the game. A mix of a 54-28 points in the paint advantage, coupled with a zone defense that held App to just 4-24 from the outside (32.8% from the floor), was the difference in this one with Thorne leading the way as he continued his strong sophomore season season. He was 12-18 from the field with eight rebounds on his way to a career day points wise.
Willie Clayton, who played short minutes in the first half due to picking up three quick fouls, scored all 11 of his points in the second half and added 10 rebounds on his way to another double-double. Pierria Henry, returning from a bone bruise in his knee, held up well–nine points, seven assists and three steals in 30 minutes of action.
Charlotte takes a break from the court for final exams, then heads down to Tallahassee for a December 17 matchup with the Florida State Seminoles.
WBB: #10/#12 South Carolina 76, Charlotte 61
The Niners battled the Gamecocks close throughout the game, but a couple of second half runs helped the nationally-ranked squad pull away for the victory in the end.
Charlotte, without Gabby Tyler, led South Carolina (9-0) 48-46 with 12:42 remaining before allowing the Gamecocks to go on an 10-0 run and open a 56-48 lead with 9:31 remaining. The Niners would eventually find themselves down 67-58 with 3:02 left but gave up a 6-0 run over the next two minutes to fall out of striking range.
Ny Hammonds and Kira Gordon had 14 and 13 points, respectively–with Gordon pulling down a team-high nine rebounds. Elem Ibiam led all South Carolina scorers with 19 points, one of four Gamecocks in double figures.
The Niners (4-5) visit Stetson after exams on December 17.