College Sports

Jon Davis scores 38, but Charlotte 49ers needed more against Marshall

Charlotte 49ers guard Jon Davis broke out of a season-long slump Thursday night, but his 38-point performance wasn’t enough in a 91-83 loss to Marshall at Halton Arena.
Charlotte 49ers guard Jon Davis broke out of a season-long slump Thursday night, but his 38-point performance wasn’t enough in a 91-83 loss to Marshall at Halton Arena.

Jon Davis broke out of a season-long slump Thursday night, but his 38-point performance wasn’t enough to save the Charlotte 49ers in a 91-83 loss to Marshall at Halton Arena.

The 49ers battled back several times from double-digit deficits, but turnovers and shaky defensive play late enabled the Thundering Herd to pull away in the closing minutes.

“We’ve got to have other players step up,” 49ers interim coach Houston Fancher said. “We can’t rely on one person.”

Davis, a preseason Conference USA selection, had shot 32 percent from the floor in the team’s first 15 games, with a season-high 24 points against Presbyterian. But he connected on 12-of-23 field goal attempts Thursday, and his performance helped keep Charlotte in the game.

The 49ers trailed 79-67 with 5:32 remaining but went on a 7-0 run, closing to 79-74 on a 3-pointer by Andrien White with 3:29 left. But that was Charlotte’s last field goal until the closing minutes. Turnovers and defensive lapses enabled the Thundering Herd to pull away.

“Turnovers, missed free throws … those are the things that separate a team from winning,” Fancher said.

The first half was one of surges.

Marshall built a 10-4 lead before the 49ers went on an 8-0 run for a 12-10 lead about five minutes into the half. Then the Thundering Herd went on a 15-2 run, opening a 27-16 lead midway in the half.

But the 49ers battled back, with Davis continuing to connect, and a 9-0 run lifted Charlotte into a 34-32 lead with 3:35 left in the half.

Records: Charlotte is 5-10, 1-3 in Conference USA. Marshall is 12-5, 3-1.

3 who mattered

Jon Davis (Charlotte): His best game of the season was a complete performance. In addition to the 38 points, Davis had six rebounds and four assists, to just three turnovers.

C.J. Burks (Marshall): The 6-4 junior guard’s career-high 32 points were accompanied by seven rebounds and two big defensive plays late.

Jon Elmore (Marshall): A former West Virginia prep player of the year, Elmore scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had four assists.

Observations

▪  Marshall shot 39 percent from the floor in the first half. The Thundering Herd hit 58 percent after intermission.

▪  Charlotte is home again Saturday, facing Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. The Hilltoppers crushed Marshall 112-87 Saturday night.

▪  The 49ers had 11 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game – but only one over the remainder of the half.

Worth mentioning

▪  Thursday’s game was the first at Halton Arena for the 49ers in more than a month – since the Dec. 5 loss to Wake Forest. Charlotte plays nine of its final 15 games at home.

▪  Marshall played without 6-9 junior forward Ajdin Penava, the leading shot-blocker in Division I. Penava, who suffered a sprained ankle in the loss Saturday to Western Kentucky, was in uniform but never entered the game. He is averaging 9.1 rebounds and 4.75 blocks a game.

▪  Marshall guards Jon and Ot Elmore are brothers. Jon Elmore is a former West Virginia high school player of the year. Ot, who is older, played at Texas-Rio Grande Valley before transferring to Marshall for the 2016-17 season.

They said it

“Over the first 15 games, I put a ton of weight on myself. Tonight I played loose, and the shots started falling.” – Charlotte’s Jon Davis.

MARSHALL 91, CHARLOTTE 83

MARSHALL (12-5)

Williams 2-8 2-3 7, Mijovic 1-3 0-0 2, West 1-2 3-4 5, Burks 12-19 4-4 32, J.Elmore 6-13 3-4 19, O.Elmore 0-3 0-0 0, Watson 8-15 4-4 20, Bledsoe 2-4 2-2 6. Totals 32-67 18-21 91.

CHARLOTTE (5-10)

Garvin 5-7 3-4 13, Haslem 3-7 4-6 10, Davis 12-23 11-15 38, White 4-9 0-0 9, Ajukwa 3-10 2-2 8, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Supica 0-5 0-2 0, Murphy 2-4 0-0 5, McGill 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-67 20-29 83.

Halftime—Marshall 40-38. 3-Point Goals—Marshall 9-31 (Burks 4-7, J.Elmore 4-7, Williams 1-7, West 0-1, Bledsoe 0-1, O.Elmore 0-3, Watson 0-5), Charlotte 5-16 (Davis 3-6, Murphy 1-3, White 1-4, McGill 0-1, Ajukwa 0-2). Fouled Out—Williams. Rebounds—Marshall 31 (Burks 7), Charlotte 40 (Haslem 11). Assists—Marshall 15 (J.Elmore 4), Charlotte 7 (Davis 4). Total Fouls—Marshall 22, Charlotte 19. A—4,640 (9,105).

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