Charlotte split its Florida trip.
After beating Florida International on Thursday night in Miami – it was the 49ers’ third straight win, all in Conference USA play, and moved them into a tie for sixth place in the standings – Charlotte seemed to sleep-walk through an early tip-off Saturday at Florida Atlantic.
The result was a disappointing 82-77 loss to the Owls (6-16, 4-5). Despite their record, the Owls are 4-2 in their past six games and are much better at home (4-3) than away from Boca Raton (2-13).
Charlotte (7-14, 4-5) trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half and was behind 44-33 at the break.
The 49ers still trailed by 10 points until the final three minutes, when they made a run. Charlotte guard Braxton Ogbueze made a three-point play with 2:24 left and then shot a three-pointer to cut Florida Atlantic’s lead to 75-71 with 50 seconds left. But that was as close as Charlotte got.
Up next, Charlotte completes its three-game road trip with Wednesday night’s nonconference game at N.C. A&T.
Three who mattered
▪ Charlotte senior center Joseph Uchebo earned his seventh straight double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds – both game-highs. Uchebo had 14 of Charlotte’s first 22 points before cooling off a bit. He shot an air-ball free throw in the second half and was just 2-of-6 from the line
▪ Ogbueze went scoreless in the first half, missing all three of his shots, but he came on late and finished with 15 points.
▪ Charlotte freshman guard Jon Davis was held to nine points for the second straight game and had a game-high five turnovers, tying his season high. In the two games previous to this trip to Florida, Davis had been hot, scoring 21 and 23 points, respectively.
▪ Counting a loss to Miami on Dec. 5, Charlotte went 1-2 in South Florida this season.
▪ Charlotte and Florida Atlantic are very young teams. Five of Florida Atlantic’s 11 players are freshmen, including three starters. Charlotte has three freshmen on its 14-player active roster, and all three are starters.
▪ Charlotte’s 6-foot-3 freshman guard Andrien White – ambitious and fearless – tried to dunk over Florida Atlantic 7-footer Ronald Delph and missed, hitting the back iron.
▪ Josh Richardson, a rookie guard for the Miami Heat, was at the game and was introduced to Charlotte coach Mark Price.
They said it
▪ “We were on a winning streak. We had to maintain that high level of energy, (but) we didn’t come ready to play today.” – Ogbueze
▪ “I was a little concerned, playing an early afternoon game like this. We just seemed to struggle out of the gate today, and it was hard for us to get it back. … I’m disappointed.” – Price