Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Derrio Green commits to 49ers

Derrio Green, a 6-foot, 180-pound combo guard who just completed his freshman season at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama, City, Fla., said Monday night he has chosen to play basketball for the Charlotte 49ers.

Green, who will have three years of eligibility, picked Charlotte over Georgia and George Washington. He made recruiting visits to Charlotte and Georgia over the weekend.

"Charlotte has great facilities, talented players, a great coach in coach (Bobby) Lutz and a great system - everything about it was a perfect fit," Green said Monday night. "I felt real comfortable when I made my visit. I am going to spend the next three years at a school and if I am I want to feel comfortable. I felt like I fit right in."

In one season at Gulf Coast, Green averaged 13.6 points and five assists per game. He shot more than 44 percent from 3-point range and better than 75 percent from the free throw line.

Green impressed scouts in this season's Florida Juco state basketball tournament, when he opened the tournament with a 38-point performance in an overtime win over Miami-Dade.

Green said he had already signed his national letter of intent and it would go out in Tuesday's mail. He said he was recruited by the 49ers' associate head coach, Rob Moxley, although he said current point guard DiJuan Harris was a big reason for his decision as well.

"He is such a great guy. I really wanted the opportunity to play with him," Green said. "With guys like Shamari (Spears), Phil (Jones) and (Chris) Braswell down low, all I'm going to have to do is just feed the ball to the post.

"A lot of guys in juco always say your first year in Division I is a learning year and your senior year is your best year. That's why I wanted to have three years to play."

Green said he got back from his recruiting visit to Georgia on Sunday evening and spent most of Monday talking over his decision with his parents. He notified Charlotte's coaching staff Monday evening. Green also said he plans to be on campus for the first and second summer sessions.

The 49ers still have one scholarship remaining for next season.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jeffery A-10 pitcher of the week

Charlotte junior pitcher Emily Jeffery, a former standout at Matthews Butler High, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference's pitcher of the week on Monday.

Jeffery posted a 2-2 record last week with a 1.09 ERA and 32 strikeouts. She allowed a total of five runs on 15 hits in 25 2/3rds innings of work.

Charlotte (30-14, 12-4) wraps up the 2009 regular season on Saturday when they travel to Dayton for a doubleheader. The 49ers are tied with Saint Louis but control the tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

Other notes:
-The 49ers had three teams honored by the NCAA for outstanding academic progress. The Academic Progress Rate, or APR, released by the NCAA listed Charlotte baseball, women's tennis and volleyball among the programs with outstanding results. The NCAA honors teams that earned multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all teams in their respective sports.
-Charlotte's men's tennis team captured fifth place in the A-10 tournament over the weekend at Monroeville, Pa. The 49ers, seeded fifth, defeated No. 6 Temple 4-3 in the fifth-place match.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Niners are A-10 golf champs again

The Charlotte 49ers' only golf tournament win of the season was a good one as Charlotte defeated Xavier by 10 strokes on Sunday at the Mission Inn Golf & Tennis Resort in Florida to win its fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 championship.

The 49ers will make their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. They have finished eighth or better the past two seasons.

Junior Corey Nagy won individual honors for the 49ers in the tournament finishing at one-under par. His teammate, senior Stefen Wiedergruen, finished second, four shots behind Nagy. Charlotte freshman Paul Ferrier was tied for fifth at seven over par.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Softball and men's tennis pick up wins

Charlotte 49ers sophomore pitcher Katy Hackett held Rhode Island to three hits as the 49ers completed a sweep of the Rams with a 5-2 softball win on Senior Day Saturday.

Charlotte (29-13, 11-3 Atlantic 10) held a 2-1 lead through 5 1/2 innings before plating a trio of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Rhode Island (13-32, 2-12) rallied in the seventh when a lead-off home run to left center cut the 49ers' lead to 5-2.

Charlotte has won seven of its last eight, heading into a home doubleheader season finale on Sunday against No. 21 Massachusetts. Game 1 will start at noon.

--Charlotte's men's tennis team defeated Saint Joseph's 4-0 Saturday in the consolation bracket of the A-10 tournament in Monroeville, Pa., and advances to the fifth-place game at 8 a.m. Sunday where the 49ers will face Temple or Duquesne.

"We look forward to one more match. Our guys are playing hard the whole time. They're learning," said Charlotte coach Jim Boykin. "They need to play in the present because the future can make you nervous. Stay in the present and play hard."

