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Charlotte 49ers look to solve turnover problems

The Charlotte 49ers are in the midst of a six-day break as they prepare for a visit Saturday from Marshall in a Conference USA game at Halton Arena.

That gives the 49ers (14-9, 5-5) plenty of time to figure out how to prevent whatever comes over them on the road from seeping into their play as they return home for three consecutive games.

“It gives us a chance to recalibrate,” said coach Alan Major, whose team is 4-0 at home in the league but 1-5 in road games, most recently losing 64-63 at Tulane last Friday and 81-64 Sunday at Southern Mississippi.

Charlotte is much better at Halton, going 9-2 in all games this season.

“Just because we have our white (home) uniforms on, or having the (pep) band or cheerleaders, doesn’t mean things are going to work out your way,” Major said. “You have to earn that home-court advantage by playing hard and imposing your will. That’s how you create a home-court advantage.”

If there’s one aspect of their play on the road the 49ers don’t want to bring home, it’s turnovers. Charlotte averages 17.2 giveaways in their league road game (13.2 at home). That includes 24 in a loss at Louisiana Tech in January and, most recently, 20 against Southern Miss. In that game, the 49ers saw an early 9-2 lead quickly evaporate when they committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions – all converted into Golden Eagles points.

Point guard Pierria Henry had five turnovers against Southern Miss and six against Tulane. Henry, who averages 12.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.4 steals, doesn’t duck his culpability in the turnover problem.

“I didn’t take care of the ball very well (against Southern Miss) and that helped them get easy transition points,” said Henry. “I’ve got to figure out how to slow the game down, how to move the ball around and get everybody involved without turning the ball over. It starts with me. If my teammates see me throwing the ball away, it gets contagious.”

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