Tuesday, October 29, 2013

49ers basketball 3 weeks into practice

The 49ers completed their 21st day of preseason men’s basketball practice Tuesday. A few notes and observations after coach Alan Major met with the media:

-- Sounds like the 49ers will be without guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) for the season opener Nov. 8 against East Tennessee State. Major hopes they’ll be back by mid-November or earlier, which means they could also miss the College of Charleston game Nov. 12. The 49ers also play Elon on Nov. 15 before heading to a tournament in Puerto Rico Nov. 21-24.

-- Major hopes this 49ers team will be more potent from the 3-point line than last season, when Charlotte made just 26.8 percent of its long-range shots. Ivan Benkovic became a threat from behind the line late in the season, making 40.4 of his 3-pointers. There’s also the addition of transfer Ben Cherry (a 50 percent 3-point shooter at Tulane last season) and sophomore Shawn Lester (academically ineligible last season), as well as anticipated improvement from Ingram (27.9 percent).

-- Inexperience in the front court will be the 49ers’ biggest question mark. Either sophomore Mike Thorne or true freshman Marcus Bryan could start alongside Willie Clayton, coming off an all-Atlantic 10 rookie team season.

"We’ve got a chance to get contributions from different guys,” said Major. “They key is the younger they are and the more clock/game time they get, that’ll let the game teach them. Us coaching them and video is one thing, but getting in the game is key.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

C-USA announces 9-bowl lineup

Conference USA made official its nine football bowl affiliations through the 2019 season on Monday.

The Charlotte 49ers begin play in the Football Bowl Subdivision's C-USA in 2015 and will be bowl eligible in 2016.

The league's new bowls are the Bahamas Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl an the Boca Raton Bowl. C-USA already has agreements with the Beef O'Brady Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl. The league has secondary agreements with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas) and the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La.

"Our future bowl line-up is truly amazing,” C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said in a statement. “We have been fortunate to partner with great bowls in the past. In addition to the bowls within our members’ footprint, fans also have some tremendous destinations to see their favorite teams play.”

C-USA teams will face opposition from the American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences.

Here's a look at each bowl (thanks to the league office):

The Bahamas Bowl will join the bowl line-up in 2014 as the only postseason college football game outside of the United States. The inaugural game will be held in the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. Conference USA expects to face a team from the Mid-American Conference in 2015, the American Athletic Conference in 2018 and the Sun Belt Conference in 2019.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl began in 2008 and has had a Conference USA participant since its inception, and has been victorious the past two seasons. This bowl is owned and operated by ESPN and held prior to Christmas each year at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. C-USA will meet a team from the American Athletic Conference a minimum of three years.

The Boca Raton Bowl will be played in FAU Stadium on the campus of C-USA member Florida Atlantic University. It is the newest bowl announced that will be run by ESPN. The league will send a team to a minimum of four Boca Raton Bowls, beginning in 2014 against the Mid-American Conference. C-USA will face a member of the American Athletic Conference in later years.

Conference USA will enter its first-year as a primary partner with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and will send a team to Albuquerque all six years between 2014 and 2019. C-USA will face a representative from the Mountain West Conference each season at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank was established in 2012 with the unique
perspective of creating an event that will give back to its community. The Heart of Dallas is a non-profit dedicated to supporting causes in the Dallas area, using sports and entertainment as a vehicle to help gain awareness. Conference USA expects to play in the bowl six years and will alternate opponents from the Big Ten and Big 12 as teams meet in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

The Miami Beach Bowl will also host its first game during the 2014 season, with Conference USA expected to face a team from the American Athletic Conference in 2014 and 2015. The American will own and operate the Miami Beach Bowl, which will be held at Marlins Park – the home of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. Marlins Park is located on the former site of the historic Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami. Conference USA will play in the bowl a minimum of three years.

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has hosted a Conference USA team nine times during its 12-year history, with a current C-USA team winning six of those 12 bowls. The game will continue to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. C-USA is scheduled to be involved in three games over the next six years.

