Charlotte/FAU MB recap

Charlotte sophomore guard Isaiah Folkes (5) goes up for a dunk during a basketball game against No. 19 Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

The Charlotte men's basketball team lost to No. 19 Florida Atlantic University (FAU) 67-52 on Saturday, Feb. 4, in Halton Arena.  

Charlotte has lost three in a row dropping Charlotte to 13-10 overall and 4-8 in Conference USA (C-USA) play. 

FAU moves to 22-2 overall and 12-1 in C-USA play which is atop the conference. 

The game was tooth and nail in the first half as Charlotte had a one-point lead at the break, but the No. 19 team in the nation had their way in the second half, outscoring Charlotte by 16 to win 67-52.

First half

FAU got on the board first, scoring seconds after the tip. In his second start this season, Josh Aldrich, filling in for Aly Khalifa, got on the board first for Charlotte, dropping in a three.

After an FAU answer, Brice Williams let a three fly off a Montre' Gipson pass.

The game became tightly contested until Brandon Weatherspoon hit two consecutive threes for FAU extending the lead to eight. Charlotte answered with a bucket from Igor Miličić Jr., followed by a monster dunk by Isaiah Folkes.

FAU answered, scoring five straight points, increasing their lead to nine, 23-14. Charlotte stood their ground on a 7-0 run off a Folkes three, Jackson Threadgill free throws and a jumper from Williams.

The Owls nailed another three as they shot 43% from three in the first. Charlotte kept scratching and clawing back as Williams made a three, along with Nik Graves getting his first bucket to cut FAU's lead to two points.

Charlotte ended the half strongly as a Miličić block led to a Lu'cye Patterson and-one to close out the half. 

Charlotte went into the break, up one, 31-30.

Second half

The game was a tale of two halfs as FAU controlled the second with an 8-0 run to start.

Charlotte's offense was cold in the second half, as they got on the board nearly six minutes into the half when Williams hit a pair of free throws. Folkes then hit Charlotte's first field goal of the half, making it a 38-35 game.

However, FAU took over the game on a 12-0 run. As Patterson and Williams hit layups, Charlotte looked to stop the Owls' momentum. Gipson then knocked down a jumper to cut FAU's lead to nine.

Charlotte went on another scoring drought lasting five minutes, and by the time they scored again, it was too little too late. 

Williams hit two free throws with less than three minutes to play. Miličić, Folkes and Graves all hit threes in the last few minutes, but FAU came away victorious, 67-52. 

Charlotte was plagued with offensive inefficiency as they shot 32% from the field.

Stat lines

Williams led Charlotte scoring 14 points along with snatching eight boards. 

Folkes, who gave the team a spark off the bench, followed behind with 10 points. 

Khalifa missed his second straight game after testing positive for COVID-19. The absence of Khalifa hurt the 49ers in the contest but allowed some players to get more minutes. 

Aldrich and Graves both received extended playing time, scoring five points each.

Next up

Charlotte heads to Texas this week to take on C-USA opponents, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and North Texas University. Charlotte will face off first against UTEP on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. The game will be streaming on ESPN+.