Four in Double-Figures as 49ers Top Hilltoppers in Overtime

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Behind four double-figure scorers and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch, the Charlotte 49ers (5-4, C-USA: 1-1) defeated the preseason Conference USA favorite WKU Hilltoppers (8-3, C-USA: 1-1), 75-71, in overtime in Halton Arena.

Jahmir Young scored a game-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Jordan Shepherd scored 15 points while dishing out five assists. Milos Supica scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jhery Matos rounded out the 49ers double-figure scorers with 10 points while recording four steals. Brice Williams added seven points to the 49ers’ attack.

After being outscored by 20 points in the paint in yesterday’s game against WKU, the 49ers responded with a 38-36 advantage in points in the paint.

In overtime, the 49ers went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line which clinched the league victory for Charlotte.

HOW IT HAPPENED
FIRST HALF – The game began with the teams exchanging baskets for the first five minutes. With the game tied at six, Charlotte scored six straight points behind baskets by Young and Jhery Matos and two free throws by Brice Williams taking a 12-6 lead with twelve and a half minutes on the clock. Charlotte maintained a lead of several points for the next three minutes until the Hilltoppers tied the score at 16 at the nine-minute mark. Over the next five minutes, there were several lead changes and a couple of ties. With four minutes on the clock, the score was tied at 25, Charlotte finished the half scoring 11 of the final 16 points taking a 36-30 halftime lead after Supica scored inside in the final seconds off an assist by Young.

SECOND HALF – WKU scored the first five points of the half cutting Charlotte’s lead to one point early in the half. Charlotte responded with a 6-0 run behind a three-point play by Shepherd and a three by Young pushing their lead to 42-35 with 16:38 on the clock. At 14:41, a Matos fast break layup pushed the 49ers lead to 46-37. WKU scored 17 of the next 22 points taking a 54-51 lead with 6:50 left in the half. With four minutes left in regulation, WKU led the 49ers 62-55. Charlotte went on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes tying the score at 64 when Supica scored inside with just over a minute left in regulation. Shepherd, Young, and Matos also scored during the 49ers’ run. Neither team was able to score the go-ahead basket in the final minute sending the game into overtime tied at 64.

OVERTIME – The two teams exchanged baskets for the first couple of minutes of overtime. With 3:07 on the clock, Supica knocked down two free throws giving the 49ers a 68-67 lead which they would not relinquish. Charlotte closed out the win with clutch free-throw shooting by Shepherd and Young over the final two minutes of the overtime period.

QUOTABLE 
“I am really proud of them,” Charlotte 49ers coach Ron Sanchez said.  “Not because we won but because of the way they played down the stretch. They made fewer mistakes.  As a coach that is all you want you to do, you want to keep striving forward. Today they did a really good job of forgetting about yesterday, learning from their mistakes, and doing the non-obvious things really well.”

NOTES

  • Jahmir Young’s 24 points marked his fourth straight 20-point scoring game. Young has recorded 30 career double-digit scoring games.
  • Young grabbed a season-high-tying seven rebounds while dishing out a career-high seven assists.
  • Jordan Shepherd tallied his 29th career double-figure scoring game with his 15 points. Shepherd also dished out five assists for the second time this season.
  • Milos Supica’s 12 points marked his 26th career double-figure scoring game. With seven rebounds, Supica has grabbed at least five rebounds in a game 45 times in his career
  • Jhery Matos scored 10 points for his third double-figure scoring game of the season.
  • With four Niners scoring in double-figures, Charlotte has had two games this season with at least four double-figure scorers. Five Niners scored in double-figures in Charlotte’s win over South Carolina State, December 7.
  • Charlotte’s 38 points in the paint is tied for the second-highest points in the paint total that the 49ers have had this season.

NEXT GAME
The 49ers travel to Huntington, West Virginia to play Marshall in a two-game Conference USA series beginning next Friday, January 8 at 6 p.m.