After defeating Wilmington on the road and defeating Valparaiso at home, the 49ers look to claim their third consecutive win against a desperate one-win Maryland Eastern Shore team.
“This is a team that plays a little different than Valparaiso, so we have to be organized and pay attention to detail," Charlotte Head Coach Ron Sanchez said.
The Hawks have a trio of guards that lead the way offensively by each averaging seven points per game. However, Maryland Eastern Shore has struggled to score this season, averaging a meager 54.7 points per game. Furthermore, the Hawks boast a -17.9 scoring margin.
A large part of the Hawks’ woes on offense can be attributed to their struggle to make shots from the perimeter. The Hawks enter the matchup with Charlotte only having made 27.5 percent of their three-point field goal attempts. Anticipate Sanchez and the 49ers to exploit the Hawks’ poor three-point shooting by compacting their pack-line defense to clog driving lanes.
The 49ers also boast a significant height advantage against the Hawks. While the Hawks post a -8.3 rebounding margin, the 49ers have sustained a +3.3 rebounding margin against quality ACC and SEC opponents, indicating Charlotte should dominate the boards on both sides of the floor.
On defense, the Hawks implement a variety of schemes that give opposing offenses fits and helps them average nearly 17 forced turnovers per contest.
“They’re a team that’s going to challenge you offensively because they play multiple defenses,” Sanchez said. “We’re going to have to be very organized offensively and make sure that we don’t waste any possessions.”
While the Hawks lack an interior shot-blocking presence, they force stops and turnovers by getting steals. Guard Da’Shawn Phillips and 6’6" forward Gabriel Gyamfi lead the Hawks defense that averages 9.3 steals per game with 26 and 15 steals, respectively.
Charlotte ball-handlers Jahmir Young and Jordan Shepherd need to limit turnovers as the Hawks average 16 points off of turnovers. If Charlotte limits turnovers and forces the Hawks to score against their stout pack-line defense, the 49ers will likely pick up their sixth win of the season.