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.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
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