Monday, March 30, 2009

Niners baseball hosts Wake Forest on Tuesday

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team will try for its second consecutive win over an ACC opponent when it hosts Wake Forest at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hayes Stadium. Charlotte (14-9) knocked off fifth-ranked North Carolina on the road last week for its first victory in Chapel Hill in 21 years.

Junior transfer Patrick Lawson (2-1), who allowed just three hits in 5 1/3 innings in the win over the Tar Heels, will start on the mound for Charlotte. Michael Dimock (1-1) will start for the Deacons (13-11).

--Charlotte Justin Wilson was ranked fourth in week four's Weekly Outfield Power Rankings by Kendall Rogers. He was hitting .625 at the time. This is the third straight season a Charlotte player has appeared in the top 10 by-position rankings at this site.
--Wednesday, Charlotte hosts Division II Wingate in a game added due to rainouts this season. The Bulldogs have not played at Charlotte since March 19, 1984. The 49ers will return to Atlantic 10 play, where they are 1-5 to start the season, with a three-game series at Duquesne beginning on Friday.

Women's soccer adds six recruits

The Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team, which has won three straight Atlantic 10 titles, has received six commitments for 2009. The 49ers return 10 starters for first-year coach John Cullen.

Charlotte's recruiting class includes: Jessica Barton of Jacksonville, N.C.; Carrie Dail of Hubert; Lacey McGowan of Fayetteville, Ga.; Jennifer Nye of Huntersville; Taylor Rovito of Pittsboro; and India Winford of Winston-Salem.

Barton, a 5-foot-6 goalkeeper, was a three-time All-State selection at Jacksonville High School. Dail, a 5-foot-5 midfielder , was a three-time NSCAA All-Region selection and as a sophomore helped Swansboro High win the 2006 state title. McGowan, a 5-foot-9 defender, is a three-time All-Region selection and led Whitewater High to the 2007 Georgia 4A state title.

Nye, a 5-foot-5 defender, earned all-conference honors in 2007. She played at Hopewell High for former 49ers women’s soccer standout Lindsey Ozimek’s husband, Eric. She helped Hopewell capture a conference championship in 2006. Rovito, a 5-foot-4 defender, earned All-Region and All-State honors at Green Hope High. Winford, a 5-foot-4 forward/midfielder, is a three-time NSCAA All-Region selection.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Coley gets tryout with Harlem Wizards

Before he makes his appearance in ESPN's 21st annual Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship next week, Charlotte 49ers senior forward Charlie Coley will make a slight detour to New Jersey to play with the Harlem Wizards.

The Wizards team dates back to 1962 and does not focus on winning. Instead, its aim is to entertain crowd using a variety of basketball tricks and alley oops. The team performs at various special occasions, such as fundraisers or sporting events.

Coley put down 55 dunks this year and finished his two-year career with 102 dunks, second all-time in 49ers history. The athletic leaper has put on shows with his acrobatic dunks, jumping over players, chairs, tables and stationary bikes.

"It's a little step in my life," said Coley about his tryout with the Wizards. "I'm excited to be still playing basketball. It's nice to know I could keep waking up and going to work doing something I love. It's just a start, but it's a good start."

Coley is on track to graduate during the summer. The slam dunk contest will air 9-11 p.m. April 2 on ESPN from the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit.

Saturday baseball time change

The start time of the Charlotte 49ers' baseball game Saturday at Dayton has been moved up an hour to noon due to the forecast of bad weather later in the day throughout Ohio. The game was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. The teams' three-game series is set to conclude Sunday at noon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recruiting Update

Jamarr Sanders, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound shooting guard who went on a remarkable scoring run to end his final season at Northwest Florida State College, is making a recruiting visit with the Charlotte 49ers. He was expected to arrive on campus Thursday evening.

Sanders averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game for the Raiders, who finished the season 21-7. In his last five games with the team, he scored 25, 27, 28, 40 and 19 points. Sanders shot 53 percent from the field, including 44 percent from 3-point range, and 78 percent from the free throw line.

