College Sports

Charlotte 49ers bounced in wild 1st-round C-USA tournament loss to Alabama-Birmingham

Charlotte guard Andrien White (2) gets a steal during Wednesday’s 74-73 loss to Alabama-Birmingham in the Conference USA tournament.
Charlotte guard Andrien White (2) gets a steal during Wednesday’s 74-73 loss to Alabama-Birmingham in the Conference USA tournament.

Jon Davis carried Charlotte back into its first-round Conference USA tournament game, but his last shot just missed its mark as the 10th-seeded 49ers fell to host and No. 7 seed Alabama-Birmingham 74-73 at Legacy Arena on Wednesday.

Davis’ missed 3 from the top of the key capped off a crazy final two minutes where the lead changed hands five times. William Lee dunked in a Hakeem Baxter miss with six seconds left for the final margin.

This was after Davis stole a ball from Dirk Williams with 24 seconds left and got it to Andrien White, who hit a 3 from the left corner to give Charlotte a brief 73-72 lead with 12 seconds left.

Charlotte ended head coach Mark Price’s second season at 13-17. UAB (17-15) plays No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Three who mattered

Jon Davis: The 49ers sophomore dazzled with 25 points and 10 assists, hitting two big 3s in the final minutes and 9-of-12 from the line.

Andrien White: He was even hotter off the bench from long range, hitting 5-of-7 threes and scoring 24.

Chris Cokley: UAB had a big advantage down low and the Blazer forward was a big reason, scoring 18 with 13 rebounds.

Observation

▪ Jon Davis would like to have the first half back, where he scored just four points on 0-of-7 from the floor.

▪ Charlotte stayed in the game by getting to the free throw line 20 times and forcing seven early second-half fouls on UAB.

▪ Just like in the regular season matchup, Cokley and William Lee (19 points, 7 rebounds) dominated down low.

Worth mentioning

▪ Charlotte went the final 8:59 of the first half without a field goal, but trailed just 29-25.

▪ Top forward Anthony VanHook (9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) was suspended for a violation of team rules.

▪ Hudson Price scored seven for Charlotte in just his second start of the season.

They said it

“I felt like we were battle-tested. Things just didn’t fall our way.” – Charlotte’s Jon Davis

“Consistency wasn’t there for us this year as a whole. Hopefully this last two weeks, us playing against this competition and playing well, it will be a motivator for showing how close we really are.” – Charlotte coach Mark Price on the season.

“Who else am I going to put the ball in their hand at that point? Jon’s won games for us all year. He’s a big-shot player.” – Price on the final shot

UAB 74, CHARLOTTE 73

CHARLOTTE (13-17): Garvin 1-6 2-2 4, Davis 7-16 9-12 25, Ajukwa 2-5 0-0 5, Price 3-7 0-0 7, Ogbueze 2-7 0-0 6, Aube 0-0 0-0 0, Griciunas 1-2 0-0 2, White 7-10 5-6 24, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 16-20 73.

UAB (17-15): Lee 7-11 4-5 19, Cokley 7-8 4-4 18, Watts 2-4 0-0 6, D.Williams 6-12 1-3 16, Baxter 1-7 0-0 2, Mehinti 1-4 0-2 2, J.Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Madison 0-0 0-0 0, Darling 4-6 1-1 11, Lavender 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 10-15 74.

Halftime—UAB 29-25. 3-Point Goals—Charlotte 11-25 (White 5-7, Ogbueze 2-6, Davis 2-7, Ajukwa 1-2, Price 1-3), UAB 8-17 (D.Williams 3-6, Darling 2-2, Watts 2-4, Lee 1-2, Baxter 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Charlotte 20 (Davis 5), UAB 38 (Cokley 13). Assists—Charlotte 11 (Davis 10), UAB 19 (Cokley 4). Total Fouls—Charlotte 18, UAB 16.

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