Softball wins; men's tennis loses

Junior pitcher Emily Jeffery, who starred at Butler High, tossed a one-hit shutout as the Charlotte 49ers beat Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island 2-0 on Friday. Charlotte (28-13, 10-3) and Rhode Island (13-31, 2-11) will meet again at noon Saturday.

Jeffery picked up her 20th win of the season (20-7) and struck out 11 batters. Her 20th win puts her in a tie for third place on the single season wins list with former Niner great Wendy Stratton.

“Double digit strikeouts is really becoming the norm for Emily at this point. Again, she threw another really good game for us and held the opposing batters in check,” said Charlotte coach Aimee DeVos.

--In men's tennis, the No. 5 seed Charlotte 49ers were eliminated from the championship bracket of the A-10 tournament with a 4-1 loss to No. 4 seed St. Bonaventure in Monroeville, Pa. Earlier in the day, Charlotte defeated Fordham in first round action.

Charlotte will play No. 8 seed Saint Joseph's in the consolation bracket at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Basketball recruit on campus

Derrio Green, a talented 6-foot, 180-pound combo guard who just completed his freshman season at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama, City, Fla. is making a recruiting visit with the Charlotte 49ers this weekend.

In one season at Gulf Coast, Green averaged 13.6 points and five assists per game. He shot more than 44 percent from 3-point range and better than 75 percent from the free throw line.

Green impressed scouts in this season's Florida Juco state basketball tournament, when he opened the tournament with a 38-point performance in an overtime win over Miami-Dade.

Green would have three seasons of eligibility available should he sign with Charlotte. The 49ers currently have two scholarships remaining for next season.

Charlotte looks for fourth A-10 golf title

The Charlotte 49ers golf team opens play Friday in the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Mission Inn Resort in Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla., and looking for their fourth consecutive title. The 49ers are coming off consecutive top eight finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Penn State, which won five straight A-10 titles from 1986 to 1991, is the only other program that has won at least three straight A-10 golf championships.

Charlotte will be led by senior Stefan Wiedergruen and junior Corey Nagy who share the 49ers' team stroke average lead. Both have taken exactly 1914 strokes and are tied with identical 73.6 stroke averages.

Wiedergruen, who spent time as the nation's top-ranked golfer in the fall of 2007, and Nagy, who was named honorable mention all-America in each of his first two seasons, will try to lead a young team looking for its first tournament victory of the season. Charlotte averaged five tournament wins over the previous three seasons.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Niners fall 2-0 to Heels in softball

In what turned into a pitcher's duel, No. 12 North Carolina squeaked out a 2-0 win over the Charlotte 49ers in softball Wednesday at Andersen Stadium in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina (44-7) got on board in the first with the help of a Charlotte error and added an insurance run in the sixth. Lisa Norris (22-7) earned the win for North Carolina, throwing four innings, allowing just two Charlotte hits and struck out five.

The 49ers (27-13) could not muster much at the plate against Tar Heels' pitchers. Charlotte pitcher Emily Jeffrey (19-7) took the loss and allowed four hits in six innings of work.

Charlotte is back in action at 4 p.m. Friday when it hosts Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island. The teams play again on Saturday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Niners looking for sweep of Winthrop

The last remaining five-game week on the schedule is here, with the Charlotte 49ers hosting Winthrop at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hayes Stadium and traveling to USC Upstate for a 5 p.m. Wednesday game.

Charlotte shut out Winthrop (24-15) in Rock Hill on March 24, blanking the Eagles at home 2-0 when Winthrop was receiving votes in the Coaches Top 25 poll. The 49ers handed Winthrop one of its four home losses this season.

The 49ers (22-14) lost to Upstate for the first time in program history on March 17 by a 4-3 final at Hayes Stadium. Charlotte has won its last five at home. Charlotte plays the next four on the road, including a weekend series at Saint Louis, before returning home for eight straight to comeplete the home schedule.

Note: Charlotte was 26-7 last season at Hayes Stadium, the fourth-most home wins in a season in team history (29 in 1998, 28 in 2006 and 27 in 1985). The 49ers are 58-14 in the refurbished stadium since it reopened on March 30, 2007, including 16-4 this season.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

49ers take third in A-10 tennis tourney

The Charlotte 49ers women’s tennis team, seeded fifth, won the third-place match 4-3 over No. 3 seed Xavier on Sunday at the Atlantic 10 Championships in Monroeville, Pa.

