Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Observations: College of Charleston 83, Charlotte 82

CHARLESTON -- Observations from Charlotte's 83-82 loss to College of Charleston on Tuesday:

-- Even as the Cougars continued to hit 3-pointers, it appeared the 49ers were still in good shape with 15.8 seconds left when Charleston's Willis Hall made one of two free throws. That made the score Charlotte 82, Charleston 78.

To that point, the 49ers had made nine of 12 free throws down the stretch, which is often good enough to hold off the sternest comeback.

Then Charlotte got jittery, and that's what ultimately cost the 49ers.

Terrence Williams' inbounds pass was intercepted by Charleston's Joe Chealey, who promptly hit another 3, cutting the lead to one point. Then Pierria Henry missed a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left, setting the stage for the Cougars' Hall to hit the winning layup with 1.7 seconds left.

Forward Willie Clayton attributed the loss to mental mistakes, especially in Charlotte not recognizing whom of the Cougars' 3-point shooters to guard. Coach Alan Major mentioned the missed free throws and turnovers. It was a combination of all that, hard lessons for a young team to learn.

-- Clayton was dominant inside. After grabbing just five rebounds in the season opener against East Tennessee State, he had 13 (eight offensive) against Charleston, along with 19 points. Clayton said he struggled against ETSU because he was trying to figure out the new rules that prohibit hand checking on defense.

-- Henry scored 21 points, had six assists, five steals, two blocks and five rebounds, in addition to just two turnovers. But he was just seven-of-13 from the line, and his two costly late misses were in stark contrast to the eight he made in the final five seconds in last season's Atlantic 10 tournament against Richmond.

But Henry has a fan in Charleston coach Doug Wojcik.

"We may not see a better guard all season," said Wojcik. "He's in total command of his team. It seems like he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants."

-- Major played just seven players. The bench is short with guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) still out. Ingram hopes to be back next week, but Benkovic won't likely return until sometime in December. Henry (39 minutes) and Williams (35) will be ready for their return. Shawn Lester has had an impressive first two games, and had 14 points on five-of-seven shooting (two-of-three 3-pointers) against Charleston. One of them came at the buzzer at the end of the first half. But Ben Cherry, who is supposed to be shoring up Charlotte's long-range game, has missed all seven of his 3-pointers this season.

-- Charleston's Hall, he of the game-winning basket, is from Charlotte, played at Charlotte Christian and received his first college offer from the 49ers. He said he's friends with Cherry, who played at Myers Park High and began his college career down the street at The Citadel, and 49ers grad assistant Colby Lewis.

-- Charleston's Canyon Barry, who led the Cougars with 26 points, is the son of hall of famer Rick Barry, who was in the stands. Canyon shoots free throws underhanded like his dad, although he was only one of three Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

We were not planning on going to the tournament this year anyway...


Anonymous said...

Barely beat a a terrible ETSU team at home. Give away a game at Charleston. FIVE MORE YEARS!

Anonymous said...

Only 7 guys. Wasn't the excuse in the Phil Jones and Spears debacle that it made us short handed bla bla bla? If quality talent like Clark, Vic, and Mayfield were here. It's obvious now why Major Didnt have the guts to suspend his 2 arrested kids.

Anonymous said...

After 4 years of this Major screw up no one cares and the writer is still making excuses that the team is young. In the 4th year shouldn't he have a team that is experienced? What a miserable hire this was and what apathy has set in. Enjoy those 250 fans when Elon wind Friday at an empty Halton.

Anonymous said...

Major needs to be let go and Judy Rose should resign, the university has out grown her abilities as an AD.