Oklahoma State’s rugged defense shut down the Charlotte 49ers’ offense in the first half, and the host Cowboys rolled to an 83-65 basketball victory Monday night.
The 49ers, who scored 116 points against Division 3 Methodist Friday, were held to six field goals in the first half by the Big 12’s Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, the Cowboys made several 3-pointers early and built a 21-point lead at halftime.
Charlotte fell behind by 30 points, 72-42, with a little more than nine minutes left in the game but made a late run to close within 20 points.
The 49ers stayed close for the first few minutes, but their shooting problems eventually caught up with them. Charlotte trailed 9-6 after junior guard Andrien White connected on a short jump shot, but the Cowboys then went on a 30-7 run over the next 9:48.
By that time, it was 39-13.
Oklahoma State, which limited Pepperdine to 28 percent shooting from the floor Friday night, held the 49ers to 26 percent shooting before intermission.
The Cowboys keyed on 49ers standout junior guard Jon Davis. He scored 11 points in the first half and finished with 15, but he was held to 1-of-5 shooting in the opening half and committed five turnovers.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State’s Kendall Smith, a 6-3 guard, had a huge first half, scoring 17 points and grabbing five rebounds.
Records: Charlotte is 1-0; Oklahoma State is 1-0.
“We did some good things. We battled fairly even on the boards, and we kept our turnovers in check. But in the end, we didn’t make our shots.” – Charlotte head coach Mark Price.
3 who mattered
Kendall Smith (Oklahoma State): A graduate shooting guard, Smith scored 17 points in the first half and finished with 19 points and six rebounds. He led five Cowboys in double figures.
Andrien White (Charlotte): The 49ers’ 6-3 junior guard scored a team-high 18 points and was the only Charlotte player able to crack the Cowboy defense, making 6-of-12 from the floor.
Tavarius Shine (Oklahoma State): A swingman, he scored 17 points and had five rebounds.
▪ Davis reached the 1,000-point mark for his career with two first-half free throws. He is the 27th Charlotte player with 1,000 or more points. The all-time leader is Henry Williams (1989-92) with 2,383 points.
▪ Neither team’s big man had a good game. Charlotte’s Jailan Haslem finished with four points and three rebounds. Oklahoma State 7-footer Lucas N’Guessan fouled out with two points and five rebounds.
▪ The 49ers defense toughened in the second half and forced the Cowboys into 14 turnovers – the same number as Charlotte. Rebounding also was nearly equal, with Oklahoma State getting a 37-33 edge.
▪ 49ers coach Mark Price is a native of Enid, Okla., about 65 miles northwest of Stillwater. He played several high school games in Oklahoma State’s Gallagher-Iba Arena and was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
▪ The two teams were playing for the first time in nearly 38 years. Their only other meeting was on Dec. 7, 1979, at Halton Arena, with Charlotte winning 72-66.
▪ Charlotte was coming off a Halton Arena-record offensive output, in its 116-76 opening victory Friday over Methodist.
▪ Charlotte is home at 7 p.m. Saturday against Colonial Athletic Association preseason favorite Charleston; Oklahoma State is home Thursday against Oral Roberts.