In singles, the 49ers (16-5) were able to capture four of the six singles matches for the victory, capped off by Yudeshnee Pillay winning her No. 2 singles match 6-4,
7-5 for the team win.

Charlotte also won at No. 1 (Ana Spivakovsky, 6-2, 6-3), No. 3 (Koren Fleming, 6-1, 6-2)and at No. 6 in a third-set tiebreaker by Kimber Redfern, 2-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8).

Pillay finishes the season with 25 singles wins (25-4) - one short of the school record - set by Spivakovsky in 2007. She was 19-1 in the spring dual match season, losing only her match on Saturday in the A-10 semifinals.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Women's tennis falls to top seed Richmond

The Charlotte 49ers women's tennis team lost 4-0 in the semifinals Saturday against top-seed Richmond at the Atlantic 10 Championships in Monroeville, Pa. The 49ers fall to 15-5 on the season.

The Spiders (16-5) got wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, winning in identical 8-5 results. The No. 1 match was tied at 6-6 when doubles play was halted.

In singles play, Charlotte had leads at No. 1 (Ana Spivakovsky) and No. 3 (Koren Fleming), but Erin Clark defeated Yudeshnee Pillay in straight sets at No. 2, ending her 17-match win streak.

Charlotte will play in the third-place match Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Women's tennis advances to A-10 semis

The Charlotte 49ers women's tennis team used a pair of 4-0 victories on Friday to advance to Saturday's semifinals of the Atlantic 10 women's tennis tournament to face No. 1 seed Richmond at Club 4 Life in Monroeville, Pa.

Charlotte, the fifth seed, defeated 12th-seed Saint Joseph’s in the early session Friday and beat No. 4 seed Rhode Island in Friday's evening session.

Charlotte's Yudeshnee Pillay eanred her 18th consecutive singles victory, giving her 24 on the season - two shy of the school record. She is in a three-way tie for second place on the all-time singles win list.

Baseball gets big test at Temple

The Charlotte 49ers (20-13, 5-7) return to Atlantic 10 Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Temple, which is second in the league with an 8-3 record. After a slow start to conference play, Charlotte swept three games from George Washington last weekend.

Charlotte sophomore Joe Yermal (5-2, 3.38 ERA) faces right-hander Ben White (2-3, 7.23 ERA) in Friday's 3 p.m. opener. Saturday at 1 p.m., 49ers sophomore Andrew Smith (2-5, 4.84 ERA) opposes freshman southpaw Dan Moller (2-4, 7.14 ERA). In the Sunday 1 p.m. finale, Charlotte junior Patrick Lawson (4-2) will face Temple's Ryan Thomas (3-1).

--Playing in the last 13 games, Charlotte junior Rob Lyerly is 18-for-50 (.360) and has three home runs, six doubles, 19 RBI and a .660 slugging percentage. He is also perfect in the field during that span, with no errors in 117 chances at first base.
--In `09, the 49ers are 18-3 when the opposition scores five or fewer runs and 2-10 when the opposition scores six or more runs. The 49ers are allowing just 5.4 runs per game this season. Charlotte has scored 133 runs in its last 11 games (12.1 per contest).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Charlotte softball sweeps UNC Greensboro

Junior Keri Palma’s two-out grand slam kick-started a seven run, two-out rally for Charlotte in the sixth inning as the 49ers took down UNC Greensboro 7-0 in Game 1 Tuesday of a doubleheader.

Charlotte would then score each of their nine runs with two outs in Game 2's 9-6 victory over the Spartans as the 49ers upped their record to 25-12.

Charlotte senior Sarah Malene swiped second base with two outs in the sixth in Game 1 to become the all-time single-season stolen bases leader, while junior pitcher Emily Jeffery struck out 14 batters for the fourth straight game, giving her 207 for the season.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Niners add to A-10 awards

Two Charlotte 49ers women's tennis players and three track and field performers were among those who won recognition as the Atlantic 10 Conference's top performers of the week.

Senior Yudeshnee Pillay was named the women's tennis player of the week, while sophomore Jason Roberts and senior Lamarra Currie earned the men's and women's track performer of the week honors.

