College Sports

Charlotte 49ers bounce back with victory against Appalachian State Mountaineers

Charlotte 49ers guard Jon Davis (3) drives in past Appalachian State forward Griffin Kinney (5) during the first half of Monday night’s game at Halton Arena.
Charlotte 49ers guard Jon Davis (3) drives in past Appalachian State forward Griffin Kinney (5) during the first half of Monday night’s game at Halton Arena. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte men’s basketball team entered Monday’s game against Appalachian State looking to stop the bleeding after suffering consecutive losses to USC Upstate and Davidson.

The 49ers once again seemed bound for heartbreak after letting the Mountaineers storm back. A stout defensive performance during the final five minutes, in which it allowed one point, carried Charlotte to an 80-72 win at Halton Arena.

After entering halftime up 46-41, the 49ers (4-2) pushed their lead to 76-65 with 5 minutes, 54 seconds left. With the game starting to get out of hand, the Mountaineers (3-3) mounted a comeback.

Kelvin Robinson and Ronshad Shabazz connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the deficit to five points with five minutes left and sending the Appalachian State fans sitting in the upper deck into a frenzy.

The offensive display, however, quickly came to a halt. Over the next 4 1/2 minutes, neither team made a field goal. Then, with 30 seconds left, Charlotte’s Jon Davis made a layup as the shot clock expired to push his team’s lead to 78-72.

Moments later, Davis made two free throws, sealing the win for the 49ers.

Three who mattered

Anthony Vanhook: Charlotte’s senior forward scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added three blocks, including two pivotal ones during the waning minutes.

Davis: After scoring seven points during the first half, the 49ers sophomore guard scored 12 during the second half en route to a game-high 19.

Isaac Johnson: Appalachian State’s freshman forward, who graduated from Providence Day, registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Observations

▪ The 49ers entered Monday averaging 28 points in the paint during their past three games, including 18 in the loss to Davidson on Saturday. Against the Mountaineers, Charlotte scored 32 points in the paint during the first half en route to a season-high 48.

▪ Despite outrebounding the 49ers 18-7 on the offensive boards, Appalachian State scored just 12 second-chance points.

Worth mentioning

▪ Charlotte assistant coach Houston Fancher served as the head coach at Appalachian State in 2000-09. During that span, he led the Mountaineers to three Southern Conference North Division championships.

▪ After yelling at an official following a traveling call on Johnson, Appalachian State coach Jim Fox was issued a technical with 10:46 left.

▪ The 49ers have defeated the Mountaineers in six of their past seven meetings. Charlotte’s last loss to Appalachian State came in 2008.

They said it

“The good thing is the quick turnaround. We had to get right back out on the court. Sometimes that’s the best thing that can happen after a tough loss, and our guys were focused and ready.” – Charlotte coach Mark Price on how his team responded to Saturday’s loss at Davidson..

“I love big-time moments with the game close and it coming down to the wire. You get that adrenaline going, and I love it. Just playing the game and making plays when you can make them.” – Vanhook on the plays he and the rest of his teammates made during the final minutes.

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