C-USA also resumes its long-term partnership with the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl to play in the annual
Christmas Eve game. A C-USA team has participated in, and won, the last four games in Honolulu. Following a 2013 meeting with a Mountain West team, the two conferences will square off again at Aloha Stadium in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Conference USA enters a new secondary partnership with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, played at
Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. C-USA will provide a surplus team to the bowl in the event the Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference are unable to provide a team.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Final: Charleston Southern 36, Charlotte 14

CHARLESTON -- Charleston Southern unleashed a brutal running game on Saturday and wore down the Charlotte 49ers on the way to a 36-14 victory at Buccaneers Field.

The Bucs (8-1), ranked 24th in the FCS coaches poll, gained 375 on the ground, led by Christian Reyes, who had 181 yards on 26 carries.

The 49ers (4-4) trailed 21-14 early in the fourth quarter, and appeared to get a break when they recover a Bucs fumble at the Charlotte 3. But 49ers running back Alan Barnwell was tackled in the end zone for a safety, and although the 49ers' Damarrell Alexander recovered the ensuing free kick, the momentum had fully shifted to Charleston Southern.

The 49ers turned the ball over twice later in the fourth quarter on an interception thrown by quarterback Matt Johnson and a fumble by Barnwell. Both turnovers led to Charleston Southern touchdowns.

Johnson was Charlotte's leading rusher with 47 yards on 13 carries. He also complete 16 of 31 passes for 183 yards, but no touchdowns. Trent Bostick caught five passes for 114 yards and Austin Duke caught six for 57 yards.

The 49ers return to the coast next week with a game against sixth-ranked Coastal Carolina.

3rd quarter update: Charleston Southern 21, Charlotte 14

Charleston Southern is threatening on the Charlotte 1 as the third quarter ends with the Bucs leading 21-14.

Charleston Southern scored on the opening drive of the second half, going 58 yards on 10 plays and getting a 14-yard scoring pass from Daniel Croghan to Chris Theodore.

The 49ers answered when freshman Khalif Phillips scored on a 14-yard run.

Halftime update: Charleston Southern 15, Charlotte 49ers 7

Charleston Southern scored twice in the second quarter to take a 15-7 lead at halftime.

The Bucs got a 3-yard run from quarterback Kyle Copeland and a 39-yard pass from Daniel Croghan to go ahead. Copeland scored on a two-point conversion after his touchdown.

The Buccaneers' Christian Reyes has 125 yards rushing at halftime and CSU has outgained the 49erss 302-170 in total yardage. But a fumble and two missed field goals by the Bucs' Mark Deboy have helped keep it close for Charlotte.

Trent Bostick has four catches for 88 yards for Charlotte, while Austin Duke has four receptions for 48 yards.

The 49ers have struggle with their run game, with quarterback Matt Johnson rushing eight times for 20 yards.

1st quarter update: Charlotte 49ers 7, Charleston Southern 0

The 49ers lead Charleston Southern 7-0 after the first quarter.

Charlotte got a 7-yard touchdown run from true freshman Khalif Phillips. The touchdown was set up by an option pass after Corey Nesmith took a pass from quarterback Matt Johnson and Trent Bostick on a 39-yar pass behind the Buccaneers defense.

Charlotte was helped by two missed field goals by the Bucs' Mark Deboy, who was wide left on attempts from 35 and 29 yards.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Charlotte 49ers host No. 23 Clemson in men's soccer

The 49ers men's soccer team gets a crack at a nationally ranked ACC opponent Tuesday when Clemson comes to Transamerica Field.

Gametime is 7 p.m. against the Tigers (9-3-2),  ranked 23rd in Soccer America's poll this week.

The 49ers (5-5-3) are coming off a 1-0 Conference USA victory against Kentucky on Saturday. Giuseppe Gentile (5 goals, 2 assists) and Kyle Parker (4 goals, 2 assists) lead Charlotte.

The Tigers, who beat Pittsburgh 2-0 last Friday, are led by Thomas McNamara, who is third in the ACC with seven goals.

