All that talk concerned with the Charlotte 49ers being mired in a shooting slump quickly went to rest as they never trailed and shot a season high 56.9 percent from the field in a 95-58 rout of Saint Joseph's. With the victory the Niners (19-8, 9-4) snapped a three game losing streak and moved into a tie with Saint Louis for fourth place in the A10 with three games to play. The Niners own the tiebreaker over the Billikens in lieu of their head-to-head victory in January.
The Niners sprinted out to a 7-2 lead on a dunk from Derrio Green. Hawk forward Todd O'Brien's layup cut the lead to three with 16 minutes 38 seconds remaining in the first half.
That three point deficit would be as close as the Hawks (9-19, 3-11) got all night as the Niners outscored them15-2 over the next 5 minutes 25 seconds capped by DiJuan Harris' driving layup to put the Niners up 22-6 with 11 minutes 13 seconds left in the first half.
Back-to-back baskets from the Hawks cut the deficit to 12 before the Niners went on another run. Ian Andersen's second 3-pointer of the night sparked a 16-4 run which included three consecutive baskets from An'Juan Wilderness to put the Niners up 36-15. Andersen capped the run with his third 3-pointer of the half to put the Niners up 41-17 with 3 minutes 49 seconds remaining which forced Hawks Head Coach Phil Martelli to burn his third timeout of the half.
Seven different players scored for the Niners as they shot 60 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the 3-point line to take a 50-23 lead into the locker rooms. Fifty points matched the Niners season high for points in the first half and the 27 point lead was their largest of the first half against any opponent all season. The Niners outscored the Hawks 14 to nothing in fast break points and converted nine Hawk turnovers in 10 points.
"We played an angry team," said Martelli afterward.
The Niners were not satisfied with just a 27 point lead.
It quickly ballooned to 30 points on a layup by Shamari Spears just inside three minutes in the second half. After a basket by Garrett Williamson made the score 60-34 the Niners responded with 14 straight points capped by a 3-pointer from Gokhan Sirin to put them up 74-36. They would lead by as many as 40 points as they cruised to victory.
Andersen scored 14 (5-5 FG, 4-4 3FG) of his game and season high 19 points in the first half. Spears added 17 points, Sirin 11, while Wilderness and Braswell chipped in 10 a piece.
Twelve different players scored for the Niners in the rout. The Niners set season highs in field goals(37), 3-pointers(12), and field goal percentage (56.9). They also matched their season high with 95 points.
Darrin Govens and O'Brien scored 12 points each while O'Brien also chipped in 10 rebounds, eight on the offensive end.
"It was important for us to get the win tonight," said Niner Head Coach Bobby Lutz. "[They're] a team we felt like we should beat."
Lutz was complimentary on the defensive effort afterward, which held the Hawks to 11.1 percent from the 3-point line, a season best for the Niners. "Our defense was good as it's been in awhile," he said.
The Niners will resume play Saturday when they travel to George Washington.