Charlotte defeats Saint Joseph’s 52-40 for 20th win of the season

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Charlotte, NC – Behind a total team defensive effort and three double-figure scorers, the Charlotte 49ers (20-10, A-10: 8-8) defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (17-12, A-10: 8-8), 52-40, on Senior Day. With the victory, the 49ers clinch a berth in next week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament. The 49ers finish the regular-season tied for eighth and probably will be the ninth seed in the A-10 Tournament.

“I was proud of our team,” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “We got back to defending the way we know how.”

The 49ers defense held Saint Joseph’s to 40 points which is their lowest point total since scoring 39 points against Villanova, February 9, 2007. The 49ers defense limited Saint Joseph’s to 29.2% shooting from the field and 13.6% shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Pierria Henry recorded his second straight double-double with 12 points (ten of his points came from the free throw line) and 11 rebounds. Willie Clayton scored Charlotte’s first six points and finished the game with 12 points. Chris Braswell recorded his 73rd career double-figure scoring game with 10 points.

In the second half, the 49ers scored 34 points and recorded only three turnovers in the half.

Charlotte finished the game with a 42-30 advantage on the boards. Henry led the 49ers with 11 rebounds. Denzel Ingram and Darion Clark each grabbed seven rebounds apiece.

With the game tied at 4 at the 16:06 mark, Saint Joseph’s went on a 9-2 run taking a 13-6 lead when Carl Jones scored at the 13:22 mark.

Then, Charlotte went on a 6-0 run behind the scoring of Henry and Clark cutting Saint Joseph’s lead to one, 13-12, when Henry scored inside with 8:53 on the clock.

Saint Joseph’s maintained a lead of 1-3 points for the remainder of the first half. Braswell cut Saint Joseph’s halftime lead to 19-18 when he scored at the 1:07 mark of the first half.

Braswell gave the 49ers the lead when he scored 33 seconds into the second half. The lead exchanged hands a couple of times over the next two minutes. Then, Clayton scored inside at the 17:45 mark of the second half giving the 49ers a 24-23 lead. The 49ers pushed their lead to 31-25 when Henry knocked down a free throw at the 13:13 mark.

Saint Joseph’s went on an 11-5 run over the next five minutes tying the score for the third time on a C.J. Aiken dunk with 8:23 on the clock.

The 49ers regained the lead for good with a 5-0 run over the next three minutes taking a 41-36 lead behind the scoring of Clark, Braswell and Henry.

The 49ers scored 12 of their final 15 points from the free throw line. Henry made seven free throws over the final 5:34 of the game.

Charlotte’s final margin of victory came when Colby Lewis connected on a three from the corner at the buzzer in his final home game.

Charlotte returns to action in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday, March 14.

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