The Charlotte 49ers asked senior guard Jon Davis for everything he could muster Saturday, and that was almost enough.
But Davis’ last-second shot was blocked, and visiting Marshall edged the 49ers 85-84 in a Conference USA men’s basketball game at Halton Arena.
“We asked Jon to give us more, if he had it, and he did,” Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez said.
Davis scored 37 points, one off his career high, and he played all 40 minutes of a fast-paced game that was easily Charlotte’s highest-scoring contest of the season.
His final shot, though, never reached the basket. After Marshall had taken an 85-84 led on a C.J. Burks layup with 32 seconds left, the 49ers held the ball for a final shot. Davis dribbled the time away on the left wing, couldn’t find a teammate open, and took a long 3-pointer.
It bounced away, but teammate Bo Blight grabbed the rebound with 1.1 seconds left. The 49ers called a pair of timeouts, and John Kitoko inbounded the ball to Davis on the right wing. His shot was blocked by Marshall’s Mikel Beyers.
Charlotte dug itself a big hole in the first half, falling behind by 11 points. The 49ers committed 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, and Marshall piled up a 15-1 edge in points off turnovers. But hot shooting (56.5 percent from the floor) kept the 49ers in the game.
The contest was tied five times down the stretch, and the 49ers hung tough with their lineup cut to eight players (only seven played) because of injuries.
“It was the second game in three days with an eight-man lineup, and I couldn’t be prouder of how hard we worked,” Sanchez said.
Records: Marshall is 9-6, 2-0 in Conference USA; Charlotte is 3-10, 0-2.
Three who mattered
Davis (Charlotte): The 49ers’ senior standout scored 37 points, one short of the Halton Arena record he set last Jan. 11 against Marshall. He played all 40 minutes, also accumulating five rebounds and seven assists.
Milos Supica (Charlotte): A 6-foot-9 sophomore, Supica scored a career-high 23 points, blocked two shots, and had five rebounds.
C.J. Burks (Marshall): He scored a team-high 25 points, including the winning basket with 32 seconds left. Burks hit 6-of-9 from 3-point range.
▪ During the game, Davis moved past a pair of one-time Charlotte prep standouts – Jobey Thomas (Independence) and Curtis Withers (West Charlotte) – into seventh place all-time in 49er scoring.
▪ The 84 points were – by far – the most for Charlotte in a game this season. Previous high for the 49ers, whose defensive style usually results in low-scoring games, was 68 points in their opener against Chattanooga (an 80-69 loss).
▪ It wasn’t a game for reserves. Charlotte used seven players and Marshall eight.
▪ It was the last of five straight road games for Marshall, which hasn’t played at home since Dec. 10. The Herd went 3-2 in that stretch, including a 36-point loss at fourth-ranked Virginia.
They said it
“Coming out of Thursday’s game, we did what the coaches asked. That was a good shooting team we faced tonight, and we played hard defensively.” – 49er Milos Supica, referring to what Sanchez said was a “disappointing” performance Thursday in a 68-50 loss to Western Kentucky.
The 49ers have a Florida trip ahead, facing Florida International on Thursday night and Florida Atlantic next Saturday afternoon. Marshall returns home against Western Kentucky next Saturday.