Old Dominion fought off several early Charlotte 49er surges Saturday night and pulled away in the final six minutes of a 72-48 Conference USA victory in Norfolk, Va.
The Monarchs’ top-ranked C-USA defense forced the 49ers into 18 turnovers and limited Charlotte to 30 percent field-goal shooting. Jon Davis was the bright spot for the 49ers, scoring 26 points.
Charlotte (11-14, 5-9 C-USA) trailed by 11 points early in the second half but battled back to 40-38 with 13 minutes, 8 seconds remaining. The Monarchs (16-10, 9-5) rebuilt the lead to 10, but the 49ers narrowed the lead to 50-46 on a Davis layup with 6:13 to play.
Then the wheels fell off for the 49ers, as Old Dominion – forcing Charlotte into long jump shots and grabbing nearly all the late-game rebounds – finished on a 22-2 run. The Monarchs outrebounded the 49ers 43-32, building all that edge in the second half, and had 12 offensive rebounds to Charlotte’s five.
The 49ers scuttled their chances in the first half because of errors. Averaging 12 turnovers a game, Charlotte committed 13 in the opening 20 minutes and Old Dominion converted those into 12 points.
3 who mattered
Zoran Talley, Old Dominion: He came off the bench and finished with 17 points. Talley scored back-to-back layups in the second half after Charlotte had narrowed ODU’s lead to 40-38.
Ahmad Caver, Old Dominion: He scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. When the 49ers closed to within 50-46, Caver scored on a layup and then hit a 3-pointer.
Jon Davis, Charlotte: He was the 49ers’ only weapon Saturday night, scoring 26 points against a defense that was keying on him.
▪ Davis hit eight of 20 shots (40 percent) from the floor. The rest of the 49ers made seven of 30, for 23 percent.
▪ Old Dominion stopped the 49ers inside, shutting out Najee Garvin and limiting Anthony Vanhook to two points.
▪ Charlotte scored two points in the last 5:08 of the first half and two points in the final 6:13 of the second half.
▪ Old Dominion leads the league in attendance, averaging 6,417 per game. The 49ers are fourth, with an average of 4,428.
▪ In the teams’ Jan. 21 meeting in Charlotte, a 74-72 49er victory, each team was whistled for two technical fouls. None were called Saturday night.
▪ The 49ers have their final home games of the season Thursday (Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.) and Saturday (Marshall, 6 p.m.).