Charlotte, NC – The Charlotte 49ers beat the Old Dominion Monarchs in a tough defensive game 53-47. From the start of the game both teams were in defensive mode. Old Dominion Head Coach Jeff Jones and Charlotte Head Coach Ron Sanchez pride themselves by winning on the defensive side of the ball and that’s what both teams showcased for the fans.
Charlotte guard Jordan Shepherd came back from missing two games and scored six points and added four rebounds with two assists. It didn’t show on the stat sheet but his presence and leadership ability helped the 49ers with his pick and roll offense and setting his teammates for open shots.
At the beginning of the game the 49ers played great pressure defense against Old Dominion by showing double teams and moving their feet and getting back to their man. Charlotte guard’s Cooper Robb and Luka Vasic picked up the offense by making two 3-pointers and bringing their lead to eight with 11:49 remaining. Old Dominion guard Malik Curry (15 points) kept his team close by sharing the ball and using his quickness and tight handles to attack the rim. Old Dominion had a big advantage in the paint by scoring 38 points near the rim and Old Dominion forward Aaron Carver was a big reason why.
Carter finished with nine points and added nine rebounds and had a lot of energy and activity on the glass. Charlotte guard Drew Edwards scored 10 points in the first half and 12 points total with two 3-pointers. He used his good basketball IQ by making smart basketball plays and relying on his sweet spots on the floor to stretch the lead. 49ers guard Jahmir Young led the team at the end of the half by scoring an easy open court layup and getting the 49ers lead to ten at the half. In the first half Old Dominion only made 1-of-11 3-pointers while the 49ers connected on 5-of-11 3-pointers.
In the second half Old Dominion guard Curry and 49ers guard Shepherd showed their crafty shot making and their willingness to make their teammates better. Both teams were going at it on defense with steals and deflections. Charlotte’s Robb hit a big 3-pointer to increase their lead to five points with nine minutes remaining. Old Dominion continued to fight hard but was rushing their shots in their half-court offense.
Charlotte kept stretching the lead with their pressure on defense and points in the paint and they were leading by nine with 7:19 remaining. Old Dominion was very active on the offensive boards but they kept missing important free throws late to keep the game close. Charlotte’s Young took over the game late by hitting a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 11 with 3:50 remaining and then made some late bonus free throws to help the 49ers outlast Old Dominion by six.
Charlotte’s next game is at Marshall (8-9, 2-2) while Old Dominion is at Western Kentucky (10-6, 3-1), both on January 16th.
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