49ers Cruise Past FIU With Explosive Second Half

Charlotte, NC. – Behind a dominant second-half performance on both ends of the court, the Charlotte 49ers (12-7, C-USA: 6-2) cruised past the FIU Panthers (14-7, C-USA: 5-3), 75-49, in Halton Arena.

Jahmir Young led the 49ers with 19 points, with 16 of those points coming in the decisive second half. Jordan Shepherd scored 16 points and dished out six assists. Amidou Bamba scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds. Malik Martin added eight points and five rebounds to the 49ers’ efforts. Milos Supica scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench.

HOW IT HAPPENED
With the 49ers leading 36-31 at the 16:37 mark of the second half, Charlotte blew the game open with a 13-0 run over the next four minutes capped off by a dunk by Shepherd that gave Charlotte a 49-31 lead. Martin started the 49ers run with an old-fashioned three-point play. Shepherd followed Martin’s three-point play with one of his own. Milos Supica scored inside, and a three-point basket by Young completed the 49ers scoring during their game-changing run. Charlotte pushed their lead to a game-high 27 points, 70-43, when Martin scored on a fast break lay-up with 3:44 on the clock. Charlotte also enjoyed a 27-point lead when Tyler Bertram connected on his first career three-point field goal from the wing with 20 seconds left in the game.

BAMBA HIGHLIGHT REEL BLOCK 
With Charlotte leading 32-28 with 18 minutes on the clock, FIU’s Devon Andrews went in for a dunk, and Bamba blocked his dunk attempt at the rim, which led to a fast-break basket by Shepherd.

NOTABLE 

  • Charlotte’s defense held FIU, who leads C-USA and ranks 14th in the nation in scoring averaging 81.2 points per game, to 49 points, including only 23 points in the second half.
  • Defending the three-point line, FIU was second in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage at 37.7 percent; the 49ers defense limited the Panthers to 15.8 percent (3-for-19) shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
  • In the second half, Charlotte had 14 assists on 17 made field goals. The 49ers shot 65.4 percent from the field (17-for-26) in the second half.
  • The 49ers outrebounded FIU, 39-21. Ten 49ers grabbed at least two rebounds in the game with Bamba grabbing a game-high eight boards.
  • Young recorded his 13th double-figure scoring game of the season with his game-high 19 points.
  • Shepherd tallied his 14th double-figure scoring game of the season with his 16 points.
  • Cooper Robb had three steals in the game, which marks the sixth time this season he has had three steals in a game.

QUOTABLE – “Really thankful for this win,” Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez said. “We didn’t know how much we had left in the tank after this stretch. If you look at it, from when we played our first game last Thursday to today, it’s really nine days; you can go back and say five games in nine days. That’s really challenging for the most talented teams in the country. Really proud of the guys for their effort, proud of the way they ran this little marathon with endurance all the way to the end. Happy that they’re able to celebrate the victory today with the way that they played. Overall, give a lot of credit to our staff; they were unbelievable in helping our players prepare individually and as a team. They also helped me tremendously through this stretch. This victory today, that’s a team and staff W.”

Coach Sanchez On The 49ers Performance – “We know they wanted to get up and down and get some easy baskets, so we just wanted to make them take the most difficult shot they could take, and we wanted to take the easiest shot that we could find. Whether that was at the five-second mark on the shot clock or the 25-second mark, we just wanted to take the easiest shot every single time. Jordan (Shepherd) did a phenomenal job of controlling the tempo and the pace. Jahmir (Young) did the job when Jordan wasn’t in there. Cooper Robb was phenomenal defensively today. We got contributions from everyone that stepped on the floor tonight.”

NEXT GAME – Charlotte begins a two-game Conference USA road trip at Louisiana Tech, Thursday, January 30 at 7:30 p.m.