Andrea Rivera won rookie of the week in women's tennis and Jake Deaton earned the same honor in men's track.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rivers had a blast of a week

It was a big week for Charlotte 49ers sophomore Ryan Rivers. In the 49ers' 31-1 rout of N.C. A&T, Rivers drove in a career-high seven RBI, one shy of the school record held by three players and the most since 1995 in a game.

In game one of the doubleheader with George Washington on Saturday, Rivers became the third 49er since 1992 to hit for the cycle, which included his first career triple and team-leading 10th home run of the season in the 4-for-4 day and 12-2 win. He finished the day with hits in eight-straight at bats, tied for the second-longest stretch in school history.

For the week, he homered twice and slugged at 1.235 in four games. He has scored a run in six straight contests (14 total in that run).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gold Dusters finish fifth in nationals

The Charlotte 49ers Gold Dusters wrapped up competition in the 2009 NCA & NDA Collegiate National Championship and finished in fifth place. The team from Stephen F. Austin won the national championship.

The Gold Dusters finished the first day fifth in the prelims to earn a spot as one of 10 teams to advance to the finals. While earning an improved score of 8.752 on day 2, the team remained fifth.

"The girls worked very hard to nail this routine and it showed in a top five national finish," said Gold Dusters coach Jennifer Floyd. "We are very proud of the girls and what they have accomplished."

Competing in the Division I category the 49ers took on 18 other schools in the national competition. The teams were required to perform a maximum of 2 minutes, 15 seconds including 30 consecutive seconds of each style of dance (jazz, pom, and hip hop).

Friday's baseball game postponed

Friday night's Atlantic 10 Conference baseball game between host Charlotte and visiting George Washington has been postponed due to heavy rains and forecasted thunderstorms for the area.

The two teams will make up the game as part of a Saturday doubleheader, with Game 1 beginning at noon. Charlotte will also honor the 30th anniversary of its first baseball team on Saturday.

The 49ers are 17-12, 2-7 while George Washington is 16-16, 5-3.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jeffrey sets single season strikeout record

Charlotte junior Emily Jeffery, a former standout at Matthews Butler High, set the single season strikeout record in the 49ers' Charlotte’s 10-2 win over Elon Thursday in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Jeffrey's 14 strikeouts left her with 179 for the season and improved her record to 16-5 on the season.

Jeffery’s 14 strikeouts tied her single game record for the second consecutive game. Her 179 season Ks eclipse the record set last season by Katy Hackett.

Jeffery was perfect through 5 2/3rds innings in Game 1 before walking a runner and giving up a home run. Charlotte exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Jeffery tossed a complete game, allowing two runs on one hit. Jeffery has hit double digits in strikeouts nine times this season.

Elon topped Charlotte (22-11) 5-4 in Game 2.

49ers golf looking for fifth straight title

The Charlotte 49ers men's golf team will begin its quest for its fifth consecutive championship in its own Palisades Collegiate Golf Classic on Monday. Practice rounds begin Sunday for the 54-hole tournament at Palisades Country Club in Charlotte.

Charlotte, Belmont Abbey and Davidson share in hosting the event, which also includes Elon, Francis Marion, Kennesaw State, Longwood, Louisville, Marquette, Nebraska, Old Dominion, Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth, West Florida and Winthrop.

Tournament play begins with 36 holes on Monday, with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The field will play 18 holes to complete the Classic on Tuesday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Parking and admission are free.

This is the third year the Palisades Country Club has hosted the tournament, the 12th year of the tournament and the 11th consecutive year the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission has handled the administration and operation of the Classic. Charlotte has won the past four tournaments.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Niners baseball explodes for 31 runs

North Carolina A&T walked 12 batters and committed nine errors in the field, while the Charlotte 49ers stole seven bases en route to a 31-1 victory Tuesday night at Hayes Stadium. It was the largest margin of victory ever for a Charlotte team and one run shy of the school record for runs in a game.

Charlotte’s first three batters of the game walked, which later led to two runs on a sacrifice fly and back-to-back infield singles. The Niners (17-12) scored six in the first inning on just two hits and four Aggies errors.

The Niners batted around in three different innings and third baseman and former Independence High star Aaron Bray came to the plate eight times in the contest. Sophomore designated hitter and relief pitcher Ryan Rivers hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season and drove in a career-high seven RBI in the contest, just one shy of the school record.

Monday, April 6, 2009

PG recruit to visit Thursday

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 this Thursday with the Charlotte 49ers.

