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February 15, 2014

Marshall stumbles to a 59-56 win over Charlotte

CHARLOTTE - Most car accidents are easier to watch compared to Saturday night's game between the Charlotte 49ers (14-10, 5-6) and Marshall Thundering Herd (9-17, 3-8).

"We were just uncharacteristic in a lot of ways", said Charlotte 49ers Head Coach Alan Major. "The game was more mental than it was physical."

Two wide open attempts for the game-tying three by Pierria Henry and Shawn Lester were left unrewarded as the 49ers lost 59-56 to the Thundering Herd.

Lester scored 16 points and grabbed two rebounds with his final 12 points coming in the second half. He played only 32 minutes in the game.

Marshall would go on a15-2 run in the final seven minutes of the first half giving them their first lead of the game at halftime, 36-32.

"Yeah, that helped them have a lot of confidence going into the first (second) half", said Coach Major. "At times, and this is an area that we continue to grow as a team because we will is…you have a couple things on the offensive end and it attached itself to the defensive end and it makes you a bit heavy-legged."

Afterwards, Charlotte was unable to respond shooting 2-for-17 from the three-point line and four different players near foul trouble with at least three fouls in the second half.

Marshall's Chris Thomas went on a 9-0 run in the beginning of the game, recording 18 points and three rebounds with 14 points in the first half.

"I just got a couple layups going early and it gave me confidence. My teammates kept telling me to keep going. Me and (Kareem) Canty just dialed in with our confidence", said Thomas.

Marshall's leading scorer, Kareem Canty produced a game-high 21 points with four rebounds. Ryan Taylor and Cheikh Sane combined for 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Willie Clayton gathered a season-high 16 rebounds while Denzel Ingram and Mike Thorne Jr. combined for 14 points and nine rebounds in their losing efforts.

Guard Ben Cherry appeared to have a shoulder injury after a foul call in the midway through the first half. He did not return. He played only nine minutes.

Charlotte gathered 13 more rebounds to Marshall's 35 for the game, but only produced 14 second chance points to Marshall's 10 in the game.

The 49ers would allow 22 points in the paint in the first half compared to Marshall's allowed 16 which exemplifies the 49ers' inability to contain the interior.

"They were trying to knock us out early," said Kareem Canty. "They came out on fire, we came out missing shots. They were trying to go on a run early, but we held our heads and then we just battled back."

With Saturday's loss, Charlotte takes their first home loss of the season since December, earning a (12-3) home record so far this season. They drop back to eighth in C-USA play with the opportunity to play the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (19-7, 9-2) Thursday, Feb. 20. The Blue Raiders have been on a tear, winning 11 of their last 13 games.
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Check back with Niner Report for next week's game previews and recaps.



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