-- Malcolm Armstead, a talented 6-0 point guard from Chiopla Junior College in Florida who has received offers from Providence, Arkansas and Iowa, is expected to make a recruiting visit sometime next week.

Top Juco point guard to visit 49ers

UPDATE: Apparently, Armstead did not visit Thursday. Will update when receive more information.

Malcolm Armstead, a talented 6-foot, 190-pound freshman point guard for Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., is expected to make a recruiting visit Thursday with the Charlotte 49ers, sources confirmed Wednesday night.

Armstead's Chipola team finished the season 34-2 and in the national semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. Should Armstead join the 49ers this fall the native of Florence, Ala., would have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Armstead has already received offers from Arkansas, Iowa and Providence. Armstead's Chipola teammate, Justin Brownlee, a 6-7 sophomore forward, has also been a recruiting target for the 49ers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rose on men's bball: "We have to step up"

With the completion of both the men's and women's basketball teams' seasons, Charlotte 49ers athletics director Judy Rose said she is turning her attention this week to getting the men's team back on track.

After finishing 14-16 in 2006-07, the 49ers finished 20-14 in 2007-08 with eight new players and lost in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. With all but one starter returning this season, there were big expectations but they never materialized. One of the team's two point guards quit the team; talented freshman shooting guard Shamarr Bowden suffered a season-ending injury before the season started; and Charlotte lost forward Charles Dewhurst to a season-ending injury in January.

Charlotte finished the year 11-20 and 5-11 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and lost in the first round of the conference tournament. The 49ers did manage a home victory over nationally ranked Xaiver, which is still playing in the NCAA Tournament.

"Am I pleased with this past season? Heavens no. How could I be when you're 11-20? Were there some adversities that were faced? Were there some injuries? Absolutely," Rose said. "But every team has some adversity every year and we should be able to overcome those.

"It's no secret that I think we should finish in the top level of the Atlantic 10 every year. We came into the Atlantic 10 primarily for basketball, especially with the success we had in Conference USA. It's never lived up to that billing to be honest about it. A lot of our fans blame it on the Atlantic 10. I don't blame it on the Atlantic 10. Lots of teams are successful in the Atlantic 10 and getting the caliber of athletes they need. So, we have to step up and be competitive in this league."

Rose said there should be no doubt as to the program's overriding goal.

"Our goal is not to be in the NIT. Our goal is to get back to NCAA play. Granted, we'll take the NIT over nothing. We are working hard to get our arms around the issues that are keeping us from being successful and get back on that path which our fans expect."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A-10 tournament staying in Atlantic City

The Atlantic 10 Conference has completed a three-year deal to continue playing its annual men's basketball tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, the league office announced Tuesday morning.

The A-10 has played its tournament the past three years at the arena but had opened the bidding process this season to other venues. Cities such as Springfield, Mass., Dayton, Ohio, and Cincinnati had expressed interest.

“The decision to return to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City provides a great opportunity to grow our marquee event and truly brand the Atlantic 10 men’s basketball championship,” said league commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "The facility is well-suited for this championship, Atlantic City is a historic seashore resort, and the city has welcomed the Atlantic 10."

There is one change to the tournament's format which had been announced previously. Starting next season, first round games will be played on the home court of the team with the higher seed. The tournament quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game will then be played in Atlantic City.

Next year's tournament is scheduled to be played March 12,13 and 14 with opening round games held on March 9.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Charlotte racks up A-10 awards

Seven Charlotte 49ers athletes have earned Atlantic 10 Conference awards for their performances over the past week in men’s tennis, softball, track and field and women’s tennis.

Junior softball player Emily Jeffery was named the A-10 pitcher of the week, Lamarra Currie and Darius Law picked up track and field performer of the week honors and Michael Anders earned men’s tennis player of the week honors.

