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Florida International at Charlotte 7 p.m. (WCCB)

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Charlotte 49ers’ Lester finding his groove

Shawn Lester is starting to figure out college basketball. And that could mean trouble for the Charlotte 49ers’ Conference USA opponents.

Lester, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard from Mooresville, leads the 49ers in scoring at 13.0 points per game and tied his career high with 24 points against Florida Atlantic in a 62-53 Charlotte victory Thursday at Halton Arena. Charlotte (13-7, 4-3) faces Florida International at 7 p.m. Saturday at Halton.

The 49ers’ sixth man, Lester is playing his first season of college after sitting out 2012-13 due to academic issues. Charlotte’s most physically gifted player, he’s played well in spurts this season, but has also appeared to have trouble at times fitting into Charlotte’s offense.

That wasn’t the case Thursday, when Lester made 8-of-13 shots – including 4-of-6 3-pointers – and 4-of-5 free throws. He also scored 18 points in Charlotte’s previous game, a 71-69 loss against Rice.

“The game is slowing down for me,” Lester said. “It was way faster. But once I got more patient and started taking good shots, I knew it was going to come. I’m still learning the game.”

Lester did have six turnovers against FAU. But he tied a career-high 11 reboundshe averages 4.9, a bonus for coach Alan Major given his 4.9 rebound-per-game average.

“A guy will never get subbed out for rebounding too much,” Major said.

Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14
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