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March 14, 2014

Charlotte falls in C-USA Tournament

After getting the win against UAB in the first round, the 49ers had a bigger fish to fry in the number one overall seed Louisiana Tech.

These two teams faced each other before, but unfortunately, it was the same story written Thursday night in El Paso, Texas.

The Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech took down the 49ers in the second round 86-65, as Michale Kyser scored 20 points for the Bulldogs, while Alex Hamilton poured in 19 of his own.

"Congratulations to Coach Michael White and his team," Alan Major said. "I thought they made some really big plays when we cut into the lead and got the game within striking distance a few times."

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game before the 49ers pulled within a basket a few minutes later. However, that would be the closest the 49ers would get in the game.

Louisiana Tech started to stretch their lead, as Kyser scored the next 10 points for the Bulldogs before Kenyon McNeail topped it off with a three point basket to push the lead to double digits.

Charlotte tried to contain the lead, as Willie Clayton scored in the final second of the half to keep it within 10 points, 36-26.

After that though, it was all Louisiana Tech, as eventually increased their lead to 55-39 at the 11:51 mark, as Alex Hamilton and Cordarius Johnson scored in bunches in the early going.

From there on, the Bulldogs were in cruise control in El Paso, eventually increasing their lead to 20 points in the closing minutes and eventually taking the game 86-65 over the 49ers.

Louisiana Tech shot 49.2 percent from the floor, going 31-of-63 from the floor, while the 49ers struggled at times finding their shot, shooting 37.9 percent from the floor (22-of-58).

Even though the 49ers had four different players in double figures, with Terrence Williams and Pierria Henry both scoring 13 points each, it wasn't enough to overcome the four double figures scorers for the Bulldogs.

Another stat that showed up was the assist comparison between the two teams, as Charlotte only had five assists on 22 made field goals, compared to 17 assists for Louisiana Tech on 31 made field goals.

The rebounding margin was a close one, with the 49ers being outrebounded 43-38 but also grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in the game. However, Charlotte also had 16 turnovers in the game, which allowed Louisiana Tech to have a 17-5 point advantage off turnovers.

When looking at the box score of the game, one can see where the Bulldogs were able to show their stuff and increase their lead in the second half, as they dominated the points in paint (36-18), second chance points (16-10), and bench points (30-14).

"They made some big shots and give those guys some credit. I'm proud of this group. I know we didn't quite achieve some of the things we wanted to this year, but we did some things in terms of making a little bit of history early in the season and finishing by winning three out of our last four games, we've got a lot to build on."

"We're going to add some pieces to this group next year. This group that we have now is going to get better."

The 49ers had an up and down season all year long, but finished their season with a 17-14 record and were 7-9 in C-USA.

"Our guys achieved a lot to know that two straight years they've captured regular-season tournament titles in Alaska and Puerto Rico titles. There is always a sour taste in your mouth when it comes to an end but every team has high hopes and we're one of those teams. We know we're better than we performed on some of these nights where we didn't get the results we wanted to. We were one or two possessions away on multiple nights from a totally different record. We've got some things to build on. Sometimes this taste in your mouth is the same thing that can drive you forward the next six months."


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