Track athletes Sam Jordan and Caitlin Van Dodewaard and women’s tennis newcomer Andrea Rivera were named rookie of the week in their respective sports.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Niners' Carter to miss NCAA game

Charlotte 49ers freshman forward Brittany Carter, a 6-0 forward from Lewisville, N.C., will miss Saturday's NCAA Tournament opener against Purdue after suffering a concussion during practice this week.

Carter, who had her best games of the season during the 49ers' three-game run to the Atlantic 10 tournament title two weeks ago, will also likely be unavailable should Charlotte advance to Monday's second round game in Chattanooga.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Charlotte baseball opens first A-10 series

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team (11-4) opens Atlantic 10 Conference play this weekend, hosting a three-game series with Fordham (4-11) beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at Hayes Stadium. Game times are 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.

Patrick Lawson (1-0, 0.51 ERA) opposes Fordham's J.P. Mack (1-2, 6.66 ERA) on Friday, with Charlotte sophomore Joe Yermal (3-1, 2.05 ERA) set to go against Ryan Flanagan (2-0, 4.50 ERA) Saturday and the Sunday finale features Charlotte's Andrew Smith (2-2, 0.82 ERA) against the Ram's Max Krakowiak (0-3, 6.14 ERA).

Charlotte is 60-21 in regular season play in the A-10 in three previous seasons and 33-9 all-time in home conference games. Charlotte has not lost more than nine games in regular-season conference play, and not more than five at home, in the past three seasons.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Niners have arrived in Chattanooga

The Charlotte 49ers' women's basketball team arrived in Chattanooga Thursday evening by charter flight for its NCAA Tournament matchup with Purdue on Saturday at McKenzie Arena.

The 49ers (23-8) are making just their second appearance in the tournament in school history (they were an at-large selection in 2003). Charlotte won the Atlantic 10 tournament to earn an automatic bid this season and has the 11th seed in the Oklahoma City Region.

On Friday, the 49ers - along with Purdue, Central Florida and North Carolina - will participate in pre-game press conferences as well as open practices at the arena. Each of the four teams will receive game-day walk-thrus on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, third seed North Carolina (26-6) will play 14th seed Central Florida (17-16) at noon, with Charlotte facing sixth seed Purdue (22-10) at approximately 2:30 p.m. The winners will play Monday at 7 p.m. All games are on ESPN2.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Niner athletes receive accolades

--Charlotte sophomore outfielder Justin Wilson has been named to the College Baseball Foundation and Diamond Sports National All-Star Lineup for week No. 4 of the college baseball season.

Wilson broke a Charlotte school record with 10 hits in consecutive at bats over a three-game stretch. He batted .769 (10-for-13) last week and drew five walks for an on-base percentage of .833 and stole four bases. He scored two or more runs in five-straight games and has a 10-game active hit streak.

-- Charlotte 49ers senior Stefan Wiedergruen has been named Atlantic 10 Golf Performer of the Week. Wiedergruen tied for 14th individually at the Southern Highlands Collegiate, an event that included each of the nation's top four teams.

Wiedergruen birdied two of his final three holes to move into the top 15, ahead of five players ranked among Golfstat's top 11 individuals. He finished the three-day event with a three-round total of +3, 219, leading Charlotte into a tie for 11th-place.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

49ers reserve forward transferring

Gaby Ngoundjo, a 6-7 sophomore reserve forward for the 49ers, has decided to transfer following the spring semester. Ngoundjo has not decided on a new school.

"I really enjoy playing basketball and have enjoyed my time with the 49ers, but I think I will be better off at another school where I could see more playing time," said Ngoundjo.

Ngoundjo played in 29 of the 49ers’ 31 games this season, averaging 0.8 points, 1.0 rebounds in 6.9 minutes of play a game. He had six games in which he played 10 or more minutes.

The 49ers now have two available scholarships remaining for the 2009-10 season with at least one – and perhaps both – slated for a point guard to back up starter DiJuan Harris.

NCAA Tournament tickets on sale

Tickets for the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball team's first round game in the NCAA Tournament against Purdue are now on sale.

