The Charlotte 49ers’ men’s basketball team entered its three-game road trip, its longest of Conference USA play, knowing what at least one win could do for its confidence down the stretch.
But after dropping all three games, including a 72-48 defeat Saturday at Old Dominion, the reeling 49ers have lost five of their past six and continue searching for answers.
Here are five takeaways from the loss:
When Charlotte (11-14, 5-9 C-USA) opened the road trip, it was forcing 14.86 turnovers per game, which led the conference and ranked 62nd nationally.
The 49ers’ defense, however, struggled to maintain its high turnover rate during the three-game stretch. Charlotte forced 24 total turnovers, including a season-low six against Old Dominion (16-10, 9-5 C-USA).
As much as the 49ers have succeeded at forcing turnovers, they’ve been nearly as good at not coughing them up on offense, averaging 12.3.
That wasn’t the case against the Monarchs. Charlotte committed 13 turnovers in the first half, leading to 12 points, and finished with 18.
Davis eyes scoring title
A 49ers player hasn’t led a conference — either C-USA or the Atlantic 10, which Charlotte was a member of from 2005-13 — in scoring since DeMarco Johnson averaged 21.1 points during the 1997-98 campaign.
After scoring 26 points Saturday, sophomore guard Jon Davis, who’s averaging 20 points, pulled within a tenth of a point of Marshall’s Jon Elmore for the top spot with four regular-season games left.
Saturday’s 24-point loss marked the 49ers’ sixth double-digit defeat during C-USA play. That’s the most Charlotte has experienced in conference play since dropping six such games in A-10 play during the 2012-13 regular season.
Charlotte returns to Halton Arena on Thursday to face Western Kentucky before hosting Marshall on Saturday in its final home game of the season.
The 49ers are 9-4 at Halton Arena and 2-10 in games not played there this season. If Charlotte hopes to gain some traction before the C-USA tournament begins March 8, this could serve as its best chance.