GAME NOTES: The Charlotte 49ers continue a three-game homestand, as they welcome the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to Halton Arena on Sunday evening for a non-conference affair.
Alan Major's 49ers have won two of their last three games and opened up their current homestand with an 81-76 win over USC Upstate. Charlotte has won seven of its eight games at Halton Arena this season and comes in with an 8-3 record overall.
Brian Gregory's Yellow Jackets are sporting an 8-4 overall record. The team had a three-game win streak halted last weekend at Vanderbilt, falling to the Commodores, 76-63. Georgia Tech has split a pair of true road games this season.
The Yellow Jackets have won the first six meetings with the 49ers, but it was Charlotte that finally got in the win column in series play with an 86-83 decision in Atlanta in 2011.
Georgia Tech led by two points at the half against Vanderbilt in Nashville last weekend, but couldn't hold on, shooting just 34.4 percent from the floor after the break, compared to a scorching 59.1 percent from the hometown Commodores. Center Daniel Miller led the way in defeat with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Solomon Poole came off the bench to tally 11 points in 17 minutes of work.
The offensive numbers have been equally mediocre on the season for Tech, which enters play averaging a modest 73.2 ppg on .443 shooting. The team has really struggled with long-range accuracy, converting just 29.5 percent of its 3- point attempts. Still, four of the team's five starters are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Trae Golden's 12.3 ppg. Marcus Georges-Hunt is a close second at 11.9 ppg, followed by Miller and Robert Carter Jr. at 10.6 and 10.5 ppg, respectively. Carter (9.4 rpg) and Miller (8.1 rpg) are a strong rebounding duo.
Ben Cherry was on fire from behind the arc, converting 6-of-8 from long range and finishing with a career-high 20 points, as Charlotte got past USC Upstate last time out. Terrence Williams, Willie Clayton and Shawn Lester all added 13 points to the cause in the victory.
A strong team offensively, Charlotte is averaging 76.1 ppg, doing so on a decent .450 shooting. The team is also doing a solid job on the boards, holding a +4.9 rebounding advantage, while grabbing just over 40 rebounds per game. A balanced attack for Charlotte features five players with double-digit scoring averages. Lester leads the way at 14.5 ppg despite starting just one game this year. Clayton is next in line at 12.0 ppg and is averaging a near double-double with a team-best 9.6 rpg. Williams ranks third on the team at 11.2 ppg, while Mike Thorne Jr. and Pierra' Henry chip in with 11.0 ppg each. Henry also leads the team in both assists (6.0 apg) and steals (2.6 spg).
Charlotte has some big wins on the season (Kansas State and Michigan) and defends its home floor extremely well. The Yellow Jackets may struggle in this one and if they get off to a slow start, the 49ers are sure to take advantage.
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