Charlotte will play Purdue at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga. Tickets are $20 each for the game and can be purchased until 10 a.m. on Wednesday by calling (704) 687-4949 to order.

Tickets will be available for pick-up at the Charlotte 49ers Athletic Ticket Office on Wednesday from noon until 5 p.m. and on Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon. Otherwise, tickets will be left at Team Will Call on Saturday in Chattanooga.

If interested in making hotel reservations, the team hotel is DoubleTree Hotel at (423) 756-5150.

49ers' Coley invited to dunk contest

Charlotte 49ers senior forward Charlie Coley isn't quite done with his college career just yet.
Coley, a 6-foot-7 forward, has been invited to participate in the 2009 State Farm College Slam Dunk Competition which will be held April 2 in Auburn Hills, Mich.

In his two-year career with the 49ers, Coley finished with 102 dunks, second all-time in school history. He won Charlotte's last two preseason Basketball Madness dunk competitions - the first a dunk over a table with a folding chair atop and this season by dunking over his 6-foot-10 teammate, Phil Jones.

Niners baseball adds two games

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team added a pair of home games to the 2009 schedule to make up for some recent games lost due to rain. Charlotte will host Belmont Abbey on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Wingate on April 1 at 6 p.m.

Charlotte (10-3) received five votes in this Monday’s USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, the first votes it has received in a poll this season. The Niners have won 10 straight games and host USC Upstate at 6 p.m. today at Hayes Stadium.

Monday, March 16, 2009

49ers women get NCAA ticket

Charlotte (23-8) was seeded 11th in the Oklahoma City Region and will play sixth-seeded Purdue (22-10) at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn., in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

The winner of the Charlotte-Purdue game will play Monday against the winner of the noon contest Saturday between No.3-seeded North Carolina and 14th-seeded Central Florida.

The 49ers won the Atlantic 10 tournament last week.

Charlotte players earn A-10 tennis, baseball awards

Charlotte 49ers senior Yudeshnee Pillay was named co-women’s tennis player of the week in the Atlantic 10 Conference and sophomore Justin Wilson was named the league's baseball player of the week.

Pillay went undefeated in singles and 2-1 in doubles play. She leads Charlotte with 16 singles wins, including a 10-0 mark in the spring season. She and partner Ana Spivakovsky are 14-4 together at No. 1 doubles.

Wilson broke a school record with 10 hits in consecutive at bats over a three-game stretch. He batted .769 (10-for-13) this past week, drew five walks and stole four bases. He has scored two or more runs in five-straight games and has a nine-game active hit streak. He leads the team this season in hits, runs, batting average, slugging, on-base percentage and stolen bases.

Charlotte finishes tied for 11th in golf

Charlotte senior Stefan Wiedergruen tied for 14th and the 49ers tied for 11th after the final round at the highly-competitive Southern Highlands Collegiate. The 15-team field included each of the nation's top four teams and all but one team in the field is ranked in Golfstat's top 50.

Charlotte, 50th in Golfstat's latest ranking, shot 16-over par in the third round to tie 20th-ranked Texas A&M for 11th-place at +40, 904 and bested 8th-ranked Texas (+41, 905) by one stroke.

Wiedergruen birdied two of his final three holes to finish at two-over par 74 for a three-day total of +3, 219. He finished tied for 14th, ahead of the likes of Clemson's Kyle Stanley (+4, 220) and Georgia's Russell Henley (+6, 222), who are both ranked in Golfstat's individual top 10.

Niners baseball washed out again

Monday's rescheduled baseball game between Charlotte and visiting Rider for 3:30 p.m. has been rained out. The two teams will not make up either game remaining in the series, as both teams have opponents scheduled for Tuesday.

Charlotte defeated Rider 22-1 on Friday afternoon in the first meeting between the teams in baseball. The 49ers have now lost five games due to rain so far this season. Charlotte's next game is Tuesday at USC Upstate at 6 p.m.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where will the 49ers go?