Armstead's Chipola team finished the season 34-2 and reached the national semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. Should Armstead join the 49ers, the native of Florence, Ala., would have three seasons of eligibility remaining. He has already received offers from Arkansas, Iowa and Providence.

Last week, Jamarr Sanders, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound shooting guard from Northwest Florida State College, made an on-campus visit. Charlotte has two scholarships remaining for the 2009-10 season.

49ers sweep A-10 weekly awards

For the Charlotte 49ers' spring sports teams, it was a clean sweep.

Charlotte athletes won the Atlantic 10 Conference's weekly top performing award in every category for their performances in the last week: junior Rob Lyerly in baseball; senior Sarah Malene in softball; sophomore Moritz Bernhoerster in men’s tennis; senior Yudeshnee Pillay in women’s tennis; senior Stefan Wiedergruen in golf; sophomore Darius Law in men’s track and field; and senior Lamarra Currie in women’s track and field.

In addition, two freshmen - Andrea Rivera in women's tennis and Jake Deaton in men's track and field - won A-10 rookie of the week honors. Charlotte’s nine awards are the most earned during a single week so far in the 2008-09 sports year.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Q&A with 49ers coach Bobby Lutz

As part of story running in Sunday's Observer looking ahead to the 2009-10 men's basketball season for the Charlotte 49ers, I spoke with coach Bobby Lutz regarding several issues. Here are some highlights:

Q: How big of an impact was point guard Michael Gerrity's decision to quit the team shortly after the season started?

Lutz: There is no doubt that it changed so much. Even though DiJuan (Harris) developed and did a wonderful job, we had to prepare someone else to fill that role. It took Charles (Dewhurst) away - he was unselfishness enough to volunteer. We just didn't have any choice. Shamarr Bowden could have helped but he gets hurt the first week of practice in October. At this point there is no reason to make excuses. Charles did the best he could but it did take away from his natural aggressiveness. It had a ripple effect that was just compounded by injuries, to Shamarr but also to Charles and An'Juan (Wilderness). We were a team that needed all of our guys to be a team at least as good as we were a year ago.

Q: In the face if the large number of losses, was there an area in which you thought the team performed well?
Lutz: I thought we competed. It didn't always show up in rebounding or on the stat sheet. There was tremendous effort in the games and in practice. We showed a degree of risiliency, if you will, and as a result I think that's why we were in so many games, but we did let some slip away. We did beat two teams in conference play that went on to the NCAA Tournament. The guys continued to fight and compete. Also, I think DiJuan was a big strength of this team, particularly his consistency considering how much he played.

Q: What was the biggest issue this team faced on the court this season?
Lutz: Consistency across the board. It wasn't lack of effort. It was lack of productivity and consistency in a lot of areas that added up to us having the type of season we had.

Q: You have two scholarships left for next season. What is the status with those?
Lutz: We were already recruiting point guards for 2010 when Mike left. We tried to scramble to get involved but it was late. We've battled all year to make sure we get a point or a combo (guard). We'll get one. We're involved with four or five players right now and I think two of them would be impact players greatly. The others would be good backups and solid. One will definitely go to a point guard or combo guard. The other will go to the next best player available.

Friday, April 3, 2009

On Saturday, it's Boykin vs. Boykin

On Saturday, the Charlotte 49ers will host the Richmond Spiders in a men's tennis match. It's much more than a game between Atlantic 10 Conference rivals. It's also father vs. son.

Jim Boykin has coached Charlotte for 16 seasons. This season is the first as coach at Richmond for Jim's son, Billy. They will meet as opposing coaches for the first time on Saturday.

“When I was going to school, I learned from a great deal of coaches, including my first coach, Dick McKee at Furman, as well as (former Appalachian State basketball coach) Bob Light and (N.C. State basketball mentor) Norm Sloan, who let me follow him around when I was a young man learning how to coach,” said Jim, who has been a coach for 38 years, including four as a basketball coach.

Billy grew up in Belton, S.C. while Jim was a coach at Anderson College, and the family moved to Davidson when he took the job at Charlotte. Billy got to sneak on to courts while his dad held practices and worked at camps and clinics in the area.

By the time Billy was choosing a college, Jim recruited his son to come and play for the 49ers, but Billy’s ties to home in Davidson and the family’s relationship with longtime Wildcats coach Jeff Frank kept Billy on the northern side of the Mecklenburg County.

