Tag Archive | "49ers basketball"

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Niners Take Conference Lead to Massachusetts

Posted on 10 January 2012 by cpip

The Niners find themselves in unfamiliar territory going into their third A10 game of the season: 1st-place. But unfamiliar territory has been a theme for Charlotte (9-5, 2-0 A10) this season as they have played nine of 15 games away from Halton Arena with the next stop being the Mullins Center, home-court of Massachusetts (12-4, 1-1 A10). The Minutemen are 8-0 at home this season, but only one of those victories (Davidson, 73-65) is against a team in the RPI Top 175. Charlotte is arguably (even if solely because I am arguing it) the best team to visit UMass this season.

Charlotte and UMass have an interesting history since the 49ers joined the A10, they were there for our peak and our rock bottom. It only seems fitting that the Minutemen stand between the Niners and their assertion in the 2012 Atlantic 10 race.

Look at you.. scoring on Fordham

The Minutemen boast a high scoring offense, putting away 77.2 points a game. Their offense runs through point guard Chaz Williams (5’9″ 175 lbs) who scores 15.7 PPG while dishing out 6.9 APG. Williams transferred from Hofstra after his freshman year and sat out last season. He is a volume scorer and even though he shoots better than 40% from long range he only averages four 3-point attempts a game. He shoots only 39% from inside the arc, but will take most of his shots there. It will be interesting to see what Pierria’s Henry’s tactics are to shut him down and force him into bad shots. Williams also boasts 3.3 turnovers a game, which will have his defender, Henry, wide-eyed from the tip.

UMass gets 9.1 PPG from PF Raphiael Putney and another 8.6 PPG from his help off the bench, Sampson Carter. Neither of the two break the two-hundred pound barrier and are in for a rude awakening when they try to take their game against Javarris Barnett. They both get a lot of their points inside but will step out for the occasional long shot, still in Barnett’s comfort zone. When Javarris has the ball on offense he should find about as much resistance as he did against Richmond. Chris Braswell will be posted up by Sean Carter (6’9″ 225 lbs), who is 9th in scoring for the Minutemen at 6.2 PPG. Carter only takes 4.5 shots a game, but might have to take more with the rest of the front court at a size disadvantage.

Barnett matches up well with UMass' frontcourt.

The Minutemen perimeter is patrolled by Freddie Riley (very streaky), Terrell Vinson and Jesse Morgan, who all score between eight and nine points a game. These three players are all 6’5″ or taller which could cause trouble if they can pass and/or shoot over Deuce Briscoe and Derrio Green. If either of these players get hot Major should look to match their length with E. Victor Nickerson and Terrence Williams, along with starter DeMario Mayfield.

Charlotte will have to play smothering defense and force turnovers, much like the last two games, to find themselves in this game. If Charlotte’s offense can find points like it did against Richmond the Niners will be in control of the game well before it’s over. The Mullins Center is where Derrio Green’s best game as a Niner took place, when he scored 34 points (8/16 3pt FG) while Charlotte won by double-digits; he may once again find that swagger.

With Dayton (2-0 A10) going to the hostile confines of St. Bonaventure tomorrow before hosting La Salle (Also 2-0 A10, playing Penn tonight) the Niners could get lonely at the top by taking care of their next two. But first things first, if Charlotte wants this time on top to last more than a minute then Massachusetts has to fall.

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49ers Match Hawk’s Comeback With Their Own

Posted on 07 January 2012 by cpip

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but it felt good. Charlotte went on the road to play a (kinda) touted St. Joseph’s team and outlasted them in a low-scoring defensive affair, taking a 57-52 win.

All those early season road games paid dividends today when Charlotte (9-5, 2-0 A10) had to comeback from a late 45-50 deficit to Saint Joseph’s (11-5, 1-1 A10) after coughing up a lead that reached 13 points in the 1st-half. When it came time to make plays to win the game, the Niners went hard and the Hawks went cold.