With the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection process over, attention now turns to the women's tournament, which will be announced at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The Charlotte 49ers (23-8) received an automatic bid to the tournament with their victory in the Atlantic 10 tournament final last week at Halton Arena.'s Charlie Creme, in his most recent women's tournament "bracketology" update, predicts the 49ers will be given an 11th seed. He predicts Charlotte will face Purdue (22-10), the sixth seed, in the first round in games played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

For what it's worth, I think it's more likely the 49ers end up a ninth or 10th seed (Creme has Temple a ninth seed), in part because of the lopsided win Charlotte had over Temple in the A-10 tournament semifinals. I also think it's more likely Charlotte will be assigned to the Chattanooga or Duluth, Ga., first/second round locations.

We'll know shortly.

Charlotte baseball game against Rider postponed

Charlotte's scheduled home game Saturday against Rider was postponed because of rain.

They will play Game 2 of the three-game series at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and will make up the rainout at 3:30 Monday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Charlotte track coaches receive honors

The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) has named Charlotte 49ers head coach Bob Olesen and assistant coach Timothy Vaught to the regional coach of the year squads in the Southeast region.

“I think this is a tremendous commentary from our peers on the job that we are all doing here at Charlotte. Also, Tim and I just want to thank the athletes, coaches and administrative staff for making these awards possible for us,” said Olesen on the accomplishment for him and his colleague.

Olesen and Vaught are two of only three coaches, nationally, from non-BCS conference schools to make the coach of the year lists.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who's Charlotte's all-time starting five?

Check out our picks at:

And feel free to offer your own.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A-10 tournament final box score

Several people were interested in the complete box score from the Charlotte 49ers' win over Richmond in the Atlantic 10 women's tournament. Here's a link:

Mack earns third team A-10 honors

Charlotte 49ers senior forward Lamont Mack was named third-team all-Atlantic 10 in a vote by the league’s coaches. Mack, the 49ers' leading scorer, averaged 17.6 points in A-10 games and scored in double figures in all 16 league contests. Overall, Mack averages 15.1 points and 5.6 rebounds on the season.

Mack scored 20 or more points seven times, all in A-10 play, and had four double-doubles. His fourth double-double consisted of a career-high 32 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, last Tuesday in a loss to Richmond.

Mack joins Leemire Goldwire (2008, 3rd team), De’Angelo Alexander (2006, 1st team; 2007, 3rd team) and Curtis Withers (2006, 1st team) on the list of 49ers that have earned all-Atlantic 10 honors since the 49ers joined the league four years ago.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Charlotte makes first A-10 tournament final

The Charlotte 49ers, who hadn't won an Atlantic 10 women's tournament game in their first three years in the league, dusted conference power Temple 73-50 Sunday to advance to Monday's championship game.

Charlotte (22-8), the tournament No. 3 seed, will face No. 4 seed Richmond (23-8) at 5 p.m. Monday at Halton Arena. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Senior point guard Traci Ray led the 49ers with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Three other players - Brittany Carter, Aysha Jones and Danielle Burgin - scored 10 each.

Lindsay Kimmel led Temple (21-9) with 10 points.

Richmond advances to A-10 final

The Richmond Spiders pulled off a stunning second-half comeback to beat Dayton 54-48 Saturday in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament at Halton Arena. Richmond advances to Monday's 5 p.m. championship game where it will face No. 3 seed Charlotte (22-8).

Richmond (23-8), the tournament's No. 4 seed, trailed by 19 with 16 minutes, 16 seconds in the second half before the Spiders' press started forcing Dayton into bad shots and Richmond's 3-pointers started dropping in.

Richmond tied the game at 48 with 1:40 left and the Flyers (20-13) never scored again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Charlotte women win first A-10 tourney game

The Charlotte 49ers ended three years of frustration, running over Duquesne 81-57 Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament at Halton Arena. It's the first time the 49ers have won a conference tournament game since they moved to the league in the 2005-06 season.

The 49ers (21-8), the tournament's third seed, will play No. 2 seed Temple (21-8) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the second semifinal. The winner advances to Monday's 5 p.m. championship game.