Clemson leads the overall series 9-4-3. Charlotte won the last meeting 3-1 in 2011 at Clemson.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Charlotte 49ers news, notes

Some 49ers news and notes on a football bye weekend:

-- The 49ers' two major preseason basketball events are set for Halton Arena. Fan Day is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m., with Basketball Madness next Thursday (Oct. 24)

Fan day will include scrimmages by the 49ers men's and women's teams. There will also be autographs and a free youth clinic for kids from kindergarten through sixth grade.

Basketball Madness, which starts at 9 p.m., will include team intros, a slam dunk contest among other things. Garrett Bedenbaugh, a Charlotte alum and TV meteorologist in Columbia, will be the emcee.

-- Charlotte's volleyball team plays its annual Dig Pink match Friday at 7 p.m. against Tulsa. The 49ers, who have led the nation in fund raising for the breast cancer awareness organization, raised more than $2,000 on Wednesday in their "Jail and Bail" fundraiser.

-- The 49ers men's soccer team will wear gold jerseys in honor of the fight against childhood cancer for Saturday's game against Kentucky at Transamerica Field. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game, with proceeds going to the  Levine's Children's Hospital.

The 49ers (4-5-3, 0-3-2), in ninth place in Conference USA with two points, have four more league games to climb out of ninth place in Conference USA and into the top seven, which would qualify them for the league tournament at Transamerica Field.

-- Charlotte's women's soccer team plays three straight home games, beginning with a Conference USA contest Friday against UAB. Charlotte (7-5-2, 2-2-2) and the Blazers (9-4-1, 2-2-1) trail Florida International (7-6, 3-2) in the Eastern Conference standings. The 49ers are host to Marshall on Oct. 25 and Florida Atlantic on Oct. 27 before finishing the regular season at Old Dominion on Oct. 31.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Final: UNC Pembroke 45, Charlotte 49ers 22

There would be no fourth-quarter magic Saturday at Richardson Stadium.

One week after completing an unlikely comeback against Gardner-Webb, the Charlotte 49ers fell 45-22 to UNC Pembroke, the nation’s 14th-ranked Division II team, Saturday before a homecoming crowd of 16,630.

The 49ers (4-3) were beaten soundly in every phase of the game against the Braves (5-0).

This time, Charlotte fell behind by 28-8 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, it was 38-15 and UNC Pembroke wouldn’t let up.

The 49ers might have had a brief flicker of hope early in the fourth quarter, after they had cut the Braves lead to 38-15 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johnson to C.J. Crawford.

But when Mikel Hunter fumbled a punt on UNC Pembroke’s next possession, any hopes of a potential comeback were extinguished.

Braves quarterback Luke Charles, the school’s all-time leading passer, picked apart the 49ers defense, completing 43 of 57 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns.

Many of Charles’ passes were thrown underneath the 49ers defense, a tactic Charlotte never adjusted to. And when the 49ers would bite on those short routes, Charles made them pay, as he did when he found Te’Vell Williams on a 56-yard scoring play in the third quarter.




3rd quarter update: UNC Pembroke 38, Charlotte 49ers 15

UNC Pembroke extended its lead to 38-15 after three periods, but the 49ers got a sign of life with a touchdown late in the quarter that cut the Braves lead to 38-15.

The Braves, who led 21-8 at halftime, got a touchdown on their first possession of the second half when Elliott Powell scored on a 5-yard run. UNC Pembroke then got a big play -- a 56-yard touchdown pass from Charles to Te'Vell Williams that made it 35-8. Pembroke then got three more points on a 46-yard field goal by Connor Haskins to increase the lead to 38-8.

The 49ers made it 38-15 on a 4-yard TD pass from Matt Johnson to H back C.J. Crawford with 2:01 left in the quarter.

Halftime: UNC Pembroke 21, Charlotte 49ers 8

UNC Pembroke extended its lead to 21-8 at halftime, with the Braves scoring on a 23-yard pass from quarterback Luke Charles to John Rich with 6:34 left in the second quarter.

