Saturday, February 2, 2013

Observations: Charlotte 49ers 66, UMass 65

Observations from Charlotte's 66-65 victory Saturday against UMass:

• Coach Alan Major cringed when Pierria Henry admitted to fouling Massachusetts' Chaz Williams on Henry's steal at the end of the game.

"I fouled him," said Henry. "But it ain't in the record books."

I don't blame Major, who might hear from the Atlantic 10 office on that. But it's refreshing to hear that kind of honesty from players.

• It's also hard to underestimate the importance of the win against a good UMass team while playing without DeMario Mayfield and Darion Clark. The schedule gets tougher over the next five games and, at 5-2 in the Atlantic 10 (17-4 overall), the 49ers need all the cushion they can get in their record as they head to Temple on Wednesday, play a home game Feb. 9 against Virginia Commonwealth then play road games against Saint Louis and No. 9 Butler before a home contest against Temple on Feb. 25.

• Mayfield served the first game of an indefinite suspension for violating athletics department policy. Center Chris Braswell also didn't start for disciplinary reasons. "A brief life lesson," said coach Alan Major. Braswell will likely be back in the starting lineup Wednesday at Temple. Clark (ankle) should be back for Temple.

• In addition to Henry's steal at the end of the game, the 49ers did a good job on Williams, especially in the first half when they limited him to five points and one assist. Williams' second field goal was a desperate, long 3-pointer - about 35 feet - as the shot clock expired.

• There was a good homecoming crowd and announced sellout of 9,105, Charlotte's largest of the season and largest since also drawing 9,105 against Xavier in 2010. The 49ers celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1987-88 team that won the Sun Belt championship and played in the NCAA tournament. It was Charlotte's first trip to the tournament since the 1977 team made it to the final four. Stars on that Jeff Mullins-coached team were Byron Dinkins, Dan Plondke and Cedric Ball.

• At least one player in the alumni game earlier at Halton was seen watching the 49ers and Minutemen while icing down a sore knee.


Drew Polly said...

It's great being 5-2 in the A-10 at this point in the year. Out of the next 5, we need to win at least 2. Still hoping we are a lock for the NIT at this point!

Anonymous said...

Drew, I'm still hoping we make the NCAA at this point. We can make or break our NCAA in these next 5 or 6 very tough games.

Anonymous said...

Mike says you Niners who have criticized the Observer in past years should be ashamed of yourselves. The coverage of today's game proves the Observer has always given us great coverage in the past.