On the Charlotte 49ers’ first trip to his home state in the last game of the regular season, Pierria Henry turned in arguably his best performance.
The junior from Charleston, West Virginia, about an hour drive down Interstate 64 from the Marshall Univerity campus in Huntington, scored 26 points–two short of his personal high–and pulled down seven rebounds as the Niners (16-13, 7-9 C-USA) topped the Thundering Herd (10-21, 4-12), 74-70.
With the win, Charlotte grabbed the 9th seed in the upcoming Conference USA tournament and clinched a first-round bye as they put together their first two-game winning streak since January 30-February 1–when they put down Florida Atlantic and FIU. It is also their first C-USA road win since defeating UTEP in–guess where–El Paso on January 9.
The spotlight this evening wasn’t all Henry’s, though.
Two Charlotte players scored double-doubles–Mike Thorne with 18 points (8-9 from the field) and 10 rebounds and Willie Clayton with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
That came despite the Niners’ 16 turnovers, the impact of which was lessened by their 50% shooting for the game. The defense was able to hold the hosts to 38.6% shooting on the evening despite Kareem Canty’s 22.
Charlotte’s waiting game begins as Conference USA play wraps up, after which they’ll have a better idea of who their second round opponent could be. They’ll be playing March 12 in El Paso at a time and against an opponent to be determined.