The 49ers couldn't generate much offense and special-team problems also became a factor. A 38-yard field goal attempt by Blake Brewer partially blocked by the Braves. Then, when Charlotte had a chance to get the ball back late in the half on a Braves punt, a roughing the kicker call on Justin Bridges-Thompson allowed UNC Pembroke the maintain possession.

UNC Pembroke has 254 yards in total offense, with Charles completing 24 of 32 passes for 198 yards and a TD. The 49ers have gained 188 yards, with QB Matt Johnson completing 15 of 24 for 149 yards and a TD. The 49ers have generated just 39 yards on the ground.

The Braves, whose short-passing game is giving the 49ers all kinds of problems, have dominated time of possession, 19:02 to 10:58.

1st quarter: UNC Pembroke 14, Charlotte 49ers 8

UNC Pembroke, getting two 2-yard touchdown runs from Rontonio Stanley, leads the Charlotte 49ers 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Braves scored on their first two possessions before punting on their third.

Charlotte briefly went ahead when Matt Johnson hit Mikel Hunter on a 2-yard TD pass with 8:26 left in the quarter. The 49ers faked the extra point kick, with holder Lee McNeill going on for two-point conversion.

The 49ers were deep in Braves territory late in the quarter, but Johnson was intercepted by L.J. Stroman in the end zone.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Charlotte 49ers at Coastal football game to be televised

The 49ers' football game at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 2 will be televised by WCCB (channel 18).

WCCB has been showing all 49ers home games. The Coastal game (with a 3 p.m. kickoff) will also be televised on WFXB in Florence-Myrtle Beach and WOLO in Columbia.

This will be the seventh game to be televised by WCCB (in addition to one on ESPN3 at Presbyterian). The 49ers have averaged a 2.9 household rating on WCCB, with an average audience of more than 33,000 homes.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Charlotte 49ers-ODU soccer on TV

The 49ers men's soccer match Wednesday against Conference USA foe Old Dominion at Transamerica Field will be on Fox Sports South at 7 p.m.

Charlotte (4-3-3, 0-2-1) has gotten off to a rough start in league play, tying New Mexico 0-0 in double-overtime tie last Friday. The Monarchs (4-3-1, 1-1), falling to Kentucky 2-1 on Friday.

Player to watch for ODU is senior striker Tim Hopkinson, who had six goals and an assist. Charlotte senior goalkeeper Klay Davis is the defensive player of the week in C-USA after allowing one goal in ties against Wake Forest (1-1) and New Mexico (0-0). The shutout against the Lobos was the fourth of the season for Davis and the 24th of his career.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Charlotte 49ers picked 4th in C-USA preseason women's basketball poll

The Charlotte 49ers have been picked to finish fourth in the Conference USA's preseason women's basketball poll.

Charlotte, one of 12 Division I programs to have played in the postseason in each of the past 12 seasons, got one first-place vote. Another conference newcomer, Middle Tennessee State, was chosen to win the league, with Texas-El Paso picked second and Tulane third.

The 49ers didn't have a player chosen to the preseason all-conference team.

Charlotte opens its season Nov. 8 against Liberty at Halton Arena.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Final: Charlotte 49ers 53, Gardner-Webb 51

The Charlotte 49ers scored 29 unanswered points in the second half, rallying to beat 25th-ranked  Gardner-Webb 53-51 at Richardson Stadium.

Gardner-Webb (4-2) led 45-24 at the end of the third quarter before the 49ers (4-2) rallied.

Charlotte took its first lead when quarterback Matt Johnson hit true freshman Trent Bostick on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 3:15 left. That put the 49ers up 46-45. After a Gardner-Webb fumble, the 49ers' Alan Barnwell scored on a 56-yard run, giving what would eventually be the points with 2:19 left.

The Bulldogs came right back, scoring on a 1-yard run by Juanne Blount with 31 seconds left, making it 53-51. But a two-point conversion pass by quarterback Lucas Beatty fell incomplete and the 49ers had their come-from-behind victory.

