FACTS & STATS: Site: Belk Arena (5,223) -- Davidson, North Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Charlotte 4-0, Davidson 1-0. Away Record: Charlotte 0-0, Davidson 1-2. Neutral Record: Charlotte 3-0, Davidson 2-1. Conference Record: Charlotte 0-0, Davidson 1-0. Series Record: Charlotte leads 27-11.
GAMES NOTES: The Davidson Wildcats have the difficult task of cooling off the streaking Charlotte 49ers, when they take a short trip for a instate clash at Belk Arena.
It's been seven games and Charlotte has still yet to taste defeat. The 49ers made quick work of another Tar Heel state foe, with a 76-64 win over East Carolina in their last outing. This game is the first true road contest for Charlotte which played three neutral site games in Anchorage during the Great Alaska Shootout. Charlotte will be back at home against Central Michigan next.
In its conference opener, Davidson ran past Chattanooga and posted an 81-55 victory. The win was the third in five games for the Wildcats who were coming off a three-game stint in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida. Davidson has played at Belk Arena just once this season, earning a win against Emory, but will be home in its next two games as well.
The all-time series between these rivals that are separated by just about 20 miles has featured 38 meetings. In those contests Charlotte has been the dominant squad with 27 wins. It has been back and forth recently with the pair trading wins in the last five outings. Last season Charlotte earned an 84-61 victory on its home floor.
Charlotte led by 11 points at halftime against East Carolina and didn't do anything in the second half to relinquish that lead. The 49ers shot 48.1 percent overall in the game, including a 50.0 percent showing in the second half. The 49ers dominated inside with a 45-21 edge in rebounds and a 46-24 advantage in points in the paint. Willie Clayton led the way with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The 49ers have not just been winning but dominating this season. The team owns a hefty +12.4 scoring differential by scoring 70.3 points per game and limiting opponents to 57.9. The real difference has been in how well the 49ers have disrupted teams offensively by allowing just a 34.6 field goal percentage. That is the seventh best mark in the nation and exactly 10 percentage points below where the 49ers shoot. Normally it is Chris Braswell (15.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) leading the team both on the boards and on the score sheet, despite making all of his contributions off the bench. Clayton (7.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is a solid frontcourt player but had not scored in double figures all season before last Saturday. Terrence Williams (10.6 ppg) and Pierra Henry (7.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.0 apg) team in the backcourt with DeMario Mayfield (10.6 ppg) adding depth as a reserve.
Davidson was sharp from beyond the arc against Chattanooga, nailing 14-of-29 shots in the blowout win. Overall the Wildcats shot 46.6 percent while holding the Mocs to 30.0 percent shooting and single digit field goals in both halves. Tyler Kalinoski came off the bench and nailed four triples and led the team with 15 points.
The 3-point shot is a crucial part of Davidson's offense and should be as the team has the 26th best percentage from beyond the arc nationally (40.4 3P percentage). Davidson also gets it done from the free throw line where it shoots 79.0 percent, the fourth best mark at the Division I level. The Wildcats also move the ball well and rack up 15.3 assists per game as a team. Surprisingly for a team that shoots so well from 3-point range, forward De'Mon Brooks (16.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is the top offensive option. Brooks has the ability to shoot from the outside (4-of-10) but works better closer to the basket. Jake Cohen (11.4 ppg, 33.3 3P percentage), Chris Czerapowicz (10.1 ppg, 50.1 3P percentage), JP Kuhlman (10.0 ppg, 41.2 3P percentage) are the Wildcats' gunners. Kuhlman is also handing out 5.2 assists per game running the point.
When Davidson is feeling it from long range the Wildcats can put up points in bunches. Still, Charlotte has had the type of defensive efforts that could slow the Wildcats down enough for the 49ers to keep rolling.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 76, Davidson 69
12/05 10:37:09 ET
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