“Going to Davidson was a tough decision for me,” said Billy. “My mom and sisters lived right there. I needed a smaller school environment. Dad actively encouraged me to go to any college that I wanted, but at the end of the day it was a better fit at Davidson. Coach Frank was a great mentor to me and a good friend of Dad’s.”

Jim ended up having to face his son and Davidson every season. He always had mixed feelings about playing the Wildcats, but the coach would separate himself from the father on those days, if only for a few hours.

Billy spent time as an assistant at Davidson, and earned the job as the assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs at College of Charleston before landing the head job at Richmond last year.

“When working with young people, there’s a lot of gray area,” said Billy. “You want to be right. If I get into one of those situations, I will feel comfortable giving Dad or some of my other friends in coaching a buzz. Dad’s been around the block and there’s no situation that I could encounter that he hasn’t seen.”

Said Jim: “Billy is way ahead of me in terms of knowledge of the game than when I started. He has lots of camp experience. ... Richmond got lucky. He’s a great coach.”

--Provided in part by Charlotte 49ers Sports Information

49ers baseball game rained out

The Charlotte 49ers' baseball series-opening game Friday at Duquesne has been postponed due to rain in the Pittsburgh area. The game will be moved to Saturday and be a part of a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.

Should the second game of the doubleheader not finish due to lack of daylight or weather issues, the teams will have the option of suspending the game and resuming it on Sunday, then completing the regularly scheduled nine-inning contest.

Charlotte sophomore Andrew Smith (2-4, 3.21 ERA) opposes Senior Gary Pierpont (1-5, 10.64 ERA), in game one Saturday. Game two’s starters are projected to be freshmen lefty Tyler Pilkington (2-0, 4.23 ERA) for Charlotte versus senior Ryan Juran (1-4, 6.63 ERA). Charlotte sends junior Patrick Lawson (2-2, 3.00 ERA) to the hill opposite freshman Michael Pelekanos (1-2, 4.95) in Sunday's finale.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Coley edged 49-48 in "dunk off"

The Charlotte 49ers may have had a bad year, but senior forward Charlie Coley nearly ended his as a champion.

Demonstrating the acrobatics that thrilled 49ers fans for two seasons, Coley scored a perfect 50 in the final round of ESPN’s 21st annual college Slam Dunk Contest Thursday night with a slam after taking a pass from Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron, who was stationed in the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.).

The problem? New Mexico’s Tony Dandridge scored a 50 of his own dunking two basketballs at once, sending the two players into a “dunk off.”

Coley dunked over former Michigan star and dunk contest judge Jalen Rose to earn a controversial 48 in the dunk off. Dandridge used a one-handed windmill slam to edge Coley for the championship with a 49.

Of Coley’s five dunks, two received a 50. Dandridge had three 50s in five dunks.

Furman’s Melissa Liebschwager won the women’s 3-point championship and Jack McClinton of Miami (Fla.) won the men’s 3-point title.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Niners blank South Carolina in softball

Charlotte 49ers pitcher Emily Jeffrey picked up her 14th win of the season as the 49ers took a 2-0 home victory over South Carolina on Wednesday.

Jeffrey, who starred at Butler High, recorded her fifth shutout of the season with a complete-game four-hitter. She has not lost a start since Feb. 25 and has an ERA of 0.51 during the streak.

“Emily just loves the big game. She continues to stay in a groove and has just been phenomenal,” said Charlotte coach Aimee DeVos.

Charlotte is 19-8. South Carolina is 14-16. Charlotte returns to Atlantic 10 play Saturday with a pair of games at La Salle.

It's time for "The (Coley) Show"

Charlotte 49ers senior forward Charlie Coley gets a chance on national television Thursday night to showcase the acrobatic and crowd-pleasing dunks fans have become accustomed to during his two years with the 49ers.

Coley will compete in ESPN's 21st Annual Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit. The event will air 9 to 11 p.m. on ESPN.

In prepartion for the event, Coley spent some time Tuesday afternoon practicing a wide selection of dunks, including one over WBTV reporter Michelle Bailey, who had the camera running to capture the moment.

During a tryout of sorts with the Harlem Wizards last weekend - a team similar to the Globetrotters that specializes in acrobatic stunts during basketball contests - Coley picked up the nickname, "The Show."