In the first half the 49ers forward Amidou Bamba was on fire scoring seven out of the first nine points as Charlotte went on an 11-3 run to start the game. Amidou was controlling the paint by setting good screens, making good passes, and rolling hard to the rim. Charlotte guard Jahmir Young kept attacking the basket and was very fearless at the rim with eight points at halftime. Young consistently finished in the open court and had several deflections during the first half. Valparaiso kept themselves in the game with great ball movement and taking smart shots in the half-court game. Valparaiso guard Javon Freeman-Liberty was strong and continued attacking the 49ers defense. Javon used his long range outside shooting and quickness by scoring 11 points and adding three 3-pointers at the half. The 49ers had a halftime lead of 35-30.
In the second half Charlotte’s transfer from Oklahoma, guard Jordan Shepherd came out with a lot of energy by hitting jumpers, contested lay ups, and hitting his free throws. The 49ers needed his energy and effort because Valparaiso forward John Kiser went back and forth with Jordan and hit tough shots from different spots from the floor and gave Valparaiso the spark they needed to keep the score close. The Crusaders were very careless with the ball in the second half and the 49ers had a huge run to take an 11-point lead with 8:49 remaining. The 49ers defense continued to stay aggressive and the Crusaders couldn’t cut the deficit significantly as Charlotte (5-4) finished with the 10-point win.
Charlotte’s Shepherd was the leading scorer of the game with 27 points, shooting 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Jahmir Young also added 14 points and added eight rebounds. Javon Freeman-Liberty was the leading scorer for Valparaiso (6-5) with 17 points, shooting 7-of-18.
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