The Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team suffered consecutive conference losses for the first time this season, losing both games at Middle Tennessee in the weekend series.
Charlotte began the first game scoring nine straight points, with five of those coming from Jhery Matos. However, the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee came back and scored 13 of the next 17 points of the game to tie the game with 13 minutes left in the first half. After another exchange of baskets and the score tied at 15, the Niners scored straight points to take a 21-15 lead. After another exchange of baskets, Middle Tennessee tied the game once again 24 points a-piece with four minutes left in the half. Middle Tennessee then scored eight of the final 13 points to take a three-point lead to end the half.
The Niners outscored the Blue Raiders 15-6 to start the second half to take a six-point lead with 13 minutes left in the half. Middle Tennessee rallied back again, scoring 11 of the next 15 points to take a one-point lead, 49-48, with 10 minutes left in the half. After another exchange of points by both teams, Charlotte scored nine of the next 13 points to take a six-point lead. Middle Tennessee scored eight of the next nine points to regain their one-point lead. After another exchange of baskets, two free throws by Blue Raider Jalen Jordan sealed the deal, ending the game with a score of 66-65.
Jahmir Young led the Niners in scoring 15 points. Jhery Matos, Jordan Shepard, and Brice Williams also scored in double figures. Blue Raider Dontrell Shuler led the game in scoring with 16 points.
Charlotte began the second game hot once again, scoring 11 of the first 16 points in the first four minutes. However, Middle Tennessee came back to score 22 of the next 27 points to take an 11-point lead with seven minutes left in the half. Two straight 49er three-pointers cut the lead down to five. However, that is the closest the Niners could get to getting back the lead as the Blue Raiders went on an 11-0 run to end the half, with Middle Tennessee winning 41-25.
Charlotte scored eight straight points in the first four minutes of the second half to cut the lead down to eight points. Middle Tennessee got their double-digit after scoring four straight points. There were times that Charlotte would cut the Blue Raider lead below double-digits, but the Niners could not grab the lead back the rest of the way, losing 71-60.
Once again, Charlotte had four players score in double digits, this time with Jahmir Young and Milos Supica leading the way with 14 points each. Supica also led the game in rebounds with nine. Blue Raider Jordan Davis led the game with 17 points. Middle Tennessee had 13 fast-break points compared to Charlotte's three.
Charlotte will attempt to rebound from the loss this Wednesday when the team returns home to face the Old Dominion Monarchs. Tipoff is at 6 p.m..