The Charlotte 49ers did not let down their fans on opening night in Halton Arena as they ousted the Pfeiffer Falcons 95-51 in their lone exhibition of the season.
With key players Chris Braswell, DeMario Mayfield and J.T. Thompson missing, freshman Darion Clark had a stellar debut as he led all players with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Clark made all five shots he took from the field and went 9-13 from the free throw line.
The 49ers trailed by six early but scored 10 straight points to take the lead that they never relinquished.
The 49ers ended the first half on a 14-5 thanks in part to their transition offense.
Perimeter shooting was a problem for the 49ers as they only went 4-20 from the three-point line on the evening. Freshman point guard Denzel Ingram hit all four of the 49ers three-pointers on the evening and scored 13 points.
Despite their perimeter struggles, the 49ers dominated in the paint with 44 points. The 49ers presence around the boards also proved crucial as the four-guard starting lineup of the Falcons lost the rebound war 56-37.
The 49ers moved the ball well with 19 assists but only shot 42 percent for the game.
Demonstrating the defensive "dogfight" mentality he mentioned earlier this week Pierria Henry, led the 49ers defense with six steals and they held the Falcons to 29 percent shooting from the field. They also scored 37 points off of 28 Falcon turnovers.
The Falcons were led by Tayron Gibson's 13 points.
The 49ers freshman accounted for 58 of the team's 95 points scored Thursday night.
After the game, 49ers Head Coach Alan Major emphasized the importance of integrating the young guys into the rotation.
"We have a lot of guys that just need to be on the floor and for lack of a better phrase, just get some clock time," Major said. "It was good to do that."
Redshirt freshman Mike Thorne added 14 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Willie Clayton added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Terrence Williams scored 16 points.
The 49ers will face Charleston Southern next Friday on Nov. 9 in their season opener at Halton Arena