Charlotte/MTSU MB preview

The Charlotte men's basketball team interacts with fans after a basketball game against UTSA on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.

The Charlotte men's basketball team looks to rebound against the Middle Tennessee State (MTSU) Blue Raiders in the Murphy Center on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.  

The 49ers defeated the Blue Raiders 82-67 back on Dec. 29 in Halton Arena but will look to sweep the conference foe for the first time in school history.

With a solid 12-6 record and a 3-4 record in Conference USA (C-USA) play, Charlotte currently sits at No. 6 in the conference but can jump Middle Tennessee come Thursday evening with a win. 

Matchup history

This will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two programs. The Blue Raiders lead the series 12-4. 

But less than a month ago, the 49ers defended their homecourt in dominating fashion against Middle Tennessee behind a career-high 31 points from junior Brice Williams.

Charlotte held a narrow one-point lead at halftime before an offensive onslaught pushed the 49ers to a 15-point win in the second half. 

On top of the supremely efficient game from Brice Williams, Aly Khalifa added 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, showing his presence inside the paint. 

Lu'Cye Patterson also had one of his best games of the season, totaling fifteen points on 4-7 shooting. 

Scouting Charlotte

The 49ers are coming off a heartbreaking 60-58 loss against the UTEP Miners on Monday, Jan. 16, marking the team's first home loss of the season. 

Charlotte started the game off fast but struggled to take care of the ball, which got the team in a hole in the second half. With four chances to tie it at the buzzer, the 49ers had a golden opportunity to take the game to overtime but were unable to capitalize.

Offensively, Charlotte has a variety of ways to attack defenses. Six players on the roster average more than seven points per game this season, which allows the team to rely on multiple players. 

In the first matchup between these teams, Charlotte put together one of their best offensive performances of the season. To complete the sweep of Middle Tennessee, the 49ers must take care of the basketball and prevent long-scoring droughts.

Scouting Middle Tennessee

The Blue Raiders are coming off an impressive 74-73 overtime win against last year's conference champion, UAB. 

A one-two-punch of junior guard Eli Lawrence and seventh-year senior DeAndre Dishman leads the team. Dishman leads the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and 5.8 rebounds, while Lawrence provides 12.3 points per game.

Charlotte did a fantastic job limiting the duo in the first matchup. Lawrence only had eight points on 3-9 shooting, while Dishman scored ten points with five turnovers. 

If the 49ers are going to pick up a much-needed road victory, they need to be locked in defensively from the tip.

Looking to gameday

The 49ers look to get their first win in Murphy Stadium and a first-ever season sweep of the Blue Raiders. With a win, Charlotte will get back to .500 in the C-USA and secure their first road win in conference play this season. 

The game tips off on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. and is available to stream on ESPN+.