Seniors Traci Ray and Danielle Burgin led the way for Charlotte. Ray finished with 20 points and five assists and made 6-of-9 3-pointers. Burgin had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Kristi Little scored 21 points to lead the Dukes (20-11).

A-10 quarters: Temple 67, St. Bonaventure 63

Temple, the top remaining seed in the Atlantic 10 women's tournament, advanced to Sunday's semifinals with a 67-63 win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday night at Halton Arena.

The Owls, the No. 2 seed, will play No. 3 seed Charlotte at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Junior guard LaKeisha Eaddy led Temple with 24 points, including a 3-for-4 performance from the 3-point line. The Owls shot 53.8 percent from the 3-point line in the game.

Dana Mitchell led the Bonnies (21-10), the tournament's seventh seed, with 22 points.

A-10 quarters: Richmond 64, Rhode Island 48

Fourth seed Richmond advanced to Sunday's semifinals with a 64-48 victory Saturday over Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 women's tournament quarterfinals at Halton Arena.

Richmond (22-8) will meet No. 8 seed Dayton (20-12) at noon Sunday in the semifinals.

Johanna McKnight and Brittani Shells each scored 15 points to lead the Spiders. Megan Shoniker scored 14 to lead the Rams (10-21).

No. 1 seed Xavier ousted from A-10 tourney

The top seed Xavier Musketeers, ranked 16th in the country, were eliminated by Dayton 63-60 Saturday in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament at Halton Arena.

Dayton (20-12), the tournament's eighth seed, will face fourth seed Richmond (22-8) at noon Sunday in the tournament semifinals.

Xavier (25-6) will have to wait out an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore guard Special Jennings led the Musketeers with 17 points.

The Flyers were led by freshman De'Sarae Chambers, who scored a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers.

On Tap: Charlotte at St. Bonaventure

A few notes heading into the 49ers' regular season finale Saturday at St. Bonaventure:

--Bobby Lutz, the 49ers' all-time winningest coach, needs one win to reach 200 during his 11-year career at Charlotte. He would be the first men's basketball coach in school history to reach the 200-win plateau.

--In A-10 games, senior forward Lamont Mack is fifth with an 18.1 scoring average and he also averages 6.6 rebounds. Mack, who scored a career-high 32 against Richmond on Tuesday, has scored in double figures in all 15 league games with seven games of 20 or more points. He has 26 double figure scoring games this year, including the last 17 straight.

--With 207 assists (7.14/gm), junior DiJuan Harris has tied Byron Dinkins for second all-time on the 49ers single-season charts. Harris ranks fourth in the NCAA in assists and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio through games of March 1. For the second straight year, he leads the league in A-TO ratio (2.96). In just conference games, Harris is averaging 8.33 assists with a 3.38 A-TO ratio.

Friday, March 6, 2009

First round A-10: Duquesne 72, Massachusetts 51

Duquesne used a balanced scoring attack to beat Massachusetts 72-51 Friday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament at Halton Arena and set up a rematch with the Charlotte 49ers.

The Dukes (20-10), the sixth seed, will meet No. 3 seed Charlotte (20-8) at 8 p.m. Saturday in the tournament quarterfinals. Charlotte defeated the Dukes 83-78 earlier this season.

Friday night, Duquesne had four players in double figures, led by Keri Pryor's 16 points. Sakera Young scored 16 to lead the Minutemen (12-18).

First round A-10: St. Bonaventure 72, Saint Joseph's 65

St. Bonaventure used a strong second half to oust Saint Joseph's 72-65 Friday night at Halton Arena in the first round of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament.

The Bonnies (21-9), the tournament's No. 7 seed, will get a rematch with No. 2 seed Temple (20-8) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. St. Bonaventure beat the Owls 55-52 in the teams' only previous meeting this season.

Dana Mitchell led the Bonnies with 17 points. The team shot 61.5 percent from the 3-point line, making 8-of-13 shots from long range. Jenna Loschiavo led the Hawks (13-17) with 13 points.

