Charlotte's men's basketball team gained a win over George Washington on Dec. 4 at Halton Arena with a final score of 86-79.
On Tuesday, the team looked to bounce back after a recent loss to Davidson at home. Prior to the game against Davidson, the 49ers went 0-2 on their trip to the Bahamas for the Baha Mar Hoops Championship.
In this game against George Washington, the team improved upon their recent losses and built onto the win column. Fifth-year Austin Butler showed up big for the team in the game with eight total rebounds, three assists, and 17 total points—matching his season-high.
"I think overall we just played really well with each other," said Butler. "The energy combined was a lot better tonight than it was obviously the last game, so I think we just gotta keep building and playing together. [We have to] just keep getting used to each other and keep feeding off each other and trust in one another and just take it one day at a time. I'm proud of the guys tonight."
When it comes to what the team improved on in this game compared to their recent losses, Coach Sanchez said, "we shared the ball well, I think our offense was a little better, we ran it with a little more pace. But we were a lot more connected defensively...we did an exercise today where I had the guys who were here in the first year stand up, and there were a lot of them. So, it's a mistake for me to think that they're coming in here with this immediate connection when they haven't had shared experiences. For us it's just continuing to get better and better, failure does not exist in our space, we just continue to get better and we learn."
Out of a 40-minute game, Charlotte spent 32:39 of it with the lead. They had their biggest lead of the night during the second period, leading by 15.
The first half began with a winning tip-off from the George Washington Colonials. Still, Charlotte quickly gained possession and took the night's first lead at 4-0 after points from fifth-year Austin Butler and freshman Aly Khalifa.
The Colonials looked to take the lead after a steal and consecutive scoring on their part, putting the score at 21-15 with the Niners trailing behind.
After a successful three-pointer followed by a free throw from junior Jahmir Young and a layup from Butler, the Niners set the score at a tie of 23-23 with under eight minutes left in the first.
Senior Clyde Trapp secured the lead at 32-25 after sinking a three-pointer into the net with 3:20 remaining in the first. The Niners took the first period with a 41-29 after a layup from sophomore Jared Garcia to send the team into the second half.
A three-pointer from Trapp started the second and set the leading score for the Niners at 44-31.
Both teams continued scoring fairly consistently, but with a three-pointer from Butler and two consecutive dunks from Robert Braswell, the Niners sat at a 13 point lead at 55-42.
After a lot of back and forth down the court from the teams, another three-pointer from Trapp and a layup from Young, set the Niners at a steady lead of 60-46.
The Colonials looked to catch up, but the Niners retaliated with offensive pressure, setting George Washington at a deficit of 10 points with the score reading 72-62 with under three minutes remaining in the game.
A late-game dunk from Young with just a little over a minute remaining in the match left George Washington at the familiar 10 point deficit with the score standing at 78-68.
After two successful free throws from Young after a foul from George Washington's Brendan Adams, the Niners took the game with a final score of 86-79.
Charlotte will hit the road to take on Arkansas on Tuesday, Dec. 7, with tip-off set for 9 p.m. The game will be available for streaming on SEC Network.