Charlotte's men's basketball team took two blowout losses last weekend against Marshall, adding to their losing streak.
Charlotte allowed 75 points in both games compared to their 67 and 66, respectively. The Charlotte 49ers finish their season 9-15, which is their sixth time finishing below .500 in the last seven seasons.
Game One: 75-67
Charlotte started the game out with a lead, scoring nine to start, while Marshall had just two. Things quickly looked good for the Niners, but Marshall turned it right around, finding themselves soon up 19-12. Charlotte narrowed the deficit a bit after several minutes and was only down 30-26 with 5:41 remaining in half.
After this point, Marshall caught fire and started breaking away at a very fast pace. Marshall finished the half on a 17-5 to lead 47-31 at halftime. Marshall opened the second half with a jumper from two and a three-pointed and took a 21 point lead.
Charlotte started clawing their way back into the game, going on a 13-2 run. Six of the 13 points came from Anzac Rissetto, who scored 14 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field and 2-2 from the line. After that run, Charlotte was now down by just ten. Marshall was up by 17 ten minutes later, and again Charlotte made a run. Charlotte finished the game on a 13-6 run, but there wasn't enough time for them to complete the comeback. Charlotte lost by eight points.
Rissetto may have had the best performance of Charlotte's game, but it was Shepherd who led the game in scoring. Shepherd took the first shot of the game, draining a three. After that, he was hit in the eye and was down on the floor before getting up and walking off. He eventually returned, finishing the night with 15 points on 6-9 shooting.
"We fought hard...We made way too many mistakes defensively tonight. The attention to detail and the execution of the game plan was not as sharp as it needed to be against a team that shoots the ball that well," said Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez after the game. We did a much better job defensively in the second half. I applaud our team's effort, but our effort needs to be combined with execution."
Game Two: 75-66
Marshall did not hesitate on their senior night and scored 13 points before a layup by Jared Garcia got Charlotte on the board for the first time. Charlotte, who started 0-8 shooting, shot 12-23 for the rest of the half. This improved Niner shooting brought them back, going from a 14 point deficit to a tied score at the half.
Before this game, Jared Garcia has not scored more than eight or had more than five rebounds, but Garcia already had a double-double in the first half of the game. Coach Ron Sanchez after the game, talked about Garcia's performance, saying, "It was encouraging to watch Jared Garcia grow up in front of our eyes today and get his first career double-double."
Shepherd also had ten points in the first half, shooting an efficient 3-4 from both the field and free-throw line. The second half started tied at 34 and was tied again at 42 before a long stepback two from Marvin Cannon gave Charlotte their first and only lead of the game.
After that, Marshall gave themself some space and retained a lead around ten or high single digits for the rest of the game. They went on to win 75-66, which was a bigger point differential than the first game despite it being much closer most of the game. While Charlotte's FG% went down 3% from game one to game two, their three-point percentage went up about 21%.
Charlotte faces the UTSA Roadrunners for a Conference USA Tournament matchup on March 10 at 6:30 p.m.