A lack of size has often proven to be the greatest hindrance for the Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball team this season.
However, in their 82-69 loss against Alabama-Birmingham on Feb. 9, the 49ers’ most problematic characteristic was exposed by the Blazers more so than any other opponent, as Charlotte allowed a season-high 52 points in the paint and lost the rebounding battle 48-26.
As the 49ers prepare for their rematch with the Blazers – this time in the first round of the Conference USA tournament – they know overcoming this weakness, specifically on the boards, will be key to making a tournament run.
“That was a big factor in it,” said Charlotte coach Mark Price about his team’s loss to UAB. “If we can be within a five-rebound margin or whatever with a team like UAB, we feel like we’d be in pretty good shape.”
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The 49ers, the No. 10 seed, will also have to combat the seventh-seeded Blazers’ homecourt advantage. Legacy Arena, where Charlotte will face UAB at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, is about 3 miles from Bartow Arena, the Blazers’ home court.
“They’ll have a decent crowd there cheering for them, I’m sure,” Price said. “It will definitely have a road-game feel to it.”
49ers’ women receive No. 5 seed
The women’s basketball team earned the No. 5 seed in the C-USA tournament and will face No. 12 seed Marshall at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Bartow Arena. The game will be streamed by Campus Insiders.
The 49ers just missed out on the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye. With a 12-6 conference record, Charlotte finished in a tie with Louisiana Tech, which won the head-to-head tiebreaker and No. 4 seed. Louisiana Tech beat the 49ers in their lone meeting in January.
After finishing the regular season ranked second in the conference with 19.4 points per game, Jon Davis was named to the All-Conference USA second team after voting by the league’s head coaches and media.
Davis, a sophomore, has scored 563 points this season, which ranks in the top 20 single-season points totals in Charlotte history. With 949 career points, he needs just 51 more to become the 27th player in school history to score 1,000.
Three players on the women’s team garnered four total postseason awards. Sophomore Grace Hunter led the group, earning All-Conference USA first team honors.
Senior Lefty Webster was named to the All-Conference USA second team for a third straight season and was joined on the all-defensive team by redshirt junior Nyilah Jamison-Myers.