College Sports

Charlotte 49ers fall behind early, can’t catch Wake Forest

Wake Forest’s John Collins dunks as Charlotte’s Najee Garvin (0) closes in during the first half of a Tuesday night’s game in Winston-Salem.
Wake Forest’s John Collins dunks as Charlotte’s Najee Garvin (0) closes in during the first half of a Tuesday night’s game in Winston-Salem. AP

On the heels of Saturday’s home win against the Pac-12’s Oregon State, the Charlotte men’s basketball team entered Tuesday’s game against Wake Forest knowing it had what it takes to hang with a Power 5 conference opponent.

From the opening tip, however, the 49ers seemed to lack the confidence they displayed against the Beavers. That ultimately reflected on the scoreboard, as Charlotte suffered a 91-74 defeat.

Anthony Vanhook, the 49ers’ senior forward, opened the scoring with a jumper 44 seconds into the game. The 49ers (6-3), however, made only one more shot over the next eight minutes, and the Deacons (7-2) established themselves inside.

Wake Forest held a 16-0 edge in points in the paint at one point, and ultimately stretched its first-half lead to 22 points while outscoring Charlotte 39-15, including a 22-3 run.

The 49ers trimmed the deficit to 45-27 entering halftime and came as close as 15 points on three occasions in the second half. Each time, however, the Deacons responded with a basket to help secure the win.

Three who mattered

Collins, Wake Forest: The Deacons’ leading scorer finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds en route to his fourth straight double-double.

Bryant Crawford, Wake Forest: A sophomore guard, he finished with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He also added three assists.

Braxton Ogbueze, Charlotte: Ogbueze, a senior guard, snapped his recent shooting slump and led the 49ers with 20 points. He went 6-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Observations

▪ The Deacons established their lead by going 12-for-13 from the free throw line in the first half. They finished 27-for-34 at the stripe.

▪ After picking up his second foul with 16 minutes, 37 seconds left in the first half, Vanhook, Charlotte’s leading rebounder, exited the game and didn’t return until the second half.

Worth mentioning

▪ Charlotte coach Mark Price and Wake Forest coach Danny Manning played against each other in the 1993 and 1994 NBA All-Star Games. Tuesday’s meeting marked just the third time in college basketball history that a game featured opposing head coaches who appeared in the same NBA All-Star Game during their playing careers.

▪ Sophomore guard Keyshawn Woods played for the 49ers as a freshman during the 2014-15 season before transferring to Wake Forest. He scored 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting against his former team.

▪ Charlotte’s J.C. Washington, a junior forward, returned to action after missing Saturday’s game because of a concussion. He fouled out with eight minutes left, with one rebound and no points

They said it

“I thought in the second half we played a little bit better. But when you go on the road against a good team like this, you can’t dig yourself in a hole. Unfortunately we did that tonight, and we weren’t able to recover from it.” – Price on his team falling behind early.

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