Charlotte/App MB recap

Charlotte sophomore forward Igor Milicic Jr. (24) dribbles past a defender during a basketball game against Appalachian State on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

The Charlotte men's basketball defeated the Appalachian State Mountaineers 71-62 on Friday, Dec. 2, inside Halton Arena. With the win, the 49ers move to 7-2 on the year. 

The game wrapped up rivalry week for Charlotte as they beat both in-state rivals Davidson and App State. This is the first time since the 2007-08 season that Charlotte has beaten both teams in the same season. 

At one point in the first half, Charlotte was down by 23 as App State held a 30-7 lead. 

The Mountaineers were killer from three in the first half knocking down nine behind the arc. Timely three-pointers near the end of the half allowed Charlotte to cut the deficit to 11 going into the break. 

Head Coach Ron Sanchez said he was proud of the team for rallying during the comeback win. 

"We asked them at halftime to give us 20 more and to lay it on the line, and to their credit, I think they played really hard in the second half to give themselves a chance to enjoy the victory," said Sanchez.

First half

The game was evenly matched in the first two minutes as a layup by Aly Khalifa and a three by Igor Milicic Jr. gave Charlotte a three-point lead. 

After that, App State scored 25 unanswered points, mainly from six threes giving the Mountaineers a 23-point lead. 

Josh Aldrich regained momentum for Charlotte, nailing two back-to-back threes. 

Charlotte hit three more behind the arc to close the half, trailing 42-31.

Second half

The game was a tail of two halves as Charlotte took complete control of the game out of the break. 

Charlotte went on an 18-4 run that started with buckets from Khalifa and Jackson Threadgill. Montre' Gipson's three-pointer gave the 49ers a 47-46 with 13:14 remaining. 

The Mountaineers regained the lead later in the contest, but a three-point shot by Isaiah Folkes gave Charlotte the advantage the rest of the way. 

Charlotte closed out the game with free throws taking the win 71-62.

Top performers

Charlotte had three players break double digits in scoring: Gipson, Threadgill and Milicic.

Gipson did a little bit of everything for the team, recording 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He made critical baskets in the second-half run, including two three-pointers and multiple layups.

Threadgill, who has been the leader on the team so far, had 10 points on the evening, also bringing in two rebounds and two steals.

Milicic was a crucial player for the 49ers, recording 11 points on 4-of-6 field goal shots and seven boards. He continued to be deadly from three posting a 60% shooting percentage.

Another player to mention is Folkes, who was crucial off the bench. He had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting while helping Charlotte regain momentum in the 23-point comeback.  

Defend Halton

After starting the game down 30-7, Charlotte outscored App State the rest of the way 64-32 due in part to Charlotte's excellent scoring and defense. 

After shooting 38% from the field and 47% from three in the first half, Charlotte improved to 64% from the field and 56% from three after the half.

App State couldn't be stopped in the first half as they drained nine three-pointers, shooting 64%. 

Charlotte adjusted at halftime, and their defense held App State to only one three-pointer in the second half. The Mountaineers shot only 24% from the field in the second. 

Next up

The 49ers will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 10, when they take on the Detroit Mercy Titans. This is the second matchup between the two squads this season. The Titans won the first game on Nov. 23, 70-49. 

Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. inside Halton Arena, and the contest will be available to stream on ESPN+.