Sunday, January 13, 2008

49ers nearly throw it away

It took a big play to help Charlotte stay in position to secure its 60-58 come-from-behind win against Temple on Saturday. A botched play nearly gave the Owls an opportunity to tie or steal the win.

With the clock winding down in the game and Temple down two, guard Luis Guzman drove the sideline looking to score but Charlotte forward Lamont Mack was firmly entrenched in position and Guzman was called for the charge. Charlotte got the ball with 1.1 seconds left and a two-point lead. Game over? Not quite.

After a timeout, Mack took the ball out of bounds on the baseline and attempted a half-court pass to Phil Jones, who was closely guarded by Temple. Jones couldn’t get his hand on the ball and neither could his defender, so the ball hit the floor and rolled out of bounds.

Since the ball wasn’t touched by any player, Temple got possession under its own basket, still with 1.1 seconds left. Luckily for Charlotte, the Owls couldn’t get a shut off with the second chance.

"We were trying to get a guy to touch the ball so the clock would run out. I tried to get it to Phil Jones and obviously it went over his head," Mack said.
Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said he took full responsibility for the play.

"We wanted to look for DiJuan (Harris) and Lee (Goldwire) first if they were open. If not, we would throw it the length of the court," Lutz said. "I’ll take full blame. I’m the one who called that and it didn’t work out.

"They made a slip and we attacked it very well in that last one second and kept the ball on the floor."