Williams scores career-high 22 points; Niners hand UAB first league loss

Williams scores career-high 22 points; Niners hand UAB first league loss
Charlotte 49ers basketball logo (Source: WBTV)

Press release provided by Charlotte 49ers Athletics

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Behind three double-figure scorers led by Brice Williams’s career-high 22 points and a blistering second-half shooting performance, the Charlotte 49ers (6-6, C-USA: 2-2) handed the UAB Blazers (10-2; C-USA 3-1) their first conference loss with 70-55 win in Halton Arena.

Williams scored his 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field while connecting on all three of his three-point field goal attempts. Two other players had double-digit scoring games as Jahmir Young scored 14 points while adding seven assists and six boards. Jhery Matos totaled 13 points with a team-leading eight rebounds with six assists.

Charlotte shot 72 percent (13-for-18) from the field in the second half. The 49ers dished out 19 assists on 25 made field goals.

Charlotte’s defense limited UAB to 6.7 percent shooting (1-for-15) from beyond the three-point line for the game.

HOW IT HAPPENED

FIRST HALF - UAB started the game with five quick points, then Charlotte went on an 18-0 run taking an 18-5 lead with 13 minutes left in the half. The run started with layups from both Jordan Shepherd and Anzac Rissetto. Young then hit back-to-back threes. The 49ers forced a Blazers’ shot clock violation on the next play thanks to their stifling defense; Williams continued his hot shooting by hitting a three followed by a fastbreak dunk off a Matos assist. Matos connected on a three, closing out the 49ers scoring during their run.

The Blazers scored seven straight points cutting Charlotte’s lead to six points. Williams connected on another three ending the Blazers’ run pushing Charlotte’s lead to 21-12 with just under 10 minutes left in the half. A Young layup, which he scored off a unique inbounds play after throwing the ball off a UAB player’s back, catching his own inbounds pass, and scoring, gave the 49ers a 23-14 lead. UAB scored 11 of the next 16 points cutting Charlotte’s lead to 28-25 with two minutes left in the half. Then, Jared Garcia connected on his second three-pointer of the half, pushing the 49ers lead to six points. Charlotte led UAB, 31-30, after the Blazers scored the last five points of the half.

SECOND HALF – The lead exchanged hands a couple of times early in the half. With UAB leading 34-33, Charlotte went on a 7-0 run, taking the lead for good. Matos scored five points, and Young scored the 49ers’ other two points during the run which gave the 49ers a 40-34 lead with 15:24 on the clock..

Charlotte maintained a lead of 2-6 points for the next six minutes. With the 49ers leading 50-48 with just under 10 minutes left in the game, Charlotte went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes, taking a 60-48 lead when Williams knocked down two free throws with just under seven minutes on the clock., Williams scored six points, Matos scored two points, and Supica had an emphatic dunk off a Jordan Shepherd assist during the run. With the 49ers leading UAB, 62-53, with five minutes on the clock, Charlotte went on an 8-0 run to close out their scoring behind a three from Matos, a jumper by Shepherd and free throws by Young and Williams.

QUOTABLE

“Definitely proud of the way we played, especially after the challenging game yesterday,” Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez said. “I know they were disappointed in how they played, so for them to muster the energy to come back and not just play but play with the level of passion and connectivity and selflessness as a coach, you applaud them. It definitely injects you with a little bit of joy.”

On Brice Williams

“I thought he was terrific today,” Sanchez said. “The way he flashed into the middle of the zone and made some big shots. He made big plays and some deep threes. He defended really well today, he was phenomenal in our post-trap causing a few turnovers giving us a few extra possessions, he rebounded the ball well. "

NOTES

  • Charlotte had two double-digit scoring runs: a first-half 18-0 run and a second-half 10-0 run.
  • Williams recorded his second 20-point scoring game of the season with a career-high 22 points.
  • Young’s 14 points marked his 32nd career double-figures scoring game.
  • Matos posted his fifth double-figure scoring game of the season with 13 points.
  • Charlotte dished out 19 assists on 25 made field goals.
  • The 49ers connected on a season-high 10 three-point field goals. Matos and Williams both connected on three three-point field goals. Young and Garcia connected on two threes apiece.
  • Charlotte shot 72 percent (13-for-18) from the field in the second half. This marks the second time this season that the 49ers have shot over 70 percent from the field in a half.
  • Charlotte’s defense limited UAB to 1-for-15 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
  • Charlotte behind the scoring of Williams, Garcia and Rissetto off the bench finished the game with a 33-11 advantage in bench scoring.

NEXT GAME

The 49ers hit the road for two conference games against Florida Atlantic on Friday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. in Boca Raton, Florida.

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