The early stages of the game featured four lead changes during the first seven minutes. Deuce Briscoe’s 8-0 run against the Hawks, including his 1000th career point in D-1, broke open a 13-12 game. The Niners continued to flex their collective muscle, taking a 13-point lead with 4:38 left when Pierria Henry converted a steal into a fast-break layup. St. Joe’s responded aptly with an 8-2 run to close the half and went into the break with Charlotte up 31-24 at Hagan Arena.

After the break, Charlotte built the advantage back up to ten, leading 36-26, before the Hawks’ wheels finally found traction. Carl Jones scored eight during a 12-0 Hawks’ run that put them up 38-36 with 13:16 remaining in the contest. Two Terrence Williams free throws tied it back up at 38 before Saint Joseph’s outscored Charlotte 12-7 over the next eight minutes, establishing a 50-45 lead with 4:31 remaining.

Briscoe's 8-0 run gave Charlotte a 1st-half cushion.

This is when Charlotte woke up; Javarris Barnett cut it down to a two-point margin with a 3-pointer from the wing. A jumper each from Briscoe and Henry tied the Niners with the Hawks and gave them a two-point lead, respectively. DeMario Mayfield hit both of his free throws (Myself and the five others I was watching with erupted when this happened) to cap off a 9-0 run for Charlotte. The Niners hit 3/4 free throws in the final minute, the last two by Henry after a steal with 7 seconds left, as the Hawks continued to unsuccessfully heave 3-pointers at the rim. The 49ers closed with a 12-2 run to end the game, keeping Saint Joe’s from scoring a field goal over the last 6:36 of the game.

Defense was a huge part of this victory, as Charlotte held Saint Joe’s to 2/21 from behind the arc which is noteworthy considering the Hawks were shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range going into the game. Charlotte held the Hawks to 40.4% shooting from the field and kept a team that was averaging 74 PPG in the low 50′s.

“We thought their length was going to be a problem. We really wanted to pace the game,” said Saint Joseph’s Head Coach Phil Martelli, addressing Charlotte’s defensive prowess and intensity, “We don’t want to be in 50-point games, but you’re in the league and people have tape on you. We just didn’t go at them, they were very aggressive in their switches. We knew their length was going to be an issue and we allowed it to be an issue.”

Charlotte stole the ball 13 times, lead by Henry’s four pick-pockets.

“The guys did an outstanding job of staying with the gameplan, keeping track of their two best guys,” said Head Coach Alan Major after the game. Those two guys are Langston Galloway and Carl Jones, who average 35 PPG between them and were held to 20 today.

“The guys showed a maturity. We got our defense back down the stretch.”

The Niners aggressiveness paid off as Charlotte got to the line 22 times to Saint Joe’s seven (I had to spell that out because it was so low) but both teams shot under 60% from the line. Converting free throws is still a problem for Charlotte, and if they’re going to find themselves in close games it has to be fixed before it bites them. Very interesting difference in attempted free throws since the Hawks only out-fouled Charlotte 14-13. A lot of chippy reach-ins called on the perimeter, especially in the 2nd-half.

Henry and Briscoe led scoring for Charlotte, 11 points each. Henry converted 4/7 from the field and 2/4 from the line. Briscoe shot 5/12 and missed his only free throw in a 1-and-1 situation. Chris Braswell had nine points after going a terrible 2/11 from the field and turning it over five times, but making 5/7 from the line and hauled in seven boards. DeMario Mayfield led the Niners in rebounding and assists today with nine and three, respectively. Terrence Williams was able to pull down seven rebounds in just 16 minutes of play.

Looking forward, Charlotte goes to UMass on Wednesday, the site of Derrio Green’s best game as a Niner when he converted 8/16 3-pointers during the peak (you try putting a sad face inside parenthesis, not easy) of Charlotte’s run in 2010. The Minutemen play at La Salle on Sunday and the winner will be on top of the Atlantic 10 standings with Charlotte and Dayton, 2-0 records for the trio.

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