First round A-10: Rhode Island 62, George Washington 58

The Atlantic 10 women's tournament has its first upset. No. 12 seed Rhode Island, which won two conference games in the regular season, upset fifth seed George Washington 62-58 Friday at Halton Arena.

The Rams (10-20) had lost nine straight games entering the tournament but made four straight free throws in the final 23.7 seconds to ice the victory. Rhode Island will play fourth seed Richmond (21-8) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the tournament quarterfinals.

Crystal Bellinger and Lindsay Harris both scored 15 points to lead the Rams. Jessica Adair had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Colonials (17-13).

First round A-10: Dayton 74, Saint Louis 52

Dayton ran out to an early first-half lead and never looked back as the Flyers beat Saint Louis 74-52 Friday at Halton Arena in the first round of the Atlantic 10 women's tournament.

Dayton (19-12), the tournament's eighth seed, will play top seed Xavier (25-5) at noon Saturday in the quarterfinals. Xavier swept both games during the regular season but the Flyers lost by only two at home.

Freshman Justine Raterman led the Flyers in Friday's game, scoring a game-high 19 points. Kendel Ross and Kayla Moses each scored 12. Lauren Woods led Saint Louis (12-18) with 11 points.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

49ers men qualify for A-10 tournament

George Washington, by virtue of its 77-62 loss at Massachusetts on Wednesday night, assured the Charlotte 49ers would participate in next week's A-10 conference tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. George Washington and Fordham will be the two A-10 teams (of 14) that will not participate in the conference tournament this season.

Charlotte (11-18, 5-10) has one game remaining, Saturday at St. Bonaventure. Based on the 49ers' performance in that game, Charlotte can enter the tournament next week anywhere from a 10th to 12th seed. In any case, they will open play in the tournament next Wednesday.

Niners earn several women's bball awards

Four members of the Charlotte women's basketball team earned all-conference honors Wednesday. Charlotte sophomore Shannon McCallum, a Whiteville native, was named the Atlantic 10's Sixth Player of the Year and honorable mention all-conference. McCallum is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game and rebounding at 5.8 rebounds per game.

Senior center Danielle Burgin and junior guard Aysha Jones were both named second-team all-conference. Senior point guard Traci Ray was named to the league's academic all-conference team. Burgin was one of four 49ers to average in double-figures at 11.3 points per game. She finished the regular-season third in the A-10 in rebounding with a team-leading 9.1 rebounds per game. Jones finished the regular-season ranked among the A-10 leaders after scoring a team-leading 14.0 points per game.

Charlotte (20-8, 11-3) opens play at 8 p.m. Saturday in the A-10 tournament, which it is hosting at Halton Arena Friday through Monday.

More A-10 tournament scenarios

Charlotte's loss Tuesday night to Richmond kept the possibility alive the 49ers could be left out of next week's Atlantic 10 Conference tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. However, of the 16 remaining scenarios that can play out this week, Charlotte would still get in on 15 of them, thus it is more than likely Charlotte will make the tournament. The best the 49ers can do now is a 10th seed and the worst is 12th.

Regardless of Charlotte's game Saturday at St. Bonaventure, the 49ers get in if Massachusetts beats George Washington tonight. The only scenario in which Charlotte doesn't make the tournament is if G.W. wins its final two games against UMass and Temple, UMass wins at Rhode Island AND Charlotte loses Saturday at St. Bonaventure.

Should Charlotte make the A-10 tournament, it's first game would be next Wednesday at either 2:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. or 9 p.m., depending on whether it is the 10th, 11th or 12th seed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On tap: Richmond at Charlotte

It's Senior Night for the Charlotte 49ers, who will honor seniors Lamont Mack and Charlie Coley but even more important will be a victory, which can help Charlotte lock in a berth in the Atlantic 10 tournament next week. Richmond has beaten Charlotte three straight times, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by Coley, who joined the 49ers as a junior transfer last season. "It's the only team we haven't beaten while I've been here," he said. "I mean, we've beat Xavier and not beaten them."