3rd quarter: GW 45, Charlotte 21

Gardner-Webb has scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter and leads 45-21.

The Bulldogs drove 75 yards on their first possession, scoring on a 2-yard pass from Lucas Beatty to Earnest Harmon to make it 28-21.

The Bulldogs then went up 35-21 on a 1-yard run by Juanne Blount, after Drew White picked up the ball from a blocked field goal attempt and returned it to the 2.

Gardner-Webb took a 45-21 lead when receiver Richard Jules hit Mike Estes on a 27-yard TD pass.

Halftime update: Charlotte 49ers 24, Gardner-Webb 24

The 49ers rallied in the second quarter and have pulled into a 24-24 tie with Gardner-Webb at halftime.

Matt Johnson hit Austin Duke on a 26-yard scoring pass with 14 seconds left to tie it. The 49ers drove 78 yards in 1 minute, 53 seconds on that final drive.

Gardner-Webb led 17-7 after the first quarter, but Charlotte cut into the lead when Johnson hit C.J. Crawford across the middle for a 17-yard scoring pass, making it 17-14 with 13:32 left in the half. After Gardner-Webb increased its lead to 24-14 on a 3-yard run by Earnest Harmon, Charlotte got a 43-yard field goal by Blake Brewer after the Bulldogs turned it over on a fumble by quarterback Lucas Beatty.

After Gardner-Webb's Jordan Day missed a 39-yard field goal, the 49ers countered with their third TD when Johnson hit Duke for his fifth touchdown of the season.

Gardner-Webb has outgained the 49ers 322-242 and has a huge advantage in time of possession, 21:23-8:37.

Beatty has completed 21 of 28 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs' Kenny Cook has eight catches for 111 yards and two TDs. Charlotte's Johnson is l1 of 19 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He's also run for 40 yards. Kalif Phillips leads 49ers rushers with 42 yards on five carries and a touchdown.

1st quarter update: Gardner-Webb 17, Charlotte 49ers 7

Lucas Beatty has thrown two touchdown passes to Kenny Cook, helping Gardner-Webb take a 17-7 lead over the Charlotte 49ers after one quarter.

Beatty and Cook hooked up scoring passes of 3 and 20 yards as the Bulldogs have scored on all three of their possessions. Jordan Day's 22-yard field goal gave Gardner-Webb its other points.

The 49ers got on the scoreboard on a 6-yard run by Kalif Phillips. That capped a drive of 63 yards on six plays after Charlotte had gone three-and-out on its first two possessions for a total of 3 yards.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Charlotte 49ers helmets to honor military

-- The game ball for Saturday's Charlotte-Gardner-Webb football game will arrive after being carried in a 60-mile relay from Gardner-Webb's Boiling Springs campus 60 miles west of Charlotte by members of both schools' ROTC. The 49ers will also recognize Military Appreciation Day with a special helmet design.

-- Former 49ers women's soccer star Hailey Beam, who was to have had her jersey retired Friday, will be honored at halftime of the football game. 

-- Charlotte’s men's soccer team is on another lengthy road trip and this time they face perhaps their toughest test of the season. The 49ers (4-3-2, 0-1-1) are in Albuquerque, N.M., to face New Mexico (5-3-1, 1-0) in a Conference USA match. The Lobos are one of three teams – along with South Carolina and Kentucky – that have an associate membership for soccer in Conference USA. Charlotte has already played at Denver and travels to Tulsa next week.

-- Junior point guard Pierria Henry is the 49ers' representative on Conference USA's preseason watch list. Henry is the 49ers' leading returning starter (10.2 ppg) and was among the nation's steals leaders for a second consecutive season.

-- Charlotte's volleyball team plays its first two C-USA home matches this weekend against Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Friday and Tulane at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 49ers (10-7, 0-2) dropped their first two conferences matches last weekend at Florida International and Florida Atlantic.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/04/4363407/former-49ers-soccer-star-beam.html#.Uk8NdCS1Evo#storylink=cpy