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February 25, 2012
The Nicholson show
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On a night when Charlotte's Derrio Green and Javarris Barnett were recognized as seniors, it was the Andrew Nicholson show at Halton Arena.
The St. Bonaventure big man scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Bonnies (16-10; 9-5) dismantled Charlotte (13-14; 5-9), 72-56.
Nicholson had all assets of his game clicking Saturday night right from the start. The 6-9 senior did whatever he wanted on the low blocks, going 8-11 from the field for 17 points and six first-half rebounds as the Bonnies controlled the first 20 minutes.
"Andrew really did a great job especially early in the game, got us off to a great start," St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. "He's been staying out of foul trouble and when he's in the game, he's extremely good. Andrew is everything to us, without Andrew, we don't win tonight."
Nicholson also did his share of defensive work in the first half, limiting Charlotte's leading scorer Chris Braswell to only five points in the first half, as the Bonnies took a 39-29 lead into the break.
Aside from Nicholson, Mark Schmidt's team got a nice spark off the bench from sophomore swingman Matthew Wright, who scored seven first half points.
"They got the ball to their best player and he made some great finishes," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "They've got some solid guys around him, a couple of them that can make shots. He's their anchor."
Charlotte was paced early by sophomore DeMario Mayfield, who scored eight points and grabbed five boards in the first half.
The 49ers showed some fight out of the gates in the second half, inching to within 49-45 at the 11:08 mark, but the Bonnies used an 18-3 run over the next eight minutes to salt things away. Charlotte scored just 11 points over the last 11:08.
Mayfield and Barnett both led Charlotte with 13 points each while freshman Pierria Henry also scored 11 and dished out four assists.
Wright ended up with 13 off the bench for the Bonnies and Demitrius Conger also added a double double (12 points, 11 rebounds).
Charlotte closes out its home season Wednesday night when they welcome Duquesne.