The 49ers made a furious rally in the second half, but the rally fell short as the Charlotte 49ers (18-7, A-10: 6-5) fell to Saint Louis (19-5, A-10: 8-2), 76-58, on the road.
"I thought we got off to a tough start in the second half," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "We had some great opportunities but did not cash in on them. I liked our guys fight cutting Saint Louis lead to five points. It is a learning experience for our guys that we need to stay on our path for the entire 40 minutes."
Pierria Henry led the 49ers with 15 points for his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season. Willie Clayton scored 14 points for his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season. Clayton led the 49ers with eight rebounds. Terrence Williams scored eight points off the bench.
Cody Ellis led four Saint Louis Billikens in double-figures with 18 points.
Charlotte finished the game with a 34-18 advantage in points in the paint.
For the first 10 minutes of the game, the lead exchanged hands several times. With the game tied at 17, Ivan Benkovic gave the 49ers a 20-17 lead with a long three from the wing at the 9:40 mark.
Saint Louis scored seven of the next 11 points tying the score at 24 with 7:52 on the clock. Saint Louis closed out the first half on a 13-4 run taking a 37-28 halftime lead after Ellis knocked down a three with 25 seconds on the clock.
Saint Louis pushed their lead to 16 points by outscoring the 49ers 19-12 over the first 10 minutes of the second half.
With Saint Louis leading 56-40, the 49ers went on an 11-0 run capped off by a Henry free throw cutting the 49ers deficit to 56-51 with 6:20 left in the second half. Clayton completed a three-point play at the 9:07 mark which began the 49ers' run. Henry and Nickerson also scored during the run. Clayton scored six of the 49ers 11 points during their run.
However, five points would be as close as the 49ers would get to Saint Louis as the Billikens pushed their lead to 10 points, 62-52, after outscoring the 49ers 6-1 over the next five minutes.
Charlotte cut Saint Louis' lead to 62-54 after Darion Clark scored inside with 3:50 on the clock. That would be as close as the 49ers would get as the Billikens outscored the 49ers 14-4 over the final four minutes.
Charlotte will not have a mid-week game this week. The 49ers return to action when they host Temple in Halton Arena, Sunday, February 24 at 4 pm.