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December 20, 2012

Charlotte surges past Radford

Radford @ Charlotte BOX SCORE

The Charlotte 49ers defense proved to be too much for yet another opponent as Radford fell 68-52 in Halton Arena on Wednesday night.

The 49ers (11-1) would start the game with a lead and not give it up for the entire game, which has been uncharacteristic of them thus far this season.

They relied heavily on a defense that forced Radford to shoot a meager 26.7 percent (8-30) from the field, 11 percent(1-9) from outside the arc, and 50 percent (2-4) from the free throw line in the first half.

Pierria Henry and Willie Clayton both led the team at half with eight points. Clayton added an additional 4 rebounds, all offensive, while Henry gave the 49ers 3 steals going into half as well as a juke-move to a deep 3-pointer jumper to close the half out with just 3 seconds remaining.

A dominant half gave the 49ers a 38-19 advantage going into the break.

Both teams played well defensively in a half that featured a total of 10 steals and 6 blocks.

The 49ers used their physical advantage to govern the first half with 23 rebounds (8 offensive, 23 defensive) to Radford's 14 (8 offensive, 6 defensive) with 28 of the 49ers 38 points coming from inside the paint.

Radford began the game with a man-press but was forced to settle into a 3-2 zone to somewhat hinder the 49ers speed.

The 49ers led the entire game with the largest margin, 21 points, coming at 16:15 in the second half. They also held Radford to single digits until 12 minutes in after a Kion Brown layup to end a 27-8 Charlotte run.

Radford would battle back in the second to outscore the 49ers 33-30 in the half and reduce their lead to 12 at the 8-minute mark. That would be the closest the Highlanders would get the rest of the way.

"With our record we're getting everyone's best shot," said 49ers Head Coach Alan Major. Major added that the slow start to the second half was due to his team, "playing the score."

"Its tough to score [on Charlotte] because they really guard you" Radford Head Coach, Mike Jones said afterwards. "Their aggressive play forces teams to be sharp in execution."

Charlotte's stellar shot defense proved vital again as they forced Radford to shoot 33 percent (18-55) from the field and 14 percent (2-14) from outside the arc on the night.

Radford had been averaging around 7 three-pointers a game but were limited to two inside of Halton Arena. They also scored a season-low of 52. Their previous low had been 55 against William and Mary.

Clayton dictated from within the paint with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Henry added 14 points, 5 rebounds, and a game-high 5 steals for a 49ers squad that earned 50 points within the paint and 27 defensive rebounds.

Radford was led by sophomore Javonte Green with a game-high 16 points, and 7 rebounds-he currently leads the SoCon in field goal percentage with 56 percent, he shot 50 percent (6-12) tonight.

Charlotte native Rashun Davis also aided Radford with 11 points and 3 steals.

Charlotte is just one game removed from its first loss of the season and only one away from facing another ACC opponent in the Florida State Seminoles. That game will be on Saturday, December 22 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown.

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