According to sports information director Tom Whitestone, who has had to spend way too much time on clinching scenarios of late, the 49ers should clinch a tournament appearance with a win against Richmond. Basically, a win gives Charlotte six conference victories (with one game remaining). Of the schools in the same position - Charlotte, George Washington, St. Bonaventure and UMass, Charlotte would own the tiebreakers with any of the others who finished with six as the 49ers own a win over the conference's top team, Xavier.

A loss to Richmond would once again open up a plethora of additional scenarios. One that definitely would not favor the 49ers is if Charlotte losses its final two conference games (the finale is Saturday at St. Bonaventure). In that case if Charlotte losses both, G.W. beats UMass and then both UMass and G.W. win their season finales, that would leave Charlotte with five wins and the others six.

Charlotte's final two games are home with Richmond and at St. Bonaventure; G.W. is at UMass and home against Temple; UMass is home against G.W. and at Rhode Island; and St. Bonaventure is at Saint Joseph's and home against Charlotte.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Brown named A-10 co-rookie of week

Freshman Shane Brown, who hit an inside-the-park grand slam in his first collegiate bat last week for the Charlotte 49ers, has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference's co-rookie of the week.

The home run by Brown, a Davidson native who starred at North Mecklenburg High, gave Charlotte an 8-4 win over Oakland (Mich.). He was rewarded with starts in the next two games, and he delivered two RBI in each, including a bases-loaded two-RBI single in Charlotte’s eight-run sixth inning Wednesday in an 11-3 win over Oakland. He also had a pair of doubles and two more RBI in Charlotte's 7-1 Thursday.

Charlotte (3-3) next plays Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Furman, then returns to Hayes Stadium for an eight-game homestand.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Charlotte women get No. 3 seed

The Charlotte 49ers are one of four teams to receive a first-round bye in this weekend's Atlantic 10 Conference women's basketball tournament, which opens Friday at Halton Arena. Charlotte (20-8, 11-3) is the tournament's third seed. Top seed Xavier, No. 2 Temple and No. 4 Richmond also received byes.

The 49ers will open play at 8 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Friday's game between Duquesne and Massachusetts. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Charlotte enters the A-10 tournament after winning 11 of its 13 games. The 49ers defeated Duquesne, 83-78, in their regular season meeting on Feb. 7. Charlotte defeated UMass, 67-53, for the team's first league road win of the season on Jan. 14.

"The tournament will be a huge challenge, and the league is so strong that you can’t take anything for granted," said Charlotte coach Karen Aston. "We will take one step at a time, as we strive for the goal, which is a NCAA bid. It will be great basketball at Halton Arena, and I hope the Charlotte community will come out and support women’s basketball and the 49ers."

More from Charlotte's win over Fordham

--Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz was none too happy with the 49ers' lack of rebounding in the first half Saturday against Fordham. The 49ers led 35-26 at the halftime but were getting out-rebounded 21-15, including 10-6 on the offensive end. "At halftime coach told us we weren't playing hard and I think he said they were minus-11 on the year (in rebounding margin)so he was yelling and getting in our face telling us to turn it up. We had to rebound and get on the boards," said center Phil Jones. It worked - Charlotte out-rebounded Fordham 23-11 in the second half and the Rams had just one offensive rebound in the second half.

--Junior shooting guard RaShad Coleman struggled again from the 3-point line (he missed all five shots) but contributed in several other ways for the 49ers. He scored 11 points, made all three of his free throws, had five rebounds, three assists and a steal. His reverse two-handed slam off an alley-oop pass from DiJuan Harris was the highlight play of the game.

--A reminder that Charlotte seniors Lamont Mack and Charlie Coley will be honored during Tuesday night's regular season home finale against Richmond. Senior Day activities were originally scheduled for Saturday but had to be postponed due to a death in Coley's family. Game time Tuesday is 7 p.m. at Halton Arena.